Impact of Informatics on Health Industry Challenges

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  • 0:00 Healthcare Industry Challenges
  • 1:01 Physician & Nursing Challenges
  • 2:45 Ancillary Services Challenges
  • 3:10 Organizational Challenges
  • 3:56 Healthcare Informatics…
  • 6:05 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Maya Shapland

Maya has worked in the clinical, education, and management sections of healthcare for over 25 years and holds bachelor's degree in Speech and associate degree in Nursing.

Healthcare informatics has changed the face of the healthcare delivery system nationwide. You will be able to identify the challenges and some of the solutions for those challenges through this lesson.

Healthcare Industry Challenges

Meet Kris. He's a registered nurse in a healthcare facility undergoing many changes in how patient care is delivered, measured, and improved. His position as a registered nurse in nursing informatics gives him an opportunity to design changes in workflow that help the staff and make patient care safer.

Nursing informatics is a specialty bringing clinical knowledge alongside information science to improve workflow for many nurses and providers. The challenges have been numerous but Kris and the clinical team working with him have redesigned technology to help change the pathway for documentation, information, knowledge, and communication within the electronic health record (EHR). The EHR is the actual medical and health record used for documenting patient care. Additionally, it offers knowledge links for staff and allows for communication between providers. Kris' example shows that informatics has helped the healthcare industry overcome several challenges.

Physician & Nursing Challenges

For years prior to informatics, physicians and their staff were overloaded by the healthcare management requirements of their practices. For one, it was difficult to keep accessible, important information such as the patient health record, the data collected from the health record, and the operational information needed to make decisions for their practices and employees. These challenges often led to:

  • Patient safety incidents involving missed information
  • Confidentiality and/or cyber security breaches
  • Inaccurate reimbursement for services rendered
  • Lack of coordination of care with the patient's other providers
  • Patient's medical care overlooked
  • Need for cost containment
  • Problems in accessing patient record updates
  • Need mobile applications for access to information

Nursing has the responsibility of making sure that care is completed, documented, and that patients are properly educated about their condition and its treatment. Juggling all the activity can make staff vulnerable to errors unless technology makes the patient's record easily available. Decision-support, or information and knowledge embedded in the patient's health record, assists clinical staff in making safe decisions. Nursing challenges also include:

  • Getting information needed about the patients
  • Missing information which hinders safe practice
  • Patient and staff safety
  • Improving quality of care
  • Increased decision-support
  • Accurate patient data documentation
  • Finding education while delivering care

Kris's team has used the nursing workflow to create smoother documentation in the EHR and alerts for critical missing information such as vaccines, allergies, and vital signs, thus improving patient safety.

Ancillary Services Challenges

Many therapy departments, radiology departments, and laboratory departments have struggled with the same concerns for their technology needs. Having a place to document necessary information without using paper is a stretch. Other concerns are:

  • Getting data to the provider in a timely fashion
  • Where to document information
  • Getting accurate reimbursement
  • Regulation and accreditation compliance measurements

Organizational Challenges

Overall, operational challenges can be seen throughout administrative offices of every healthcare system in the U.S. The recent cuts in reimbursement, the need for accurate data to reveal where the organization stands from day-to-day, and maintaining a secure network is a huge undertaking. Here are the highlighted concerns:

  • Reimbursement for services and operational cost
  • Data collection from the health record for reporting
  • Cyber-security in all areas
  • Improving performance in clinical areas
  • Measuring regulatory and accreditation compliance

Kris's team continues to work with administration representatives to create a clear path for patient information into data collection programs used for performance improvement and reimbursement for services.

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