HEALTH INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND HEALTH ISSUES FOR PATIENTS

    As far as the article is concerned, I believe the author’s viewpoint that technology especially in the health industry is a positive step in the right direction is accurate (Cathryn, 2012). However, the designers should involve all stakeholders especially experts in health in the process of designing and at the same time provide adequate training for hospital staff to learn how to use the technology effectively. Furthermore, her view that despite the upsurge of technology in the recent past, experts should still employ their judgment when handling patients since machines are not always reliable should be adopted by management in hospitals.

    Most designers of technology that is used in the health industry focus a lot of their attention on sales when designing new technology. My concern, therefore, arises primarily in a situation where designer role out a healthcare related technology without carrying out enough research on the weakness of the technology just so that they can make sales and make more money. The technology may start giving erroneous outputs, and if the designers do not regularly monitor the technology after and before selling it to the hospitals, it can catastrophically cause the death of very many patients (Blobel, 2002).

    I also have some apprehensions when it comes to execution. As much as the technology may be useful and efficient, if the experts are not ready to make the change, then the chances of the technology being beneficial to patients is minimal. People always have the tendency to resist change and changing their thinking from their traditional ways of doing things calls for patience and education no matter their level of education (Wynsberghe, 2015). Implementing new technologies of any kind involves complex processes that even the healthcare organizations like hospitals tend to shy away from some of them. They usually base their arguments on the idea that embracing new technology tends to be very complex and at the same time consumes a lot of time than originally anticipated (Bower, 2005).

     As a medical profession, I once witnessed a situation where a patient did not receive her previously prescribed psychiatric medicine for almost two weeks simply because during her stay in the hospital primarily because the pharmacy’s computer system had been programmed to discontinue orders for the particular type of drugs for a certain period. The group that was responsible for the patient was not aware that the medications had been withdrawn since there were no alerts programmed into the system.

    These trepidations can cause ethical, financial as well as professional liability to the organization. To prevent these errors from occurring, I would suggest to the organization to vet the company from which they want to purchase the healthcare information technology from. Furthermore, they should go for those companies that are known to deliver the best quality products and services (Feng, 2008). I would also suggest to the management to allow the staff to go for training on how to handle the new system to avoid making avoidable errors. To sell my recommendation, I would explain to them the advantages that come with training the staff and the ultimate amount of money that will be saved from will outweigh all the costs and time consumed from training the staff.

    I would also suggest to the organization to run a pilot program before fully introducing the system to the workers so as to identify the weaknesses in design. Running the pilot program ensures that any errors in programming are identified early. Furthermore, they can also discover some areas that need to be improved to ensure that the system integrates well with the workers and customers hence preventing any liability issues that may arise out of errors caused by the system. To convince the management of the organization as to why I would recommend starting a pilot program, I would explain to them the liability issues that would be avoided since a lot of errors would be prevented since the systems would the under observation before being fully handed for public use (Grover, 2007).

    I would also suggest to the organization to encourage the staff to always employ their critical thinking skills as much as they would want to rely on technology. This would ensure that in case there is a problem with the system, the professionals can be able to identify early for instance in a situation where the program is not programmed to alert the professionals (Koutsouris&Lazakidou, 2014). To try and sell my point to the management of the organization, I would remind them that technology is prone to failure, but when combined with a brilliant brain of a health professional then liability decreases significantly.

References

CathrynDomrose. (March 19, 2012). Health IT might cause patient safety issues for nurses and healthcare workers.

Blobel, B. (2002). Analysis, design and implementation of secure and interoperable distributed health information systems. Amsterdam: IOS.

Bower, A. G. (2005). The diffusion and value of healthcare information technology. Santa Monica, CA: Rand Corp.

Feng, D. D. (2008). Biomedical information technology. Amsterdam: Academic Press.

Grover, J. (2007). Healthcare. Detroit: Greenhaven Press.

In Koutsouris, D.-D., & In Lazakidou, A. A. (2014). Concepts and trends in healthcare information systems.

Wynsberghe, A. . (2015). Healthcare robots: Ethics, design and implementation.


 

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