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Healthcare is considered as an important sector in any economy of each and every country. Each and every activity that are related to the healthcare is therefore of great concern and given utmost concentration. The activities vary from one healthcare organization to the other though the fundamental benchmark is that they must be given priorities and great concern. To begin with, budgeting in the healthcare is essential in making sure that the healthcare organizations and sectors set the priorities on what essentials needs to be achieved.
Planning help to make sure that the essential resources are fully used and exhausted within the set period. Budgeting deals mostly with the resources within the healthcare sector. It makes sure that the resources are utilized fully in making sure that the set goals, as well as the objectives of the organization, are achieved with little or less straining. It is done for both short term basis as well as the long-term achievements. The managers should, therefore, make sure that the budgets are well taken care of and fully taken into consideration to avoid any inconveniences that might arise from poor budgeting.
For the healthcare organizations as well as the entire sector to achieve their set objectives of making sure that they meet the demand in the society, awareness to the people is essential. Marketing, therefore, is needed to achieve this. The healthcare needs to brand and package itself to make sure that the target groups are well informed about the services that they are offering at each and every center. Marketing is essential in making the healthcare organizations reach a good number of target audiences so as to help them make sound decisions on the services that they are looking for.
The marketing strategies help the healthcare organizations sell their services to the customers that are the main reasons why they operate at any given location. (Bettcher & Goon, 1997) This in return makes them realize the set goals of making profits in the services that they are offering as well as making sure that the competition in the sector is healthy. When the competition is high in the market, the services that re-offered to the patients is found to increase regarding the quality.
Program planning, on the other hand, is very important in the healthcare centers in some ways. The program planning help in making sure that the set activities that are carried out in the healthcare centers, as well as the sector, are followed to the latter. It helps the organization to make sure that the policies and the guidelines that are fundamental in the operation of the healthcare are given keen concerns and priorities. Proper program planning makes sure that the services that are given to the customers are of high quality and meets the expectations that the clients require of the healthcare. It is therefore very important to lay down procedures and policies to guide both the staff as well as clients in making sure that they are informed.
Finally, staffing in the healthcare is very important. It is essential for the healthcare facilities to make sure that the staff members are qualified to come up with the best services to the clients. The staff members should also be well remunerated as well as making sure that they are motivated in doing their daily duties. The staff members in the sector should also be satisfied with the working environments to make sure that their work performance is of the required standards. It is, therefore, important to make sure that all the activities, as well as the functions, are of the required standards. (Scheckler & McDonald, 1998)
Bettcher, D. W., & Goon, E. H. (1997). Essential public health functions: results of the international Delphi study. . World health statistics quarterly. Rapport trimester de statistics sanitary Mondiale,17: 44-54.
Scheckler, W. E., & McDonald, L. L. (1998). Requirements for infrastructure and essential activities of infection control and epidemiology in hospitals: a consensus panel report. American journal of infection control,8: 47-60.
Healthcare information technology is the process of integration of IT systems (software and as well computer hardware) in healthcare organizations while dealing with healthcare data of patients. IT systems in healthcare organization plays a role during handling, storage, retrieval and sharing of patient’s information. In healthcare organizations, there are different types of information technology systems implemented.
Some include; Electronic Health Record (HER) and Computerized Provider Order Entry (CPOE) (Johnson, 2010). As stated earlier, the IT systems in healthcare environment aid in improving the quality of services received by patients. Some of their roles include; expanding people’s access to quality healthcare services at a reduced cost, reducing the amount of paperwork involved in during documentation of patient’s information and lastly makes it easy sharing patient’s information while in the healthcare organization. The paper is an analysis of performance and effectiveness of Healthcare IT (HIT) systems (Suh, 2011).
1.Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Chief Technology Officer (CTO)
While implementing Healthcare Information Systems, there are different individuals involved in the implementation process and as well designing these systems. Chief Information Officer in a healthcare organization is a healthcare executive responsible for managing and implementing usable information and computer systems within the healthcare environment. CIO has the responsibility of analyzing possible benefits of these technologies to the healthcare organization (Suh, 2011). More so, CIO is responsible for determining the importance of IT systems in the existing business processes. Due to the continuous use and reliance on technology-based processes in organizations, in many healthcare organizations, CIO appears as a key contributor during formulation of goals and strategies. They have a direct link with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of healthcare organizations since they make their reports directly to them (Johnson, 2010).
On the other hand, a Chief Technology Officer refers to an individual in a healthcare organization with the responsibility of overseeing all technical aspects of healthcare systems. More so, they CTO has the responsibility of enhancing and deploying the web presence of a healthcare organization. Unlike a CIO with the responsibility of managing the healthcare information systems, CTO directs employees on using technology. They act as good leaders and stewards of healthcare IT systems ensuring control of IT departments and resources. Their characteristics in healthcare organization are to manage technology research and development in their organization, maintaining current information regarding technology standards and their compliance regulations. They have strong links with partners, management, investors and employees since they communicate the health IT systems to them (Johnson, 2010).
In healthcare organization, aiming at satisfying other employees and as well patients CIO and CTO can use their expertise to enlighten other employees in healthcare environment by educating them on the functioning of IT systems implemented in the organization. Apparently, they communicate their technology strategies to other employees in the organization. This implementation can contribute to employee’s satisfaction while in the healthcare organization. Lastly, aiming at improving patient’s satisfaction, CIO and CTO can use their expertise in developing effective IT systems that are not costly. Furthermore, implementing efficient risk profiling systems can help in improving their satisfaction to services rendered to them. Currently, implementation of BMI and other lifestyle habits is helping in determining patient’s risks. Similarly, it is leading to patient satisfaction (Johnson, 2010).
2. Developing technologies that healthcare systems should use With the rise and advancement of technology, there is a great change in IT systems used in healthcare organizations. These systems improve the quality of services offered to patient and as well reducing the costs of healthcare services. Some of the emerging technologies in healthcare include:
1. Artificial retina. This is a developing technology in healthcare with efforts of using an artificial retina (a micro electric sample) aiming at restoring vision to blind people and as well individuals with retinal disorders. Artificial retina technology is a recommendation to healthcare organizations as it restores patient’s ability to read, free movement and as well aids restores blind individuals with facial recognition mechanism. This technology gives quality healthcare services to retina patients at affordable costs.
2. Printing new skins; considering patients suffering from burns, which are nasty wounds, these patients often lose a patch of their skin.
The healing process of the patch rarely takes place on its own (Suh, 2011). However, with the printing new skins technology, these patients have a justification of having their burns and patches healed. This developing technology uses ink-jet printer in printing proteins on the burnt patch. This acts as a ‘catalyst’ to the healing process of the burn as it brings leads to faster and thorough healing of the burn. Ink used in the inkjet has two layers (a mixture of skin cells and Type 1 collagen and the other layer being thrombin). Components of the spray are responsible for promoting faster healing through promotion of growing of new skin in the region and as well easy clotting of blood in the region (Rodrigues, 2010).
Other technologies used in healthcare organizations aiming at improving the quality of services. They include; robot caregivers, artificial pancreas for diabetic patients and lastly contact lenses used for detecting glaucoma in patients (Rodrigues, 2010).
3. Significant methods applicable for using in order to prevent misuse of data and protect data privacy
Since implementation of healthcare IT systems, there is a consideration of their security as the most important trend. This is due to the nature of data. In most cases, the idea of storing data in electronic forms raises concerns on patient’s privacy and as well security of information stored. Therefore, in a healthcare environment, before implementation of any of IT and computerized system, it should guarantee a high level of protection of patient’s information. Similarly, while using the system, stored information should be easily retrievable.
According to federal health officials, at least 300 health officials make reports on breaching and fraud of health data (Rodrigues, 2010).
Vulnerability of healthcare information to misuse and fraud results from healthcare IT systems unpreparedness to the threats. Some healthcare organization has security systems that are responsible for controlling and overseeing information shared. However, due to their size, they often do not have the ability of controlling these systems. Due to this vulnerability, healthcare professionals often feel helpless while preventing the misuse of patient’s information through their IT systems. The following practices can play a part in preventing the misuse of healthcare information (Rodrigues, 2010).
Data encryption. Through this process, information stored in the systems remain in an encrypted format. In this format, hackers and other unauthorized individuals do not have access to information stored. Apparently, while encrypted, information shared through the network appears encrypted. Attaining this can be through using secure socket layer (SSL). On the other hand, passwords can play a role in preventing misuse of healthcare information through implementing a user and entity authentication method while accessing information in the organization.
Secondly, in healthcare environment, creating policies and security procedures can help in preventing breaching of healthcare data. Healthcare organizations can use policies such as transmission security, information protection and as well, information audits while preventing misuse of delicate patient’s information. This is a procedure aiming at preventing access of stored information and ensuring that employees within the organization rarely misuse information (Suh, 2011).
4. Training providers in using technology in a healthcare
Healthcare providers are important professionals in the society. Due to the rise in technology use, in the healthcare organizations, it is important training these individuals aiming at making them able to respond to crucial situations facing them. Simulation training is the most common and efficient training method in healthcare. Simulation training provides professionals with a safe environment of interacting with the implemented IT systems in the healthcare organization. While using the simulation process in training, healthcare providers have limitless boundaries of learning and interacting with the implemented systems (Johnson, 2010).
Simulation training of healthcare providers use virtually real patients (patients who can breathe and have heartbeats). With the integration of a monitor, it becomes easier for providers to view vital signs from the patients. More so, while training the healthcare providers on the use of technology systems used in the healthcare organization, simulation of these systems gives them a virtually real interface of interacting with the systems and thus acquiring skills in data presentation, storage and transmission while using technology-based methods. Interaction with IT systems in a simulated environment gives the healthcare providers a better understanding on the performance and security measures used during representation of data and as well prevention of data from misuse (Rodrigues, 2010).
5. Best practices for IT alignment and strategic planning initiatives
Alignment and strategic planning activities are important in optimizing the value of integrated IT systems. Aligning IT systems in healthcare organization begins with sharing the understanding on how the integrated systems in the organization contribute to the general missions of providing healthcare services to the patients at affordable costs. IT systems officials then follow with sharing a focus on portions of the scarce resources such as time and capital. IT systems implementation process require capital. Therefore, it is the role of the IT implementing managers to report to the management on the capital requirements. Lastly, there should be a credible working relationship between the IT department in the healthcare organization and other departments within the organization (Johnson, 2010).
There are different planning and aligning strategies implemented by healthcare organization while using IT systems in its operations. Some of the steps include; developing the IT system visions and missions (Suh, 2011). These missions and visions should compromise with providing quality healthcare services to patients and as well maintaining healthy working conditions for healthcare providers. The other step in aligning IT systems is scanning for potentially enabling technologies that may enhance the quality of implemented system in the healthcare organizations. These may technologies may aim at implementing high levels of system’s privacy and security. Lastly, in order to attain alignment in implemented IT system, healthcare organizations may set conditions of achieving the alignment. This can be through promoting cohesiveness between the IT department and other departments in the organizations. Apparently, support from the management through funding can promote these conditions (Rodrigues, 2010).
In strategic planning of an IT system in healthcare organization, as with aligning process, IT managers ensure that they develop an institutional vision that is in line with the IT system implemented. IT department later develops readiness criteria in the organization that conducts a strategic planning for the IT system. Attaining this is through both an internal and external analysis of the quality of healthcare services patients receives from the healthcare center. Furthermore, while determining the planning criteria, managers mostly focus on the current IT environment. Thirdly, while integrating an IT system in healthcare organization, there is consideration of future advancement of the system. As a result, future IT environment plays a role in strategic planning (Johnson, 2010).
Healthcare IT systems are crucial integration technologies in healthcare. They play an important role in promoting quality services at low prices for patients. Interpretation of data stored and transferred through these systems is important for professionals as it promotes in management of patient’s progress while receiving healthcare in the organization. Business intelligence tools are a healthcare technology that aids in understanding trends observed from patients and data stored in IT systems. Apparently, data stored in these systems is delicate. Therefore, health IT systems should have a high level of security and provide a guarantee to the stored data. In healthcare organization, attaining this can be through using portals, SSL encryption while storing, and transferring patient’s information.
Johnson, J. A., & Stockpot, C. H. (2010). Comparative health systems: Global perspectives. Sudbury, Mass: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.
Rodrigues, J. (2010). Health information systems: Concepts, methodologies, tools and applications. Hershey PA: Medical Information Science Reference.
Suh, S. C., Gurupur, V. P., & Tanik, M. (2011). Biomedical engineering: Health care systems, technology, and techniques. New York: Springer.
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