Healthcare Information Systems Opportunities and Challenges

Healthcare Information Systems Opportunities and Challenges

Madison N. Ngafeeson (Northern Michigan University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5888-2.ch332
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Background

Healthcare information systems refers to such systems that are used to process data, information and knowledge in healthcare environments (Haux, Winter, Ammenwerth, & Brigl, 2004). While healthcare information systems and health information systems are often used today to refer to the same concept, a series of terms have been used in the evolution of this phenomenon from its early foundations in the 1960s. Though there is no clear consensus in literature until lately, the term health information systems is analogous to various primitive forms of this concept such as hospital information systems. Similarly, terms such as computerized patient records, electronic medical records, and the more current electronic health records have come to be commonly used almost interchangeably. Though the exact meanings may differ, all represent a progression in the development of healthcare information technology. Haux (2006) discusses major evolutionary developments from the primitive hospital information systems to the health information systems as we know them to date. In the following paragraphs important trends are discussed in a bid to provide a perspective to this article.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Healthcare Information Technology (HIT): A wide range of products and services—including software, hardware and infrastructure—designed to collect, store and exchange patient data throughout the clinical practice of medicine.

Computerized physician order entry (CPOE): A health information technology that allow for the use of computer assistance to directly enter medication orders from a computer or mobile device. This order is also documented or captured in a digital, structured, and computable format for use in improving safety and organization.

Healthcare Information Systems (HIS): An integrated effort to collect, process, report and use health information and knowledge to support decision-making that affects individual and public health outcomes as well as policy and research.

Meaningful Use Policy: A U.S. Department of Health and Human Services policy that requires health professionals to use certified electronic health record (EHR) technology to improve quality, safety, efficiency, and reduce health disparities, engage patients and family, improve care coordination, and population and public health while maintaining privacy and security of patient health information.

Electronic Medical Records (EMR) / Electronic Health Records (EMR): An HIT that enables the storage, modification, retrieval and transfer of health information of a patient in a manner that supports and improves the patient’s overall quality of health while providing decision support for the healthcare professional. When the technology is used with a health practice, it is known as an EMR; but when records are shared with other health entities beyond the primary care institution, it is referred to as EHR.

Healthcare Information Exchange (HIE): The mobilization of healthcare information electronically across organizations within a region, community or hospital system.

Enterprise Resource Planning ERP: An integrated computer-based system used to manage a business’s internal and external resources, including tangible assets, financial resources, materials, and human resources. It supports all applications across business units.

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