Use of information technology in the health care is still low, according to research done on some health centers. This, however, is relative to application and setting, but further research reveals that investors are strategizing on how to improve on use of technology in health institutions. Desire for quality and efficiency are the key motivators of adoption of technology in health care, while the costly and complex nature of technology is the main barrier to its adoption.
Public and private sectors have been on the verge of ensuring adoption and implementation of information technology especially in crucial health care settings. A substantial move towards making this possible is evident from the financial incentives offered to the health sector for technological purposes (Marcinko & Hetico, 2007).
Efforts to foster adoption of information technology in the health care sector have been realized and associated with its ability to improve quality and efficiency. However, so many legal issues are involved in IT adoption, and this need to be outlined clearly to cater for possible future consequences. Law makers should, therefore, purpose to understand the pros and cons of IT in the health sector, if ever they will succeed in making informed decisions on whether or not IT should be adopted in this sector (Marcinko & Hetico, 2007).
What is health technology?
Simply put, health care technology is all about enhancing storage, retrieval and data communication services within a health center or institution. However, a clear definition of how information technology is applied in health care lacks, mainly because of how fast technology becomes obsolete (Marcinko & Hetico, 2007).
Types of health information technology
Some of the forms of technology applied in health centers include; Electronic health record (EHR), Computerized provider order entry (CPOE), Clinical decision support system (CDSS), Picture archiving and communications system (PACS), Bar coding, Radio frequency identification (RFID), Automated dispensing machines (ADMs), Electronic materials management (EMM) and Interoperability.
Current State of IT in Health Care
Reasonably minute is known about the intensity of dispersion of IT in health institutions and approaches taken when making IT speculation pronouncements. Much of the available literature concerning IT diffusion is obtained from charitable surveys, some of which are done on the Internet. This makes their facts questionable and too vague as they are prone to be biased towards institutions that are advanced, ignoring others that may have little or no knowledge on the existence of health technology, leave alone adopting the same (Marcinko & Hetico, 2007).
Quality and health information technology
Need for quality service delivery is a key driver behind the adoption of IT n the health sector. However, intense research is necessary to tell more on the relationship between quality services and application of IT. This is so because some researchers think the application of IT will compromise on quality to some extent (Davis & LaCour, 2007).
Despite notable thought to the topic, so much about the function of IT in the health care setting remains a mystery. This is in regard to the types of technologies to be applied, how they add up to quality and efficiency, to what extent health institutions have cared to invest in IT, the motivations behind the adoption of information technology in the health sector, factors that hamper such a move and what is currently being done on such a controversial issue.
Existing literature on health information technology is not sufficient and comprehensive. Such research merely denotes that information technology is essential to quality improvement without explaining how the applications are substantial and relevant to diverse circumstances (Davis & LaCour, 2007).
Davis, N., & LaCour, M. (2007). Health information technology (2nd ed.). Philadelphia: Saunders.
Marcinko, D. E., & Hetico, H. R. (2007). Dictionary of health information technology and security. New York: Springer Pub..