Health Care Informatics (Research Proposal Sample)
The paper is about HOW INFORMATICS HAS HELPED COMBAT COVID 19source..
How informatics has helped combat Covid 19
Informatics is the process of acquisition, storage and retrieval of data and information in a given field. In the field of medicine, informatics involves acquisition, storage, retrieval and use of medical data in different health facilities and organizations in a collaborative manner. In the past, health informatics has played a huge role in enhancing decision health making, outcomes, data management, analytics, and data governance (Bakkens, 2020). In the COVID-19 pandemic, assessment of the current state of affairs in different hospitals requires heavy use of technology to ensure regular real-time updates, trends determination and other important statistics. To facilitate efficient data sharing, Electronic Health Record technology comes into play. Application of informatics has enabled in identification of real time information about success of different strategies in the fight against COVID-19.
Importance of Health Informatics Systems in Health Services
Application of Health Informatics in the fight against COVID-19 is an important in both the current and future health system. The main objective of medical informative is to transform provision of health services by improving performance and outcomes in health services. Currently, the popular informatics system is the information retrieval system, in which patients’ medical history is stored electronically through Electronic Health Records system (Reeves et al., 2020). This information is easily available to practitioners when needed. Additionally, referral services are easier to achieve as centrally stored data can be remotely retrieved from the EHR. Use of EHR technology not only reduces errors but also costs of medication.
In application of informatics, there are a few aspects that directly affect its application. One factor to consider is the spread of too much information until it becomes hard to evaluate the problem and come up with a solution (Naeem, 2020). Since the outbreak of COVID-19, there has been a spread of vast misinformation, rumors and half-baked conspiracy theories all over the world. This kind of information is quickly spread through social media, and reaches millions of people, some of whom may choose to believe. According to Naeem (2020), spread of such information makes it hard for individuals to distinguish between facts and biases. The damage done by such information is far-reaching and often irreversible.
The way to address misinformation is to do more research in informatics and provide accurate information to the public. Correct information neutralizes the negative biased misinformation that is prevalent, as much as that takes time.
Ethical Issues Presented by Health Informatics
Application of health informatics poses several ethical issues. Infoethics aims at addressing the concerns raised by use of informatics. For instance, use of the Electronic Health Records (EHR) interrupts the normal functions of a nurse and can potentially break the patient-nurse relationship. According to McBridge et al. (2018), effective communication between a nurse and the patient is vital. However, introduction of the EHR means acquisition of a third party which can potentially break the relationship. Potentially, this could be a hazard in the health of the patient.
The issue of confidentiality is a matter of concern in health informatics. Health informatics makes it utterly easy to retrieve public health information. Formerly, a patient’s health information was only accessible to his physician. On introduction of informatics system, this information is now made available to a team of operatives and practitioners. There is a fear of inability to control personal information when it falls into multiple hands. It becomes hard to track who has the information and impossible to predict what they might do with it. Therefore, application of health informatics has to go hand in hand with addressing the confidentiality of critical patient’s information (Hulkower, 2020).
Informatics target at addressing the public health. Information gathered from one patient can be used to address the health needs of the general public. However, this approach fails to address the single patient, who is the target. Conversion of the patient’s information into mere statistics removes the focus from him/her. On the other hand, traditional systems advocate for a patient-oriented approach. As the public health aims at addressing the general public, it causes a conflict of interest in which the concerns of an individual are weighed against those of the general public.
The Plan for Implementing Change
Traditional health provision services are being gradually replaced by the health informatics systems. In order to remain relevant and provide improved services, medical practitioners should approach a transition into the informatics system. The process of transition needs to be smooth to ensure that minimal interruption of services happens, considering sensitivity of health services. For starters, the medical system needs to move from evidence-based medicine to evidence-generating medicine, where the practice of medicine becomes data-centric and information-based.
A smooth transition involves all medical stakeholders. When considering how different participants come into play during implementation of the whole system, it is relevant to consider the technology at hand but also the workflow and the data collection process. Therefore, the clinical officers, nurses, doctors, IT experts and the patients are all involved in this transition. For a transition to happen, we need to identify all the players involved. Consequently, we can take each of the player and subject them to the change needed in the transition process.
Training is key in a smooth transition. In this case, medical practitioner will need to learn how to use the informatics system. The IT professionals come in handy at explaining the functionality of the system. The medical practitioners need to totally understand every component of the system and how they work together in the system. Finally, the patients should also be made aware of the new system and how it affects them.
As the change is being implemented, evaluation is paramount. Key players such as the medical practitioners can do a self-evaluation to test their adaptability to the system. IT experts should take note of the progress in terms of usability of the system and determine if it is still viable. The patients can also give their views on their experience while using the system.
To implement this system, there are financial needs incurred. The health management system should address the budget. Since the project aims at promoting health services offered by the health management, they should be willing to incur the cost.
The health informatics system is feasible due to a number of reasons. For instance, this system aims at increasing efficiency in provision of health services. Increased efficiency will reduce the cost of providing these services while increasing the profit margin. The cost of running an informatics system is lower than that of the traditional methods. Together with the expected profit margin, this will offset the previous cost of deployment. Therefore, this system is feasible.
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