The application of information technology was initially used in the health care field to manage the huge databases and make sharing of information possible between institutions and physicians as well. The use of information technology in the health institutions gained root in the western countries in the early years of 21st century. Osborn et al. (2012) did a survey and found out that the technological aspect of the health institution was the one making the most progress compared to the other facets of the healthcare sector. The advancements that have taken place in the medical field driven by information technology have been unprecedented and are a far cry from the initial intention of incorporating IT in the health care sector.
How information technology has changed the healthcare workplace
Information technology has no doubt changed the way that the health care practitioners used to handle their records in the past. It is now possible to store vast amounts of information regarding multiple patients accurately. Sharing of information among the doctors has been made very easy, with the possibility of confidentiality between the patients and the practitioners remaining intact(Escobedo, Kirtane&Berman, 2013). Health care researchers have it easy, as they do not have to spend their time in the libraries digging for information on health care phenomena that they were interested. Instead, most of the data they would require is available at the touch click of a button and updated on a daily basis. The government is in a position to get accurate statistics on the health outlook of the population, hence assisting in coming up with sound health policies(Escobedo, Kirtane&Berman, 2013). The instruments used to diagnose diseases are becoming more advanced as a result of improvement in information technology and are geared towards being less intrusive compared to the traditional ones. Examples are the microchips capable of ascertaining the state of health of a person just by being placed on the skin while others entail apps that guide persons in the management of diseases and in keeping them in touch with their physicians.
The article chosen for this paper is by Osborn et al. (2012), whose title is ‘A Survey Of Primary Care Doctors In Ten Countries Shows Progress In Use Of Health Information Technology, Less In Other Areas.’ The reason for having chosen this article is the fact that it studied the health care outlooks of different developed countries and determined that even though they were failing in some aspects, they were all making good process in the application of information technology. The article is also relatively recent compared to others that were on the same subject.
Summary of the article
According to Osborn et al. (2012), most of the high income nations have come up with health reforms that are aimed at making access to health services better for their citizens. The reforms are aimed at improving the quality of the health care services, address the rising costs of health services and in general improve the welfare of their populations. They are keen on developing integrated care systems characterized by better communication and cooperation between the different sites of care. One of the major ways of doing this is by investing in health information technology that has that capability of giving feedback to the physicians on matters related to their performance (Osborn et al., 2012). The survey done by Osborn et al. was across borders, and it was discovered that the application of information technology in these developed countries was progressing well with the United States being in the leading position. The information technology in the context of this article was to connect the physicians to the government, the patients, the insurance companies, specialists and hospitals. Even as the communication between the physicians and other entities improved due to the integration of IT in the health sector, the US physicians were having problems with the insurance companies placing restrictions on the patients.
How information technology is bound to change health care in the future
One of the major effects of information technology has been to enable the common persons have access to information that was previous restricted only to the physicians. This makes them tempted to make self-diagnosis and self-medication. It therefore has lowered the gains that physicians used to have in the past from consultation without actual treatment (Escobedo, Kirtane&Berman, 2013). More and more persons are going to be getting information from the internet on how to take care of their health, subsequently easing the burden that the physician have carried for years of taking care of the health of the masses(Honigman, 2013). There are apps that have been developed for the smartphones whose function is to manage the health of the owners. There are even some smartphones that have the capacity to determine the heartbeat rate of the owner and the sugar levels as well. Microchips that have the capacity to determine the health status of persons are in the development stages, and are likely to change the way that physicians have operated in the past(Honigman, 2013). There is the development of wearable technology such as the Google glass that is likely to make its way into the medical schools and into the operating theatre where students will be learning while treatments are taking place and still be in contact with the outside world.
IT- information technology which as to do with data input, processing and output of information
Microchip- An integrated circuit made of a semiconductor which has been miniaturized.
High-income nations- the developed or western nations such as North America and Europe
Escobedo, M., Kirtane, J., & Berman, A. (2013). Health information technology: A path to improved care transitions and proactive patient care. Generations, 36(4), 56-62
Honigman, B. (2013). 7 Biggest Innovations in Health Care Technology in 2014 [INFOGRAPHIC]. referralMD | Medical and Dental Referral Marketing Platform.
Osborn, R., Schoen, C.,Squires, D., Doty, M., Rasmussen, P., Pierson, R., & Applebaum, S. (2012). A survey of primary care doctors in ten countries shows progress in use of health information technology, less in other areas. Health Affairs, 31(12), 2805-16.