In the advent of the advance technology, new methods and materials were produce to prolong the life of man. In this stage also were health care industry was more known.
Many benefits to man are provided by the said industry. It helps and maintains good health on man and prevents further illness. But the industry faces many dilemmas like low quality of health care service, recruitment and the maintenance of quality personnel.
Healthcare industry has many benefits to mankind. It assists people who are sick and ill. But there are many problems the industry is encountering. For a business to become success, all errors and problems must be overcome so that the mission and purpose of the said industry will be achieved.
Some of the problems encountered by the healthcare industry are the lack of information technology, integrated delivery system, low quality health service and recruitment and human resource quality.
Proposals to reform our health care system suggest that fundamental change in the organization and operation of health care delivery organizations are needed.
The main objective of this paper is to have an analysis on the current situation of healthcare industry. Moreover, the paper will examines three key areas where reform is needed, summarized in the literature in this area, and suggests future directions for research by medical sociologists.
Improve health information technology
In the advent of the 19th century, technology had been an efficient tool in making the lives of human simpler and easier. Also, there was an obvious trend in the development of technology. Products of the technology today are smaller, faster, lightweight and more efficient compared to other products that were invented before the.
The most popular trend in technological advancement today is the super computers. Almost all business transactions utilized the power of computers. Calculations, simulation and other form of analysis become easier with the aid of a computer. Also database management becomes more effective and efficient.
No more worries on managing large amount of data in a paper. Data are being processed in electronic mode and not manually. In this case, the tedious work is being lessened because the computer does all the work (Medicine, 1999).
Because of the advantages of using computer in many business instructions, different industries are now trying to implement on to their system the technological advancement of computers.
One example of this is the healthcare industry. The said industry is now trying to explore the advantage of using computer technology in managing their client.
Today, healthcare industry needs a better and efficient way of transfer of data. This technology, which is now being explored by many healthcare institutes, is known as electronic health record or EHR.
EHR technology enables consumers to become actively engaged in their own healthcare and bring “high expectations into healthcare relationship that can improve the way the system interacts with the patient and the way care is delivered. In EHR system, it uses a data base that store all the necessary information needed to improve the quality of healthcare service (Ball, Smith, & Bakalar, 2007).
The main idea why EHR is being implemented by many healthcare institutions is that the relationship between the institute and patient becomes more efficient in such a way that the transfer of information is accurate and faster compared to the traditional way.
The goals of healthcare institutes on the implementation of EHR are safety, effectiveness, patient-centeredness, timeliness, efficiency and equity. Also, remote patients will now able to access the service of the healthcare institute (Smaltz & Berner, 2007).
This part of the paper will try to analyze the effects of implementation of EHR in responding to the healthcare reform program on the University Family Medicine (UFM) which comprises two sites located in Greenville, North Carolina. Linking the two institutes will result to transfer of medical information between the two healthcare institutes.
UFM planned to implement EHR between the two buildings to have an effective and quality transfer of medical information. Also, ease in the transfer of the said information can be attained because electronic device will be utilized to make the project.
Overall, the main project plan of the UFM are Patient Registration, Master Patient Index, Appointment Scheduling, HIPAA-complaint X12 837 (claims), 997 (acknowledgments) and 835 (remittance) transactions to support claim submissions, and Online insurance eligibility verification, referrals and claim status.
The Enterprise Practice Management System, EPM system is used by business office and front office staff. The EPM system is easily interfaced with other modern systems-this was the primary reason for UFM`s purchase and implementation of EPM.
The plans of UFM in implementing this idea will have coordination with NextGen`s Enterprise Practice Management System (EPM). The main reason why UFM choose EPM as their agent in implementing EHR on their system is that EPM technology is capable in connecting to other modern systems.
When UFM explore the benefits of EHR and decided to implement it to its medical system, changes will be incurred on the medical institution. Some of these are, because UFM has 2 buildings but are far from each other, implementation of EHR will provide access for medical information of the two buildings.
A network will be build to connect the two buildings. Medical records will be stored in such a way that the access between the two buildings will be easy. This is to lessen the problems encountered in manual transfer of medical records. Also these medical records will be stored and transferred electronically using data base management.
On part of the service given by UHM, quality and effective service may be given because it eliminates the human errors incurred in document management. Medical services to be given to patients will be faster (“The Value of Electronic Health Records in Solo or Small Group Practices. ,”).
Because in UHM there are many departments that work together as team like the physicians, assistant physicians, laboratory technicians, nurses and other staff of the medical institution, the effective exchange of medical information is needed by UFM.
Medical errors will be minimized because accurate data management is being utilized when EHR is implemented. Every departments of UFM will have access to other departments. This will result to faster operation of each department. This will increase the efficiency of the physicians of the medical institution.
Through EHR, UFM’s patient can have access to their medical records anytime because online internet will provide the records immediately, but also out patient can access their medical records anywhere. This increases the service given by UFM.
Another important factor why EHR must be implemented by UFM is that it reduces the cost of the medical institution. This is a good factor to consider because the economy of the EHR technology is much more acceptable than on the original document base system.
If EHR will be implemented by UFM, there will be standardization of the medical records. Every document of each patient will have the same structure when compared to others.
Another example of electronic healthcare program is the the Health Information Technology (HIT). HIT is characterized as e-health because of the utilization of the new founds in technology.
It uses the power of the new technology in curing the diseases and illnesses of the citizen of California. It uses the telemedicine technology. In a telemedicine technology, the treatment and diagnosis of a patient is carried by the use of video, audio and the internet.
Key features of the proposed e-health care plans are the reliability and relevance of the information that increases the quality of health care programs.
This is because consumers are given the chance in selecting the appropriate doctors, medicines, health care plans and hospitals. In this manner, the consumer can choose from different selections to improve the quality and value of health care programs. In this way, there is a transfer of information between the consumers, insurers, providers and government agencies.
Some of the strengths of the new health care plan are accuracy in the procedures of treatment. Human errors are minimized because of the introduction of high technology gadgets like the use of internet, video and audio. Medical errors are also minimized. This way, it increases the quality of the treatment. HIT also provides accurate information on patients that are treated.
Above all, HIT can make treatments and operations safer because of the errors being reduced. And lastly, HIT lower the cost on health care.
Integrate health care organizations into integrated delivery systems
The national healthcare reform initiatives, such as managed care and integrated delivery networks, have expanded the patient identifier’s scope to a nation-wide use.
Integrated delivery network means the combination of diverse medical workforce of a healthcare institution. Diverse medical workforce can be seen when a healthcare institution has workers that have different roles, characters, profession, department, culture, color, race, and other criteria.
But why is there a need of integrated delivery system? One answer is the chance to support all the medical requirements and necessity of their patients to give there patients the highest medical quality they can give. Integrated delivery system applies all the possible medical service that a hospital can give to its patients.
In analyzing integration of delivery system, we will try to tackle the mental illness among American citizen. Due to the alarming issues regarding on the damage brought by mental illness to the society and to the economy of United States, the Clinton administration made an act, the Mental Health Parity Act of 1996 as response to the issue. In this act, a citizen of the said country can avail the rights to cure mental illness.
Part of this act is the inclusion in health plans the right to treat mental illness. But the act receives many critics because there was an inequity in the benefits of a health and mental care plans that will be received by a person. Also part of the parity debate is the exclusion of substance abuse cure in the mental care plan. (Martin, 2002)
The inequity of the benefits of mental and health care receive by a person and the exclusion of substance abuse in the mental care plans must be analyze to whether the government made a good decision on the said issues.
There are studies shows that limiting the benefits of an employee from his or her mental illness produce higher cost compared when treating only with health care plans. The behavior of the employee is affected thus affecting also the performance of the employee in his office.
Another is the survey that was conducted to evaluate the act. Many said that there is a need in the increase the benefits as well as the coverage of the mental care plans.