Health Care Industry and the Internet

Health care organizations are today more than ever before faced with the challenge of delivering top class service to its clientele.

The industry is faced with numerous challenges such as; an increasing number of health care workers who are not adhering to ethical code of conduct, the liberalization of the market, which means there are many players and therefore a great competition.  Globalization is also a challenge facing the health care facilities especially given the fact that today more than ever before; patients have a wide access of health care providers to choose from.

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With the advent of technology, and especially information technology, patients have freedom of using Internet to access services being offered by other health care providers.

This means that, Internet has to play a central role in the health care firms, which are keen on overcoming the current challenges.  Embracing Internet is not optional for health care providers considering the fact that, the sector is highly monitored and regulated by the government.  This therefore means that, health care players have to be responsible and accountable to the highest possible standards.

To achieve the above, IT and especially in regard to the internet has to be fully incorporated and embraced by the health care workers.  Internet improves the communication between the patients and the health care workers.

There are so many incidences that a patient travels to be seen by a physician for unnecessary reasons.  The health care, which adapts Internet, can avoid this hassle and therefore save a lot of time, money and energy, which to the customer would have used to visit the hospital.

The use of e-mails has become very crucial and relevant and therefore health care providers must embrace the e-mail as a way of communication. Use of e-mail is also important in the improvement of other external and internal processes considering the fact that, efficiency use of Internet would bring about e-purchasing concept, which saves cost in terms of time used in identifying potential suppliers.

  In addition, adaptation of Internet brings abut efficiency, in terms of operations.  Most health care organizations have strategic plans on how to become more competitive and turn away from the model of ‘social good provision’ which many health care providers had been founded on.

The Internet comes in handy considering the fact that, Internet use leads to an improvement of health care provision and delivery in that it informs a wide range of the population especially in the promotion of knowledge of health care issues (California HealthCare Foundation and Internet HealthCare, 59).

Health care can be improved through Internet especially in a situation whereby the health care facilities have good websites whereby the general population can access crucial health care information.

The Internet can be a great interface of the fight against conditions such as obesity, drug abuse which have become a real problem in the society.   Given the fact that most people are too busy to visit health care facilities unless their condition is very serious, putting all necessary information on the Internet provides a great opportunity for health care professionals to pass their messages to a wide population less expensively.  Therefore the internet is a great health campaign tool for prevention and mitigation purposes.

There are millions of citizens who have an access to Internet and the number is increasing daily.  This therefore means that, the Internet is a great opportunity for health care sector to get feedback from their clients and especially to know the concerns the general public has on health care issues and even policies.

Health care facilities spend a lot of time and money to conduct research.  Adoption of Internet can save some research related costs, which goes into research in that some of the research can be conducted online.  In addition, the Internet research is known to be faster and easy to administer compared to field research.

Internet use in health care setting therefore is inevitable considering the fact that most of the health care facilities are now being modeled around the business model, which lays emphasis on process improvement.

Health care facilities and professionals have other opportunities, which are made possible by adaptation of Internet and especially the need for continuous learning.  Traditionally, health care providers would only rely on training programs and classroom learning to gain new knowledge.  The health care professionals now are priviledged in that they can easily learn online and solve some complex health issues using the Internet.

In other words, the health care professionals do not have to wait for the next health training program but can learn online and become more prepared to deal with pressing and emerging health conditions.

This is hugely beneficial considering the fact that, the health care profession is a fast changing profession in terms of new knowledge.  Internet on the other hand enables users to have access to new knowledge in terms of current research findings.

This therefore implies that, the health care professionals who embrace internet technology will always keep updated therefore are able to offer the best health care services especially considering the fact that, internet allows the professionals to interact with fellow professionals especially in situations where there is intranet and internet-working for large health care facilities (Pennbridge J., et al, 86 ).

Management functions of health care become easier with internet use. As a result, efficiency is achieved something which leads to great improvement in service delivery.  Internet is a strong marketing tool and those healthcare facilities, which have tapped on this opportunity, have benefited immensely.

According to (Health Privacy Project, 196) over 80% of physicians in the United States are connected and the number is set to grow as more and more health care professionals become aware of the immense benefits of Internet in business.

According to (173), 60% of the physicians cite the improved communication as their reason for going online.  30% of the health care professionals view Internet as a means to communicate with peers as well as other staff members.  20% of those health care professionals who use Internet view it as cheap and efficient way of sending information to patients and clients.