Essay Sample on Technology In Health Care
Lobbying can be defined as the process of communicating one’s views on various issues to the elected officials in an effective and timely manner with the aim of getting those elected officials to support them (The Lobbying Process, n.d.). Lobbying can be conducted to persuade the elected officials to make changes in proposed bills, pass legislation, undo legislation, and avail funds for various projects or issues.
Lobbying is important because it develops relationships between the public and the elected officials, educates them on issues affecting their communities, and establishes the platform for the advocacy campaign (The Lobbying Process, n.d.).
One of the effective forms of lobbying is through a face-to-face meeting between the lobbying party and the legislators or their representatives as it is easier to discuss the issue at stake and reasons for being passionate about it (The Lobbying Process, n.d.). In an effort to get funding for the implementation of technology in health care from the legislator or local government, I would schedule a meeting with the appropriate party. I would call their office and then ask to speak with the appointments secretary. Next, I would tell the appointments secretary about the issue I would like to discuss with the elected official and ask for a meeting.
After scheduling the meeting, I would research the lawmaker I will be meeting to determine how I will present my facts about technology in health care and why I think he or she should be funding this issue. I would research whether the elected official generally supports or opposes the issue of technology in health care, the voting record of the legislator on the issue, and any other miscellaneous information that would help me craft my messages appropriately. On the day of the meeting I would clearly and concisely talk about the positive impact of technology in health care, the relevance of the issue of technology in health care on the current U.S health care system, how health care technology has been integrated into clinical practice, and how health care technology is being applied in a clinical setting.
Importance of Technology in Health Care
The implementation of technology in health care is associated with various benefits. Healthcare Information Technology (HIT) results in increased productivity and cost savings in health organizations (Naylor et al., 2011). It helps in minimizing the wastage of resources and time, thus enhancing efficiency in hospitals. For instance, the computerization of health records leads to a reduction in transcription and storage costs. Moreover, the reduction in the volume of paper documentation has reduced the amount of time healthcare professionals spend on administrative tasks (Naylor et al., 2011). Consequently, clinicians and other caregivers have more time for productive clinical care.
Even though the cost of implementing technology in healthcare is high, there is evidence that suggests it can lead to long-term cost savings in health care. For example, the approximated productivity gains and cost savings from fully executing electronic health record in Canada is 6 billion dollars (Naylor et al., 2011). Moreover, one study that conducted a cost-benefit analysis of adopting e-health in the United States revealed that it could potentially result in savings of about 81 billion dollars per year. Another research that examined the efficacy of a fully interoperable and uniform national HIT system in the U.S estimated that the implementation of such a system would result in savings of 77.8 billion dollars per year (Naylor et al., 2011).
The use of technology in health organizations has resulted in improved patient care. The health information systems have the ability to reduce medical errors in three ways: by preventing upfront errors, by reporting and providing feedback about adverse events, and by alerting caregivers about possible errors and thus enabling them to take adequate precautions. A controlled that evaluated the impact of Computerized Medication Order Entry (CMOE) by physicians revealed that CMOE reduced serious medication errors by 55 percent (Naylor et al., 2011).
Technology has allowed the invention of many medical tools that enhance the quality of care provided to patients. Electronic Health Records (EHRs) enable physicians to access the complete medical records of patients. The availability of patients’ medical histories allows physicians to make accurate medical decisions (Jones, 2018). The Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) technology promotes patient care as it provides information about the vital signs of patients. The integration of technology in health care also resulted in the use of 3D printers to develop items such as customized dental devices, hearing aids, and prosthetics (Jones, 2018). Virtual reality devices are used to alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression in patients with mental disorders and elderly patients. They are also used in postoperative recovery processes. Technology has enabled surgeons to perform complex operations through the use of augmented reality (Jones, 2018).
The use of technology in health care has made it easy for patients to access their health records. Thus, patients can easily identify missing and wrong information on their medical records and then make the necessary changes (“Benefits of Health IT”, 2020). People can also easily track their care and communicate with the health care providers. EHRs have made it possible for different health care providers to access all patient test results, hence reducing the possibility of one undergoing unnecessary multiple tests. This has helped patients to lower the costs of medication.
Relevance of Health Care Technology in the U.S Healthcare System
Technology can be used to make health care more accessible to many people in the United States. Access to health care is not very reliable in the U.S and thus technology can be used to change this situation through telemedicine (Gilpin, 2015). Telemedicine can enable many Americans to access health care providers regardless of their location. This means that people can communicate with physicians and other caregivers and get treatment without going to the hospital.
Technology can be used to simplify the Medicare and Medicaid filing process. Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement models vary according to state and federal regulations. The differences from state to state and the requirements that Medicaid and Medicare records be recorded and stored in a specific format prove a hectic task for healthcare professionals (Manchanda, 2020). Failure to follow the filing regulations would result in the health organization not being reimbursed for the services they provided to patients. The EHR systems can be used to simplify the process of filing Medicare and Medicaid records as they provide appropriate electronic forms from the government. The EHR systems also promote the transaction of healthcare information from the government to the doctors and vice versa.
Technology can also be used in the current healthcare system to manage large volumes of data related to patients. Patient-related data in an overwhelming part of healthcare as the management of large patient databases is a difficult process. Data overload and mismanagement can result in situations such as improper treatment, wrong diagnoses, and interference in data security (Manchanda, 2020). However, technology can provide a solution to this problem through the use of mobile portals and cloud-based data systems. Mobile portals and cloud-based data systems provide real-time access to patient data. Moreover, technology in health care can be used to analyze the data that researchers have been collecting for many years and make useful conclusions from it (Gilpin, 2015).
Technology can also be used to incentivize healthy living among American people. Many Americans are suffering from illnesses that are caused by physical inactivity such as obesity (Gilpin, 2015). However, health applications and fitness trackers are very popular with consumers. These applications can be used to encourage people to be physically active through reminders and the setting of achievable daily targets. Therefore, the health applications and fitness trackers can contribute to lowering of preventable diseases, rates of obesity, and the costs of healthcare in the nation.
Integration of Technology in Clinical Practice
Technology has been implemented in clinical practice in various ways. Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE) systems have been integrated into many healthcare organizations in the United States. CPOE involves the use of computers or mobile devices to physician orders like medication orders (Alotaibi & Federico, 2017). CPOE systems were developed with the aim of reducing medication errors but they are also used to order consultations, tests, and procedures. Clinical Decision Support (CDS) systems are also incorporated in clinical practice to improve the decisions of care providers. CDS systems have a variety of tools that support clinical workflow and decision-making (Alotaibi & Federico, 2017).
Electronic hand-over tools have been integrated into healthcare organizations with the aim of ensuring continuity and safety of care for patients. The hand-over communication can be defined as the process of passing information about a particular patient from one caregiver to another (Alotaibi & Federico, 2017). Bar Code Medication Administration (BCMA) systems have also been integrated into clinical settings. They are used to avert medication errors as they ensure that a patient gets the right medication and at the right time.
Clinical settings are equipped with automated medication dispensing technology as electronic drug cabinets called Automated Dispensing Cabinets (ADC) are used to store medications (Alotaibi & Federico, 2017). ADCs track the distribution of medications and provide controlled dispensing at the point of care. Patient electronic portals are present in hospitals and are secure online applications that enable patients to access their health information. They also provide two-way electronic communication between care providers and patients. Other health technological systems that have been integrated into clinical settings include telemedicine, electronic incident reporting, remote patient monitoring, and smart pumps (Alotaibi & Federico, 2017).
Uses of Health Care Technology in Clinical Setting
CPOE systems are being used in healthcare organizations to prevent medication errors from occurring and to order patient tests, consultations, and procedures. Health care providers are now using technology to communicate remotely with patients. Physicians and other health professionals are using BCMA systems to ensure that patients are given the correct medication (Alotaibi & Federico, 2017). Clinics are also using CDS systems to improve the decision-making process and avoid the occurrence of medication errors.
Many healthcare organizations rely on electronic health records to maintain patient health information such as hospital stays, prescriptions, laboratory reports, and diagnoses (Jones, 2018). Health care providers are consistently using telemedicine to provide patients with medical support and home care via videotelephony. Physicians are able to monitor chronic conditions more effectively without the need for the patient to travel to the clinic (Jones, 2018). Additionally, electronic hand-off and sign-out tools are now used by caregivers in clinical settings to ensure seamless care is provided to patients. Technology is also being used in hospitals to manage various types of cancer through gene therapy (Jones, 2018).
Alotaibi, Y., & Federico, F. (2017). The impact of health information technology on patient safety. Saudi Medical Journal, 38(12), 1173-1180. https://doi.org/10.15537/smj.2017.12.20631
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