Technology in healthcare systems

We live in a world where technology is key to finding and utilizing information quickly. Healthcare has traditionally lagged behind the rest of the world in embracing technology. For this industry, technology is important in the management of health information. Although paper-based solutions are still prevalent and work efficiently in some contexts, they are limited in important functionality.

The healthcare industry, as it recognizes the need for technology, more frequently relies upon systems, such as clinical and administrative information systems, to manage and provide needed information. At the heart of these systems are databases, which are structured collections of data. Databases allow for the easy retrieval of stored data and the capability to efficiently manage large volumes of data. Since important health-related information is derived from data, the electronic storage and easy retrieval of data can ultimately impact the quality of care and coordination of services.

Refer to the HealthIT.gov case studies from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) presented in this week’s Learning Resources showcasing how EHRs and health technology (HITECH) are improving patient and community health. Now imagine your own health scenario in which a database could be used to improve the quality of care and the coordination of healthcare and services.

Briefly describe your scenario and how your database will be used. What type of data would be collected and stored? What are 2-3 elements of design that are important to consider when designing your database? If you were to present this database within a healthcare organization, who would you present this to, and how would you present it?

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