Healthcare Informatics combines IT and healthcare, in order to bring technology into health. Just as computers and networks, and the internet are helping to revolutionise businesses all over the worild, they are helping healthcare too.
Here’s what you should know about.
1. The NHS NPfIT, or National Programme for IT is making the NHS better for patients in many ways. Thanks to healthcare informatics, there are now electronic medical records, X Rays and ultrasounds can be electronically sent between hospitals, and there is now more choice for patients about where they are seen.
2. Sharing patient information between locations means that if you are seen at a different hospital, then your medical history can be accessed from your normal GP or hospital, so that no matter who is treating you or where, they’ll always have your current medical information.
3. The NHS eSpace system allows healthcare staff to share their knowledge and experiences, so that all staff can learn from others, and won’t need to spend their valuable time doing research that’s already been done. It can also be used for much more too.
4. Healthcare Informatics is also concerned about the day to day running of a hospital or other medical establishment. Perhaps you need to improve the workflow, and see where your staff are needed the most and when. You’ll be able to spot trends, and see which areas you can improve on.
5. You’ll be able to keep your staff well organised, in order to improve patient care by ensuring that you have the right staff and resources available. Perhaps some days, weeks or months will be busier than others, or maybe it always gets busy at the same time every day.
6. Thanks to electronic medical records, patient data is more accurate, as it is all done on computer, so there are no handwritten notes and no papers to lose.
7. Healthcare Informatics also help to promote better communication, and between locations. NHSmail is the secure NHS internal email system and allows medical staff to get second opinions, or find out more about a patient, even from hundreds of miles away
8. Better financial control can be achieved by using healthcare informatics. It’s easier to can see where time and resources can be best used so that they are not wasted, and ensure there isn’t a shortage of resources anywhere else.
9. Using reporting systems covering different locations, it’s possible to see how your hospital is operating at different times, or how many number staff you need, how many operations have been performed, or how many beds you need of a given day. All of this helps to ensure that patient care is better.
10. As all the information is computerised, and easier to access and update. It means that any information required can be accessed immediately. Better information means that better healthcare can be provided. Better for staff means better for patients too.
Now you know more about healthcare informatics, what it means, and how it will help you, you’ll be able to benefit from it the next time you need medical treatment.