Why Health Information Technology Is Important
You’ve probably noticed on your last visit to a doctor that all your records are now kept electronically. Notes are taken, prescriptions are sent directly to your pharmacy, and appointments are made to see a specialist—all online. Health Information Technology is more important than ever, with the main goal to maximize information sharing to help patients get the best coordinated care possible while keeping their personal information safe.
1. Reduces Medical Errors
If a healthcare provider can easily access your past medical history, they can more accurately treat your current ailments. Without records, the physician would have to rely on your memory of past diseases, family history, and complex drug names.
2. Allows You to Access Test Results and Records
Many medical practices use software such as MyChart where all your records are readily available to you. It reduces the anxious waiting for test results, and you can review all your doctor visits and medications, making you better able to be your own healthcare advocate.
3. Aids in Emergency Treatment
What would happen if you were in a car accident and were not conscious to tell first responders about your medical history? With your medical records online, they can quickly look up your information to learn about chronic conditions, medication allergies, prior procedures and other important parts of your medical history.
4. Prevents Adverse Drug Reactions
Medications can—and often do—react adversely with one another. If one doctor does not know what another doctor is prescribing, you risk a potentially dangerous interaction between medications. Healthcare technology allows easy access to prescription information, thus avoiding that risk and also the potential of drugs being overprescribed.
5. Supports Shared Decision Making
When doctors are trying to come up with a diagnosis for a serious illness, there might be several specialists involved. With health information technology, they can easily share test results and recommendations among each other and with you. Together you can devise the best possible treatment plan.
6. Connects Insurance Companies for Faster Payments
Many times, an insurance company has a question about a particular medical diagnosis, treatment, or test. With your records online, they can quickly obtain the information they need—so they can make payments on your claims.
7. Obtains Your Medical Records More Quickly
Not too long ago, if you wanted to switch doctors or get a second opinion, you had to physically obtain copies of your records and transport them to the new physician. Now, all your new doctor needs is your permission.
8. Aids in Medical Data Collection and Research
Also with your permission, researchers can collect data from your records to help produce new vaccines and other types of medical treatments. For example, if someone is developing a new treatment for arthritis, they can quickly find out who suffers from it and then ask if you would like to participate in a clinical trial.
9. Monitors Patient Compliance
Health information technology lets a doctor see if you’re making recommended appointments, getting needed tests, or filling your prescriptions. If you’ve chosen not to, they may reach out to you to understand why.
10. Protects Patient Privacy
Thanks to the HIPPA Privacy Rule of 2003, strict policies have been established to regulate the protection of patient information. Patients can be assured that any details related to their health will remain confidential.
Health Information Technology can help save lives and improve the overall healthcare experience. Professionals who with knowledge and experience in Health Information Technology are critical to the equation. Would you like to become a part of this exciting field? National American University offers an online Associate Degree in Health Information Technology that can help prepare you for a rewarding career in the healthcare industry. Call 800-209-0182 to speak to a counselor or fill out the form to request more information.