The healthcare field is filled with strange acronyms and elaborate job titles. So much so that it can be very confusing for any outsiders to understand what it all means.
Health information tech plays a vital role in our lives. There are times when we all need the help and support of the healthcare sector. The last thing that you want when it comes to your health is to have to deal with the stress and confusion associated with strange terminology.
But what is health information technology, and how does it benefit your life?
In this article, well discuss health information technology. We’ll do this in layman’s terms to help to demystify some of the phrases that get used.
What is Health Information Technology?
Health IT is the area within healthcare that takes care of technology systems. These systems are for those in the health sector to access and manage patient data.
Health information technology is often abbreviated to HIT.
HIT includes Electronic health records (EHRs), e-prescriptions, and other tech tools. Many of these are tools that patients might use to help them manage their health conditions.
One of the most important areas involved in HIT is the focus on protecting patients’ privacy data.
Why is Health Information Technology so Important?
In the digital age, health information technology has become essential.
HIT allows doctor’s clinics and hospitals to share information with each other. This is known as ‘interoperability’ and can save a great deal of time.
Where it used to take weeks to pass medical records between departments or different clinics, this is now instantaneous.
By saving so much time, it is possible to save more lives.
Doctors and nurses treat their patients quicker using the right information. Added to that, the improvements HIT also offers help to lower the cost of healthcare. This leads to a better quality of patient care at more affordable prices.
What do Health Information Technology Professionals Do?
There are many different roles that fall within the boundaries of the HIT profession.
Within this sector, you will find that there are a lot of roles that are focused around the management of patient’s medical records. This type of role would include Health Information Manager, Health Informatics Specialist, or Health Information Technician.
In addition to this type of role, there are also health information technology workers whose jobs center around IT support. This includes designing and implementing network infrastructure, and other traditional IT-related jobs.
Within both areas of HIT, the primary aim is the same; to use technology to support the doctors in their treatment of patients.
If you are interested in entering the field of HIT, these options for study will be very helpful in starting you on your route.
What is HIPAA?
One of the major areas that affect healthcare information technology is the HIPAA regulations.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was developed in 1996 and is a part of the Social Security Act. It is the regulation that oversees the healthcare industry’s handling of data.
But the HIPAA regulations don’t only apply to doctors and hospitals. HIPAA also applies to dentists, chiropractors, mental health clinics.
But, HIPAA also applies to health insurance companies and law firms that handle medical records.
In short, if a company handles medical records, then it must abide by the HIPAA regulations that are in place.
With major fines for companies that do not abide by these regulations, it’s common for healthcare businesses to outsource their IT.
Often IT is outsourced to specialist healthcare managed service providers. Outsourcing helps companies lower the risk of a fine.
Managed service providers who specialize in supporting doctors will have a deep understanding of the requirements of HIPAA.
They will usually carry out full audits on behalf of the company that they are working for. This helps them to identify any areas of concern.
What is the Future of Health Information Technology?
As technology develops, so too will the health information technology sector. The primary purpose of the HIT industry is always going to be to support the needs of healthcare providers and improve the quality of patient care.
Because government legislation makes it easier for organizations to share their data, the HIT industry will adapt and improve to meet the new demands.
In addition to legislation changing the way that HITs are able to share data, changes in technology will also provide the motivation to create change and develop new ways of working within the HIT field.
There are some major advancements happening in healthcare technology. These include the use of artificial intelligence and the internet of things.
With medical devices connecting and talking to each other, the passing of patient data will become easier and more fluid.
Smartphone technology is also playing a growing part in HIT, with many physicians receiving patient reports via phone.
Similarly, wearable tech, such as health trackers, can be used to pass information from patients to healthcare organizations.
All these changes reduce the amount of paperwork that doctors need to carry out. This means that the quality of the healthcare provided can improve.
But this doesn’t only improve the way that physicians are able to operate. This technology is also beneficial to patients. This is because they will have greater control over their own data.
Health Information Technology Affects Everyone
Health information technology plays a vital role in the healthcare sector. As you will have learned from this article, HIT is a growing and developing field.
With advancements in AI technology and the internet of things, there promise to be major changes in the way that technology communicates.
All these changes in the way that data is exchanged are designed to create a more efficient and effective healthcare system. This is something that we can all benefit from.
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