This paper originated with strategic management work done at Jamaica Hospital in Queens, NY and the Jewish Home and Hospital for the Aged in Manhattan, NY. As background for the project, the initial phase involved industry-wide studies of healthcare institutions throughout this country and abroad. During these studies, which involved both field research and a review of the research literature, many samples of which are given throughout this paper, it became apparent that advances in hospital Information Technology (IT) are having a dramatic impact on improving patient healthcare services.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Database: One possible definition is that a database is a collection of records stored in a computer in a systematic way, so that a computer program can consult it to answer questions. For better retrieval and sorting, each record is usually organized as a set of data elements (facts). The items retrieved in answer to queries become information that can be used to make decisions. The computer program used to manage and query a database is known as a database management system (DBMS). The properties and design of database systems are included in the study of information science.
Digital: The word digital is most commonly used in computing and electronics, especially where real-world information is converted to binary numeric form, as in digital audio and digital photography. Such data-carrying signals carry either one of two electronic or optical pulses, logic 1 (pulse present) or 0 (pulse absent). The term is often used with the prefix “e-“ as in e-mail and e-book, even though not all electronics systems are digital.
Information Systems: The study of information systems is usually a commerce and business administration discipline, and frequently involves software engineering, but it also distinguishes itself by concentrating on the integration of computer systems with the aims of the organization. The area of study should not be confused with computer science, which is more theoretical in nature and deals mainly with software creation, or computer engineering, which focuses more on the design of computer hardware.
Information Technology: IT, also known as Information and Communication(s) Technology (ICT) and Infocomm (especially in Asia) is a broad subject concerned with technology and other aspects of managing and processing information, especially in large organizations. In particular, IT deals with the use of electronic computers and computer software to convert, store, protect, process, transmit, and retrieve information. For that reason, computer professionals are often called IT specialists, and the division of a company or university that deals with software technology is often called the IT department. Other names for the latter are information services (IS), management information services (MIS), or managed service providers (MSP).
Network Card: A network card, network adapter, or network interface card (NIC) is a piece of computer hardware designed to allow computers to communicate over a computer network.
Telemedicine: Telemedicine is the delivery of medicine at a distance. The term is composed of the Greek word te?e (tele) meaning “far,” and medicine. Telemedicine may be as simple as two health professionals discussing a case over the telephone, or as complex as using satellite technology and videoconferencing equipment to conduct a real-time consultation between medical specialists in two different countries. Telemedicine generally refers to the use of communications and information technologies for the delivery of clinical care.