21 March 2018

What Is A Healthcare Information System?


A comprehensive information system, which is designed to coordinate and manage all the administrative, medical, legal, and financial domains of a hospital, a health care information system ensures greater operating efficiencies in health care. They help industry professionals to solve problems, make decisions, and provide better patient care.

Components of a Healthcare Information System

Most healthcare information systems are supported by client-server architectures for network and processing information. Enterprise systems have been deployed successfully in the past in public healthcare facilities. Information systems are usually composed of one or more software components.

Organizational Structure for a Healthcare Information System

The Healthcare Information Systems department is usually headed by a person who is an expert in computer systems. Individuals with a graduate or post-graduate degree diploma or degree may apply for this position. Apart from the head of this department, there are a few other job roles:

  • Hardware or Network Engineer

Their main duties involve maintenance of all the hardware and network systems in the hospital. Any troubleshooting activities for ensuring that the system is online and patient data available instantly are done by these engineers.

  • Systems or Database Administrator

All database backup and restoration activities are managed by these individuals.

  • Application Specialists and Trainers

Trainers are responsible for training new employees in the hospital on the information system. Specialists oversee all activities that are required for implementation of the system.

Advantages of Healthcare Information Systems

  • Organizations can manage health care costs more effectively
  • There is easy access to patient data so that a variety of records can be generated. Patient data can also be classified based on demographic, age, gender, etc. The data on these systems can also be accessed remotely.
  • Such an information system is capable of recording, storing, and dispensing information to healthcare professionals
  • These information systems help in the minimization of medical errors and glitches. This additionally, can help reduce interpretive errors in patient care
  • Quality of patient care is improved with such systems
  • Duplication of information entry and transcription errors are reduced
  • Information integrity is retained and improved monitoring of patient diet, distribution of medical aid, and drug usage is possible

Perceived Issues in Adopting Healthcare Information Systems

  • Although healthcare systems can be secured, there are still some perceived issues related to leakage of information stored in electronic format. Patients are concerned about privacy issues, although the actual leakage of information might be minimal.
  • Adoption of healthcare systems in hospitals is dependent on professionals who are able to influence other professionals either negatively or positively. If the professional is willing to use such a healthcare system then other professionals will be motivated to use the new technology as well. However, if even one professional rejects this technology then the possibility of it being widely adopted is almost zero.
  • Different individuals may use such systems in different ways. Hence, it is imperative that for the successful implementation of these systems, efforts are coordinated among all individuals

No technology is adopted without any debate or opposition. Researchers are constantly finding new statistics to prove the merit of healthcare information systems in the medical industry. Healthcare Information Systems remains an area of medical informatics that seeks to provide the best possible patient care and seamless data dissemination as and when required. It is a decision support system that benefits hospital professionals when they develop comprehensive health care rules and policies. The only challenges that now remain are to get medical practitioners to adopt widespread usage of these systems.