The Importance of Health Information Systems
Nowadays, in the age of new technologies, it is impossible to imagine any sphere of human activity which does not utilize the advanced information technologies. Health informatics is a special area of study which deals with biomedical information and knowledge. Health informatics not only touches the major aspects of biomedical science but also it uses modern information technologies including computing and communication in order to facilitate the work of medical staff. Moreover, it explores different methods which are necessary for the effective management of health care information. Health informatics is connected with health information technologies, various medical researches and practices. (Chacalackal, 2001, para.2)
It is known that health informatics has a long history. In 1949, the first organization which developed informatics was founded by Gustav Wager in Germany. In 1950s, the computer specialists and doctors created different medical computer programs. One of the most important events in the history of health informatics was creating the MUMPS programming language which made it possible to create special medical databases which are successfully used nowadays. The development of such computer systems as MYCIN and INTERNIST allowed doctors and other health care specialists to identify the bacteria of this or that infection and to find the appropriate dosage of antibiotics for treatment. In 1980, the MUMPS language was used for creating the individual health records of the patients. Nowadays, there is a special program ”“ Computerized Patient record System which allows the doctors to see the long-term patient’s health record. (The History of Health Informatics, 2009, para. 4)
Health informatics has a lot of tools which make the work of health care specialists easier. They include not only computers but also different information and communication systems, clinical guidelines and medical terminology. It s known that health informatics is successfully applied in such areas as clinical care, nursing, pharmacy, medical researches, public health, dentistry and therapy. (Chacalachal, 2001, para.1)
According to the last researches in health informatics, there are several trends and factors that have the most significant influence on today’s health information systems and the discipline of health informatics. The most significant among them are proliferation of pharmaceuticals, the use of new information technologies and aging of the population. The above mentioned factors have a great influence because they are connected with the use of new technology. Proliferation of pharmaceuticals is related to the growth of pharmacy. It is known that pharmacy information systems are huge databases which are used for storing appropriate information concerning different pharmaceuticals. It is clear that such health care disciplines as pharmacy, therapy and others might be affected by this factor. The use of new information technologies is related to all the health disciplines that is why this factor is also very important for today’s health information systems. It is clear the invention of new medical equipment such as new imaging devices and voice recognition systems, bedside monitoring systems and others will give opportunity to improve the quality of treatment and at the same time to enlarge the amount of information. That is why this factor influences today’s health informatics and health information systems. One more factor mentioned above is aging of the population. It is known that the population of 85 years and older is growing. It means that more and more patients will be included into the health care databases. That is why it is necessary to improve the quality of health care programs in order to facilitate the work of health care providers. This factor is connected with all the disciplines in health care as elderly people usually have a lot of diagnoses and require the assistance of numerous specialists. (Johnson, 2003, para.2)
Ronald Johnson states in his article that although health care technology has a lot of problems today, it is obvious that in the nearest future the use of computers in health care will not surprise anybody. The computer will become “the physician’s best friend”¯. (Johnson, 2003, para.6)
Moreover, the use of health information systems will allow all the medical staff to work with great motivation. Motivation of the medical staff provides job satisfaction that will influence the quality of treatment and personal relation of medical staff to the patients who are waiting for the appropriate medical assistance. One more important thing which defines the purpose of health information systems is high-speed communication between health providers and hospitals which gives opportunity to share knowledge and to find useful advice in case of emergency. All these activities should have the only task – to save lives of all the people who need medical assistance.(Bartolomei, 2010, para.3)
In conclusion, it is necessary to say that health informatics is a constantly developing field of medical science. It is known that in 1996, the US President Bill Clinton issued the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act which does not allow the healthcare providers to share medical information concerning the patient’s health with others. It means that more and more people will be interested in adopting electronic billing software. Health information systems are very important for effective medical services.