Information Technology in Healthcare


The revolution of a new era in Health Information Technology has somewhat hastened in depths across vast hospitals worldwide. The world’s technology in health care to patients has accelerated with varying degrees of evidence on its impact. Hence, this article intends to review how Health Information Technology has had a diverse effect on choice in healthcare and patient choice itself. The review also centers on how this evolved technology has changed the patients to be consumers of a service. Aside from it, HIT has altered the mechanisms by which patients choose their care providers in the modern era. The article also majors on how the providers, including health care institutions, modify caregiving technology to attract their patients. Lastly, the report will focus on whether patients who are not entitled to have access to this type of technology are disadvantaged or not. Given this, the review clarifies whether the lack of technology for some patients may bring inequality in health care.

Changing Patients into Consumers

With the recent rapid growth in health care problems facing people, from car accident victims to mothers giving birth and others, technology in health care providence has changed greatly. Concerning this, technology hence has been forced to shift to mainly aid in caregiving to the patients (Featherall et al., 2018). Hospital procedures such as invasive surgeries need cutting-edge solutions to provide better health care and treatment plans. In many cases in the current world, patient information is being collected and moved from one physician to another. The data can reach the patient even before it does to the doctor, and thus it ends up improving the facet of interaction. Health Information Technology mostly improves the aspect of patient safety to ensure more patients are served. Patient safety regarding the means they obtain the information is a key feature to understanding why the patients are called consumers compared to before.

Technology has hence revitalized the whole way in which health institutions view patients. To begin with, one must know on what basis will the current patients be judged as patient consumers and not just a patient. A patient in any given setup first reigns supreme as the person providing the care would not exist without the consumer’s availability. Customers are also mostly connected to any information regarding what service they want. They need some one-on-one interaction with the person providing the service. Lastly, customers are mostly opinionated at any given time since it is a notion that the customer is always right for any business set up to thrive. Now to relate how health information technology has transformed patients into patient-consumers, majors on some aspects discussed below.

The fundamental part of this entails mostly how most people view medical care experience compared to the past. First, patients are now well informed about their health care and the options available to them in case of a health mishap. One might find that patients with cancer follow up on what stage they are in, how to keep fit, and even the best treatment plans to help them (Featherall et al., 2018). It is not just the treatment plans that attract the consumers, but the patient-customers also know the best hospitals present and can follow up on the type of services provided. Patients can receive quality service in terms of not having to visit the health care facilities for checkups. Patients act as consumers as they have the power to decide which treatment plan is the best and which facility best suits their needs.

Secondly, clear evidence that technology has changed patients into consumers is that they bypass a chain. In short, the new criteria for patient-consumerism allow patients to directly bypass medical caregivers as doctors and obtain information at the touch of a button. The patients can get medical information without physically visiting the hospitals, making them consumers that have access to a service with the aid of the internet (Negash et al., 2018). The patients become more informed and now have full responsibility for their health and how to make it better without a third party being present. There might be some detrimental effects on patients being solely consumers as the physicians might not have quite the exposure to treat patients physically.

The Change of Patients’ Selection Criteria

First, most information regarding health care facilities and how they are rated is present all over the internet. All this information is merged into websites on the internet and classifies the information regarding facilities based on previous successes. An institution with very many successful surgeries or groundbreaking discoveries tops the ladder and attracts the eyes of many patients. The internet also has a funny way and is ideal as the comment section present allows people to air out their views. It allows the patients seeking treatment facility options to choose the right one regarding the customer experience and the best possible health care services offered.

A perfect example there is a specific facility that invents a particular vaccine that treats a specific disease that is very devastating. The relevant information is posted on the net, which will cause the patients suffering from the same type of illness not to go to any other institution but the one involved directly in the innovation (Sittig et al., 2018). Another scenario is the case where a pig’s heart was successfully transplanted into a man’s body in a specific institution. Patients suffering from heart-related diseases are attracted to these institutions because the internet keeps tabs on these events. Therefore, most patients will select the type of institution they want to get their treatment from based on information that they get from the internet.

Today, it is not a peculiar aspect to find most doctors and physicians posting their achievements and online bio on every platform. Platforms like Twitter handles, linked-in accounts, and Instagram online bios allow the patients to research whom they want to treat their illness. If the patient needs pharmacists’ specialists, then the patient’s search is specifically focused on that particular specialist and not any other (Sittig et al., 2018). If the patient needs a urologist, the patient can access the names of the best urologists on the web and not any other. The information classification on the web allows the patient consumers to choose the type of doctors and medical assistants they want based on their treatment.

Many facilities have also changed how they operate in the current setup. Most health facilities run some accounts with their details on the web that provide vast information for the patients. The facilities have information tabled on the types of services they offer, types of free screening, and the specialists present in their institutions to help their consumers (Purcarea, 2019). The basis by which the institutions present this criterion makes it easier for the patients to search for specific information that they are suffering. Some facilities offer cancer treatment, and others do not; the web has provided a platform and classified this crucial information. Hence, the patient will choose the type of institution based on the search to go to a specific hospital and not the other.

In contrast to the past, most people went from one institution to another, searching for specific services. A patient would go to one particular institution and be referred to another where the services were present. Health Information Technology has seen that this was rather hectic and saved more lives in crucial emergency support cases. The information on the internet and the technology present from radios to computers allow the patient to center their search on which facility they will receive the best treatment. Hence Health Information Technology has provided a platform that enables patients to choose the facility they want to be treated.

The Approach to Attracting Patients

The fact that the patients now have the power to choose which institution they want to be served has created strategic measures followed by the health care institution. Most institutions have developed robust healthcare marketing strategies to compete favorably for the patient consumers. Hence to achieve high patient awareness, healthcare marketing is the strategic outreach to the patients to keep the patients posted (Negash et al., 2018). This strategy offers a highly engaged online system and segmented performance indicator to the patients. The information in the strategic marketing portfolio allows the patient to be driven and attracted towards a specific hospital and not the other.

One way the organizations have changed is how they consistently depict the use of up-to-date eye-catching brands. The powerful, reputable brands help the patients always prefer one hospital to another just because of the brand that has been used. The brand incorporates all that is unique about the institution and its network (Purcarea, 2019). The brand is constantly advertised in various avenues such as television, ads on the web, and even linked with famous people or organizations. The awesome glances of the brand seen constantly and associated with vital people drive most of the patients into choosing their hospitals.

Most organizations dealing in healthcare have made an impact on building a very responsive and adaptive healthcare website. The websites created are developed with breakneck test speeds that offer an advantage to other health care systems. A patient will choose the institution that pops up first and offers information quickly and at any given time without buffers or disruptions available. In addition, the health institutions also struggle to optimize the best search engine results that will always get the specific institutions’ information at the top of every search engine. Keying in the correct phrases and creating links to ease data retrieval will attract more patients.

The most significant part of Health Information Technology is the social media that can either market the health institutions or tarnish their brand. Most institutions now rely heavily on what information is trending, and most want to be on the good side, hence attracting many patients (Sittig, 2018). The social media accounts help the hospitals reach more people and build on the brand effectively. Online social platforms create a good picture of their services and where they can improve on the reviews that they get from them. Every health institution will hence target specific groups to ensure the correct information reaches the right individuals to increase the organization’s reach. Trending brands will attract many patients and increase how people prioritize specific health care institutions.

Patients Without Access to HIT and the Basis of Inequality

In one way or another, the patients without access to HIT may be disadvantaged. It all depends on how patients view it; however, they happen to be disadvantaged in the current world. The point where individuals are in transit is just like way back, rushing a patient to the hospital only to be told that those services are not available in that particular institution (Featherall et al., 2018). To avoid all this endangerment towards people losing their lives as they were in the wrong place at the right time, the people without access to HIT need much support and updated means of communication. They cannot clearly distinguish the health institution that is best fit to offer them services concerning very many aspects. Issues on how much each institution charges are also a crucial part of making the patient make informed choices. Patients are neglected because they cannot afford to pay the hospital bills. They had no access to proper information they could have accessed hence making the right choice of institution.

The basis of inequality kicks in when the patients are segregated in making the right choice and biased against accessing certain health institutions. Some patients cannot access crucial information regarding which hospital to choose. The web has gone on to rank the hospitals based on the most expensive ones and thus can only be afforded by a particular group of people with that type of income. It is thus true with some level of understanding that there is inequality with technology-based criteria in treatment. Those without access are confined to their local clinics and the ones they have known from birth and can afford them. The basis by which patients become segregated in selecting the type of hospital they choose brings some disparity and grouping of people. The inequality part happens as most will be confined to services in hospitals that are easily affordable and to their reach.


Health information technology has accentuated various sparks in the history of the development of human health services. More formidable platforms have been created to help direct patient consumers toward choosing the correct avenues. Changing or instead shaping the patients to consumers as they are provided services by the doctors and physicians. The health institutions have also seen tremendous growth in their IT development, which has forced them to create the best platforms for patients. This growth is attributed to the competitive nature of the different brand’s aim to gain the market of their patients. However, the technology has created some inequality, especially in institutions that view themselves as a superpower in the market. The dominance has created biases in how people choose the type of institution they want for treatment. All in all, HIT has a more beneficial impact in revitalizing the need to grow the healthcare system between the patient-consumers and the healthcare providers.


Featherall, J., Lapin, B., Chaitoff, A., Havele, S. A., Thompson, N., & Katzan, I. (2018). Characterization of Patient Interest in Provider-Based Consumer Health Information Technology: Survey Study. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 20(4), e128.

‌Negash, S., Musa, P., Vogel, D., & Sahay, S. (2018). Healthcare information technology for development: improvements in people’s lives through innovations in the uses of technologies. Information Technology for Development, 24(2), 189–197.

Purcarea, V. (2019). The impact of marketing strategies in healthcare systems. Journal of Medicine and Life, 12(2), 93–96.

Sittig, D. F., Wright, A., Coiera, E., Magrabi, F., Ratwani, R., Bates, D. W., & Singh, H. (2018). Current challenges in health information technology-related patient safety. Health Informatics Journal, 26(1), 146045821881489.

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