How Health Informatics are Improving the Industry
Embarking on a career in health informatics can provide you with the satisfaction of knowing that you’re making a difference. As you will learn from your health informatics program, the healthcare industry is truly experiencing a revolution. It has been a long time coming, and not without great angst, but today’s patient care is being driven by technology and the advantages are huge.
One of the main objectives for implementing information technology is to improve the quality and safety of care. According to studies reported on HealthIT.gov, the majority of physicians believe that electronic medical records provide a better view of their patients’ total health – allowing for better diagnoses while reducing the chance of medical errors. Physicians also cite improved efficiencies within their practices, which in turn translates to an enhanced patient experience. The automation of previously manual tasks saves time and money for physicians, insurers and patients alike.
There are several benefits of patient participation in healthcare management. First and foremost, patients are empowered to play an active role in their health. This is especially important for people who suffer from chronic illnesses like diabetes, asthma, obesity and cardiac conditions. Having access to a patient portal means that individuals can have provider recommendations at the ready. Patients can monitor their medication usage and engage in dialogue with their doctors for help in making the right healthcare choices. Patients whose healthcare providers do not offer a portal for retrieving health records can instead use any of a number of web sites or apps to track their own information. It’s been said that “knowledge is power” and there is nothing more powerful than good health.
Greater access to data can be used to improve healthcare on a larger scale. Providers can look for trends in disease management, drug efficacy, and other factors within their own patient population, while researchers can use the data for broader application. Public health informatics can help control the spread of disease and improve preparedness during an outbreak, such as with the flu or a food-borne illness. Data can also help public health organizations put preventive plans in place, watch for changes in a certain geography or demographic, or otherwise report information of interest or concern to the overall populace.