Computers undoubtedly have been the most remarkable invention of the 20th century. They have been affecting every field of life since their invention. Computer Is a classic case of a technology that has found uses its Inventors could never have dreamt of. The Influence of computer In Health care Is enormous. The process of keeping patient records, appointments and every other kind of Information has been transformed from paper to computers. Computers have played a key role In improving the quality of health care.
The most direct contribution that information technology can make to improve the quality of health care is to provide the clinician tit better information about the patient and health problems at hand and alternative tests and treatments for that problem. Database systems are designed keeping in mind the requirements of clients. Different software packages are available in the market, which can be modified based on the needs of the users. The purpose of these packages Is to increase efficiency and save time.
Because this is such an Important and delicate industry, these database systems need to be very carefully designed. A minor error can have tragic results. Use of database systems has revolutionized the healthcare Industry. From scheduling to payroll to all kinds of related Information are now stored In databases. Healthcare facilities use different kinds of data, for example they need insurance information for their patients, they might need results from other healthcare facilities for their patients. Although paper records are still kept but database systems now play a key role in healthcare facilities.
Different factors such as data distillation, data security, connectivity, storage of data and decision support system contribute to make any database system more efficient and useful for the clients. A database system In a health care facility would have to consider many factors. Efforts are made to Improve the quality of the Information provided by these databases. These database systems not only are not only efficient but also cost effective compared to the number of humans It would take the same Job.
Security of the data is the primary factor considered like in any other system. People reveal highly sensitive information to health professionals; therefore it is necessary that any systems should ensure the safety and appropriate use of the data. An appropriate level for the privacy of that information must be established. Different ways to protect the data would be, passwords, redundant disk systems, encryption and firewalls. To ensure data integrity database systems often store data on RAIDS. In addition to providing a backup copy of the data RAIDS also speed up the system.
Maintaining a usage log of all documents accessed and changed helps improper use of records by unauthorized personnel. The log can be scanned manually or automatically to detect attempts to log onto the system or to make changes to files. The Integrity of a document and responsibility for Its contents might be additionally certified by using dealt signature. Health care Institutions often connect their computer to broader networks of computer so their members can communicate via computer networks are sometimes maintained to isolate patient records from these communication needs.
Firewalls are also used to safeguard patient data The patient health record has been the subject of intensive study over many years because of its complexity of structure, content and media and also because of the security and privacy issues. Database technology has been used to hold and organize key information from many patients in order to allow statistical processing to detect trends. Another important factor of the system should be data distillation. Collecting clinical data as it is generated is only the first aspect of the problem of assembling digital patient records.
When taking information on paper clinicians and other staff members make decisions and Judgments about the relevancy of that information. Three types of data distillation systems in common use are pattern recognition systems; neural networks and knowledge based expert systems. Automated data collection helps reduce the number of errors introduced and propagated by end of shift record keeping and reduces 40 to 60 percent of nurses time which is spent aging and organizing notes and charting patient care. For example the system could give results from pattern recognition.
Some other features could be encoders and groupers, natural language processing, relational databases, knowledge based systems and decision support systems. Increasingly the traditional clinical decision support systems are being replaced by clinical information systems, which offer advice to the clinician regarding diagnosis, testing and treatment. Distillation tools are used in these databases for health administration and research after clinical and administrative data have been abstracted from individual records and stored in large institutional databases.
An important feature of such a system would be capturing the data at the point of care, for example physicians can have their hand-held computers linked to the system, where the patient records can be updated every time physician visits the patient. Other features for human-computer interaction could be hand writing recognition, speech recognition, automated data collection and structured data entry. Even though most of these feature are not in use at this moment because of their sots but further developments in this fields would make these features more easily accessible and cost effective.
The size of the data for a health care facility is very large and can be in different formats. To increase efficiency it is important that the data needs to be compressed and organized in the right format. Some ways to achieve this goal are computer- based patient records, picture archiving, medical imaging, optical storage, image compression and magnetic stripe cards. Without telecommunication and network technologies, information is confined to the computer in which it is created.
In addition to the traditional uses of telecommunication for phone conversations and paging there is a growing need for institutions might link computers at various sites into a wide area network. Health care information systems were designed for many years around the capabilities of powerful mainframe computers. User gained access to the data stored in the large databases of a central computer using relatively slow text based terminals. Although the central computer might be very fast but it had to perform many duties, which slowed the performance.
As the speed and capabilities of desktop computers and outworks have increased, the centralized, hierarchical structure associated with mainframe computers is being replaced in many instances with distributed computing using a client server architecture. Client server computing replaces large central computers with interacting networks of servers each accomplishing specific tasks and communicating with standardized messages. The technologies for collecting, distilling, securing, storing and communicating data are widely used in health care.
Despite the incorporation of high technology into almost every aspect of clinical practice, database technologies have not been fully embraced. The health care delivery system has several unique characteristics that discourage spread of database technologies. Clinical practice is extremely complex and its difficult to decide what information should be kept in electronic patient databases, how detailed it should be, or how it should be indexed or described. The database systems are being used in health care industry to improve the accuracy of the information needed in clinical decision making, reduce the time to retrieve that information.
These systems have made it possible for that information to be available t the point of care. Most patients receive care from more than one provider, and within a given organization there are several information systems often for one for each departments. Electronic patient record databases make it easier and more efficient to link the separate records for a given patient across all departments and providers. With the growing needs for technology steps are being taken to develop new database systems which can help clinicians in making better and accurate decisions by providing them accurate information as well as helpful suggestions.