Featherfall Medical Center
Imagine you have been contracted to consult on the recent developments at the Featherfall Medical Center. Featherfall has been struggling of late; it has had a series of problems that have prompted your hiring. It has faced the following issues:
1. Featherfall has recently violated several government regulations regarding the current state of its technology and how it is being used. The technology system is vastly out of date, and staff are not always using the technology that is in place or they are using the technology inappropriately. These problems have lost the institution lots of money for not meeting government regulations and have caused operational and ethical problems from inefficient and ineffective use of technology.
2. The staff at Featherfall are not well-trained on the use of technology and do not communicate appropriately about technology use. The roles that pertinent to your consult are the health information management team, the clinical staff (doctors, nurses, etc.), and administrative staff. The health information management team uses proper coding practices, and the current technology system serves them well, despite its age. However, other roles in the hospital have had issues with the system. Clinical staff, for instance, have had record-keeping issues both due to lack of training on the system and the system itself being out of date. Administrative staff within the organization have taken issue with the lack of communication about the technology and its use between the various roles. When the current technology system was chosen many years ago, the needs of these various roles were not considered.
In this milestone, you will submit an analysis of how the company in the case study is noncompliant and the strategies (general, not specifics) to move it toward compliance. Specifically the following critical elements must be addressed: II. Health Regulations and Laws Ramifications: In this section of your final project, you will finish the preparation by reviewing and explaining the ramifications for the organization if it decides to wait on addressing its recent violations regarding technology use. A. Determine how violating health regulations and laws regarding technology could impact the finances of the institution if these violations are not addressed. Be sure to support your response with examples. B. Determine how violating health regulations and laws regarding technology could impact the daily operations of the institution if these violations are not addressed. Be sure to support your response with examples. C. Determine how violating health regulations and laws regarding technology could impact the security of the health information in the institution if these violations are not addressed. Be sure to support your response with examples and references.
In order to provide quality health care, health organizations like most other organizations, had to embrace Information Technology and information management systems. Health Information Management or health informatics as applied in healthcare describes the activities associated with obtaining, analyzing and protecting medical information that is very pivotal in the provision of quality health care to their patients. The field of health informatics has been developing gradually since the sophistication in computer technology enabled the computers to manipulate large amounts of data. This thus means that the traditional paper based health records are now increasing being replaced with Electronic Health Records which are more efficient in managing health information.
Health Information Management as a practice amongst health professionals has its roots in the 1920s whereby the health practitioners, especially doctors and physicians realized that creating health records for their clients not only benefited the patients but also benefited the health service providers. The healthcare service providers came to realize that they were in a better position to treat patients who had a complete and accurate medical history. All these records were documented on paper and the recording practice was standardized by the American Association of Record Librarians (The modern day American Health Information Management Association).
The development of computers in the 1960s and 1970s saw the advancement of the information age which meant that the initial records on paper could now be processed and be stored on computers. Initially, Universities partnered with healthcare facilities to store their health records on computers solely accessible by the health facilities. As computers became more common, individual health departments, for instance, the registry department looked for single application software to make their operations.
The 1980s and 1990s were characterized by the introduction of computer application software that were more dedicated to specialized healthcare functions such as registration, Laboratory and registry. The master patient Index (MPI) was introduced at this stage.
The 2000s perhaps marked the greatest milestone in Health Informatics since there was a great breakthrough that solved the weaknesses of the previous systems. The previous health information management systems lacked communicative, cross-departmental record system. Health facilities increasingly started implementing functional Electronic Health Record systems in compliance with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) in 2009 that requires the adoption of Electronic Medical Records by 2014.
The future of Health Informatics lies in fine-tuning the existing HER systems. The focus will not only be on how to collect data but on how to quickly and accurately analyze, process and give out data on virtually any device to those in need of the data.
Featherfall can observe several guidelines for technology use in the field of health information management. First the adopted technology should ensure documentation integrity such that all health records should be complete and accurate. It is will also observe information governance and other legal expectations pertaining health records.
The standard technologies currently being used in the field of Health Information Management are focused on interoperability with a focus on Electronic Health Record Laboratory results, consumer empowerment, Bio-surveillance, Emergency Responder Electronic Health Record(ER-EHR), and Electronic Health Record-Centric which ensures continued compliance. By training Featherfall stuff, the organization will be able to establish better patients’ records. The administration department’s concerns can be met by integrating the system in such a way that the various departments within the health facility can be reached through the health information management system.
Evaluating new health information technology systems will mean that I look at; the system’s ability to match with clinical workflow, its ability to process information, ease of application, the motivation of the users and on their use of the system and the system’s effect on the social and behavioral processes of the healthcare workforce.
Usher, W., Gudes, O., & Parekh, S. (2016). Exploring the use of technology pathways to access health information by Australian university students: a multi-dimensional approach. Health Information Management Journal, 45(1), 5-15.
Raw, J. (2003). Standards for Health Information and Related Health Information Technology. Health Information Management Journal, 31(3), 1-5.