What Exactly is Healthcare IT, Anyway?

0

The world of technology has significantly transformed the healthcare industry from top to bottom, in ways that many people never could have expected or anticipated in fact.

Modern medical experts are always looking to lean on cutting-edge advancements to provide higher quality care, better diagnostic solutions, and more accurate reporting. When you’re talking about someone’s health and wellness you want to be as accurate and as detailed as possible – and the right healthcare information technology (HIT) helps make that possible.

Below we highlight some of the most important and innovative healthcare information technology solutions currently deployed right now as well as what the future of healthcare may look like with new technological advancements as influenced by the way the industry has been trending of late.

Let’s dig right in.

What Exactly is Healthcare IT, Anyway? 

Healthcare information technology encompasses all of the solutions and systems designed to store, share, analyze, and collaborate with patient data and diagnostic details.

A bit of an umbrella term, HIT solutions can encompass digital health records, electronic prescriptions, cloud-based charting tools and databases, and a whole host of other solutions aimed at making sure that healthcare providers and healthcare professionals have access to the most up-to-date and complete medical information and data available.

All of these major leaps forward in the HIT world revolve around a singular purpose – providing a higher degree of accuracy in health records, particularly for patients that take advantage of medical services and medical assistance at a variety of different clinics or facilities. 

Traditionally, this kind of information was “siloed” in-house at each individual clinic or facility. A patient’s records were difficult to follow them, so to speak, meaning that each medical expert attending to an individual was either working with incomplete information, had to wait an extended amount of time for up-to-date information to be sent over to them (which may or may not be incomplete), or had to go through the entire diagnostic process from scratch all over again – introducing a lot of redundancy to the process.

With new healthcare information technology, though, patients and medical professionals have a lot more control over the data that proves to be so critical in proper diagnosis and treatment protocols. Major advancements in digital security, encryption, and collaborative databases have all helped to make these new solutions not only viable but the new industry standard.

Highlighting the Value New Healthcare Information Technology Provides 

According to a leading HIT advocacy organization, the Advocates for Human Potential, Inc., healthcare information technology solutions offer a lot of benefits that today’s informed and interested patients demand from their healthcare providers.

For starters, these new solutions introduce a lot more transparency to the process from start to finish. Medical charts do not just “disappear” when your medical professional leaves the room but are instead accessible by your entire medical team (including specialists) but also by yourself through third-party applications and the like.

 

On top of that, all of this critical information is a lot more accessible than it ever would have been in the past. Healthcare experts that need access to the most complete and up-to-date information regarding

your specific health data points can leverage HIT solutions to get a much clearer picture of things – without any delay that traditional record sharing inevitably would have brought to the table.

 

In fact, the new interoperability of HIT solutions can quite literally mean the difference between life and death for some individual patients. Different patient care teams can use these tools to coordinate more effectively with one another, providing much higher quality care across the board while at the same time helping to keep overall healthcare costs low, too.

The Future of Healthcare Information Technology

Healthcare information technology continues to be developed at almost breakneck pace, but there are bottlenecks that are slowing the adaptation of these new tools down somewhat.

Governmental bodies and entities are having to look at privacy rules and laws, healthcare data regulations, and a host of other “legacy” pieces of legislation that have not been updated as quickly as new technology has been. 

Security and privacy concerns are paramount (for understandable reasons), but many of the HIT pioneers are showing just how safe, just how secure, and just how better protected individuals are with these new solutions compared to the more traditional approach. 

Combine that with major new advancements in the world of artificial intelligence and machine learning, significant improvements in robotics, and the big push for the healthcare community in general to start taking advantage of everything that virtual reality has to offer and it’s easy to see that HIT has a bright future.

Many experts believe that these are the pillars that healthcare information technology will be built upon moving forward. Major breakthroughs in wearable technology, genomics, and 3D printing (as well as the potential widespread adaptation of 5G networking technology by the end of 2020) could also usher in some big breakthroughs in this department, too.