Healthcare Information Systems in Practice

My organization is a local general hospital that serves the public and is government-funded. As a public institution, the hospital has multiple departments specializing in specific aspects of care delivery to the public. Specifically, the institution is a 1567-bed hospital with both outpatient and inpatient services. Furthermore, the hospital serves as a referral center, receiving referrals from other smaller hospitals and clinics in and around the city. In the city, the institution is among the best-equipped health facilities and competes with private hospitals in providing healthcare to the public. However, its services are subsidized, given that it is a public hospital that receives government funds.

During my PPE, I rotated through different units within the health information technology (HIT) department, where I was introduced to various activities, protocols, and technologies used to handle patient records. The specific functions of the department are to store, share, and analyze health data or information (Beaver, 2019). Here, health IT includes personal and health records (PHRs), electronic health records (EHRs), privacy and security, and electronic prescribing (E-prescribing). I participated in several tasks such as maintaining EHRs, medical records assembly, the release of information (ROI), scanning and analysis, physician-incomplete record, birth registration, billing and reimbursement, statistics, admission/registration of patients, and clinical documentation (Beaver, 2019). In addition, all these tasks involved using computer and information technology as they involved working with data on patients, payments, prescriptions, procedures, and other aspects. Most of the employees in these sections are highly qualified individuals in healthcare information technology and other related fields such as medical records, statistics, accounting, and computer and information technology (ICT)

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Although the tasks in the HIT department are interesting to handle, there were some challenges that I met during the PPE. In particular, I found handling physician deficiencies and incomplete records a very challenging task as it involves finding gaps and loopholes in the medical records from the physicians. The HIT professionals are required to be very keen and specific in identifying loopholes, inaccuracies, and discrepancies in records (Beaver, 2019). These tasks have to be very specific and accurate because auditors are likely to locate these issues, leading to such results as reimbursements. However, there were some rewarding tasks such as accessing medical records for patients, given that they are supposed to be confidential. I was allowed to work with these records with care and diligence and received commendations from the supervisor.

In my view, I should have done some preparations in the classroom such as reading widely to have a prior understanding of some of the terms, technical phrases, technologies, and procedures applied in the facility. With such information, it is likely to take minimal time during the orientation sessions. In addition, students need to read beyond the materials provided in class because, in the hospital environment, new technologies, procedures, and protocols keep emerging but are not in the curriculum. As a result, students find it difficult to learn and understand the newer methods when they participate in PPE or during their internships.

I developed a better understanding of the functioning and importance of HIT in healthcare facilities. Due to the exposure, I developed a new understanding of HIT and its importance. Therefore, I have decided to work as a HIT professional and advance my knowledge through additional training to be a leader in the field as more technologies emerge.

Reference

Beaver, K. (2019). Healthcare information systems. Auerbach Publishers, Inc.

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