Healthcare informatics is the culmination of IT and healthcare, and provides many benefits to both patients and medical staff.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Using IT to help provide better healthcare means that a lot of processes and procedures can be speeded up or automated, so that more time can actually be spent with patients, instead of having to do administrative tasks.
2. The NHS NPfIT and Connecting For Health programmes offer patients more choice about where and when they have their treatment, making it more convenient for them. Using electronic medical records, electronic prescriptions, and digital images also makes it much easier to let the patient have the information or treatment they need as quickly and conveniently as possible.
3. It’s possible to securely share patient information where and when necessary. Perhaps you’ve recently had hospital or dental treatment in a different town to where you live. Maybe your child needed to go to casualty when you were visiting relatives. By being able to share the information, it’s much quicker to find out what treatment was carried out, or what medication the patient is on, or allergic to as well.
4. eSPace is a knowledge base for medical staff, and can be used to share their experiences, research and treatments, so that less time is carrying out work that’s already been done. This will save time and resources, and means that the same standard of care is available.
5. Healthcare informatics helps to improve the workflow, staffing levels and resources in a department. You’ll know, thanks to trending and forecasting, how many staff or beds you need. You’ll be able to manage the department or practice better, and provide better healthcare to your patients.
6. Thanks to knowing what you need, where you it, and when, the healthcare you give to your patients is more effective, and there is less time spent doing administrative tasks, or waiting for staff or resources to become available.
7. Healthcare Informatics can also help to improve communication between departments, hospitals, and GP surgeries. As well as sending patient treatment details, it’s possible to send images such as X rays or ultrasounds. This makes it much quicker to get a second opinion, or to see exactly what the patient came in for. These images can be sent electronically, and received immediately, and so there is no delay, unlike having to send an actual X Ray image by post or courier.
8. All in all, healthcare informatics is making healthcare much more efficient, and cost effective. Knowing where people are, or need to be, and being able to see where the bottlenecks are or why certain aspects take longer than they should do can help to make a huge difference to the amount and quality of care provided.
9. A healthcare report provides a snapshot of exactly what’s going on at any one time. You might want to know how many are people in surgery, the number of free beds, or how many nurses will be needed in casualty in the afternoon.
10. Patients don’t need to know or care about the technology involved in making them better, they just want to be better sooner. By using technology, patient care can be more effective, staff can be more efficient, and costs can be reduced.
Now you now more about it, isn’t it time for you to think more about healthcare informatics?