Communication and Information Technology in Healthcare

Online databases for medical records and the internet outsourcing of electronic medical transcription are just two of the new technologies for communications which affects the communication in healthcare. These two new technologies are the products of the internet revolution, a large part of which has seemingly digitized some of the crucibles in medical practice. While there are numerous advantages created by these two technologies, there are also disadvantages which should be carefully looked into in order to further improve the communication in healthcare.

Online databases for medical records are electronic versions of the records of the patients usually posted in a hospital or doctor’s website. There are several advantages brought by this method which, in essence, hastens process of relaying information to and from the patient regardless of distance and geographical borders. For instance, a doctor can easily post the medical findings in the website which is then made available to the patient right after the findings have been posted. The patient, at any convenient time, can check the webpage for the results of, say, the medical examination even at home. A larger chunk of the benefits involved in this technology rests on the presumption that the patient-doctor communication is hastened regardless of whether or not the patient is able to meet the doctor in person. Another result is that patients get to save time and a bit of extra expenses from travelling to the doctor’s clinic or the hospital.

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The financial impact on health organizations in the short term would be less positive as payments for the services they provide may only come from online subscriptions by patients to the database. However, the organization may be able to adapt in the long term, and that improvements can be made on the content and security of the information made available in the website.

The internet outsourcing of electronic medical transcription, like online databases, relies heavily on the capabilities of the online industry along with the skills of the medical transcriptionist. It impacts communication in healthcare as the quality of a fraction of medical transcriptions would depend on the capability of the transcriptionist to precisely encode the medical findings and records of doctors concerning their patients. Since the communication process between the transcriptionist and the doctor does not happen face-to-face, the relay of information becomes largely affected by several internet factors such as internet connectivity, real-time communication, and certain language barriers. For the most part, however, healthcare communication benefits from the internet outsourcing of medical transcriptions through the hastening of transcribing multiple medical records which a single doctor with several patients may not handle given a limited timeframe.

The impact on both the doctors and patients can be seen in terms of the quality of the transcriptions at the end of the process. If the transcription becomes flawed, both doctors and patients will be direly affected. The opposite is also true; a good transcription can live up to the purpose of outsourcing these medical records both in health and medical reason for the part of the doctor and patient, and financial reason for the transcriber.

Internet outsourcing of electronic medical transcription can be further improved in terms of the scope of the medical records which should be transcribed. For instance, highly technical and complicated records should be carefully determined if there is a need to have it transcribed over the internet. For the most part, it is recommended that both online medical transcriptions and medical databases be further improved by using a significant portion of what these technologies offer so that mistakes can be pinpointed, prevented and be used as basis for further technological development.

References

Etzioni, A. (1999). Medical Records: Enhancing Privacy, Preserving the Common Good. The Hastings Center Report 29(2), 14-23.

Geiger, A. M., Greene, S. M., Pardee, R. E., Hart, G., Herrinton, L. J., Macedo, A. M., et al. (2003). A Computerized System to Facilitate Medical Record Abstraction in Cancer Research. Cancer Causes & Control, 14(5), 469-476.

Lybecker, C. J. (1997). CE Credit: A Nurse Explores the Internet. The American Journal of Nursing, 97(6), 42-51.

 

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