Specifically the technology, which is essential to the healthcare system, brings about the exchange of health information in an electronic environment. It has been planned to improve the quality of care, prevent medical errors, enhance email communication and expand access to affordable care.
Many private and public organizations are focused on finding effective uses for health information technology that will lower health care spending and improve the efficiency and quality of medical care.
Some of the uses focus on advances in this technology, such as personal health records, electronic medical records and e-prescribing. For example, electronic prescribing (e-prescribing) systems allow physicians to enter prescription information for patients into an electronic system rather than writing out a prescription while some e-prescribing systems have the capacity to cross-check with other patient medications.
Electronic medical and health records, which are primarily intended for health care providers, are similar to the old paper medical chart. They can be used to link data from a number of providers to present a more comprehensive view of a patient’s health record.
As privacy continues to emerge as a top concern about the technology, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability (HIPAA) Act was set up to protect the privacy of individually identifiable information and to set national standards for the security of electronic protected health information.
This market also offers one of the fastest growing job markets in the country. Most staff work in hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, nursing homes, health insurance organizations and medical offices.
Workers in the field coordinate medical information and maintain and analyze patient medical information. They also organize data and put statistical reports in order to study health care. Experts predict the demand for well-trained health personnel will grow rapidly.
The high costs of electronic health record systems for providers of care, which includes the upfront capital investment and ongoing maintenance, have prevented the rapid distribution of technology systems. Even so, two of the country’s largest health care systems have fully implemented electronic medical record systems, the federal Veteran’s Administration and the private Kaiser Permanente systems.
It is imperative the privacy and security of the technology be ensured as the information is maintained and transmitted electronically. US healthcare spending, which was reported to be $2.1 trillion in 2006, is projected to grow to $4 trillion by 2015.