Technology has always played a role in healthcare, but in recent years, that role has become increasingly important. Thanks to advances in health information technology (HIT), healthcare providers are now able to collect and store vast amounts of data more effectively than ever before.
As the use of electronic health records (EHRs) and other health information technologies (HITs) grows, so does the need for HIT experts who can design, implement and manage these systems.
HIT specialists are in high demand, and the job market for these professionals is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years. If you are a nurse, you could further advance your nursing career by enrolling in the UIndy nursing leadership program. This will help you move into management and leadership roles in the healthcare field. You will be able to make healthcare more efficient, save costs and make better decisions based on data gathered from patient records.
What is Health Information Technology?
Health information technology (HIT) refers to electronic applications that are used to capture, store and manage health data. HIT can be used in a variety of settings, from pre-hospital care through long-term care in the home setting. HIT encompasses a wide variety of technologies, including computers, smartphones, tablets, barcode scanners and other devices.
Patient portals are also considered to be part of the health information technology environment. They provide patients with secure, online access to their personal health information. Also, physicians can view and alter patient records and facilitate communications between patients and their healthcare providers.
Many software systems enable HIT in the healthcare environment. The HIT professional is responsible for developing and managing this software. They must also train users and support users on how to use the system and how to troubleshoot problems. HIT professionals also liaise with clinical and business departments to help develop training materials used in conjunction with the software systems.
The health information technology environment includes a wide range of network equipment, including routers, firewalls, switches, storage devices and other components. The HIT professional communicates with IT staff to make sure that all of these components are properly maintained and function properly.
HIT professionals will also help with the performance analysis of these software systems. They have the knowledge and expertise needed to assess performance, identify problems and then recommend solutions for improvement.
Importance of HIT to Nurses
HIT systems are important to nurses in numerous ways. HIT can be used to monitor patient health and notify nurses when a problem is detected. This will allow healthcare providers to respond to problems more quickly and effectively. Let's explore the benefits in more detail:
- Efficient Care Coordination: HIT systems that include patient portals and remote monitoring capabilities allow for real-time communication between healthcare providers. This information can be used to adjust care or begin treatment sooner than if nurses were not notified.
- Increased Patient Safety: Many healthcare professionals do not always follow established guidelines when caring for patients. At times, they may take risks that could result in injuries and possibly even death. HIT systems can help to prevent these events by informing healthcare professionals about patient conditions and actions taken by other healthcare providers during their shifts. Moreover, such systems also allow real-time access to patient records, which can aid in the documentation of proper procedures.
- Increased Patient Information Accessibility: One of the biggest challenges that nurses currently face is the lack of information regarding patient care. They can be called upon to treat patients who are already in critical condition and are largely unaware of their medical history. HIT systems enable patients to access their information from any location and share this data with other healthcare providers. This ensures that all involved parties have access to the same health-related information.
- Enhanced Performance Analysis: Nurses spend a lot of time documenting patient information to provide their patients with high-quality and consistent healthcare. They are often required to fill out very long forms with detailed health histories and descriptions of current symptoms. If you have multiple patients, spending adequate time on each case will be difficult. HIT systems provide nurses with software tools that allow them to capture and analyze information more effectively.
- Reduced Operational Costs: HIT systems provide increased efficiency in healthcare overall. Nurses can reduce the number of documents they have to complete by using EHRs. They can also reduce the time spent on charting, leading to fewer errors and more time for other important tasks. In fact, the implementation of HIT systems is estimated to contribute $8.6 billion to the direct cost of healthcare in the US.
HIT systems can have a significant impact on healthcare workflow. They allow for more effective communication between healthcare providers, reduce errors and provide valuable tools for capturing and analyzing patient information. These systems are essential to meet growing demands in the US healthcare environment. And with the demand for HIT professionals expected to increase significantly by 2025, now is a great time to advance your healthcare career!