Patient-Care Technologies to Address the Needs of a Diverse Patient Population

Some of the health information technology available today are primary systems aimed at decision support, electronic health records, and computerized provider order entry. These systems are used for electronic documentation, order entry, management of results, and administrative purposes. The research team from Southern California Evidence-Based Practice Center found out that health information technology improved quality of healthcare by increasing compliance to protocol-based care, enhancing surveillance of diseases, and decreasing errors in medication. These effects encompass preventive care, treatment of different diseases, and laboratory testing. Marc Berg studied the implementation of information systems in healthcare organizations. He concluded that the information system will not by itself transform the organization. Rather, information technology and the organization should work together to make change happen and see the results that they hoped for. This view was echoed by Assistant Professors at the University of Notre Dame Sarv Devaraj and Rajiv Kohli who conducted a longitudinal study on the payoff of information technology in the healthcare industry and concluded that it was difficult to determine the benefits of information technology because technology alone would not guarantee organizational success. However, they said that information technology provided valuable support to other healthcare initiatives that would ensure quality and efficiency of performance. In another research, Richard Hillestad and his fellows at RAND Corporation examined the health benefits, savings, and costs of electronic medical record systems. Their team found out that effective implementation of this system could help healthcare companies save billions of money by improving healthcare efficiency, safety, and management of chronic diseases. They said it would also lead to improved health and other social benefits for the organization and patients. However, like what the previous studies stated, this could only be realized with corresponding support and changes in the healthcare organization. These studies imply that health information technology, along with patient-care technologies, are indeed essential in managing the organization and a diverse patient population but these technologies alone will not bring about positive changes in the quality and efficiency of healthcare service if the organization itself will not undergo transformation. Technology is a valuable pillar of support in the delivery of healthcare and nursing care.