For this assignment posting, respond by discussing your own experience with that topic and your suggestion(s) for improving the outcome or ensuring that others benefit if it was a positive outcome.
To better understand how Health Information Technology (HIT) can affect Quality Improvement (QI) in healthcare we need to first understand what constitutes quality healthcare. “The degree to which healthcare services for individuals and populations increase the likelihood of desired health outcomes and are consistent with current professional knowledge” (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality., 2018). Furthermore, we also need to understand Information Technology. “Information Technology may be defined as software, hardware, or information science theory applied to databases and information systems to expand their ability to meet their user’s needs” (Aronow & Coltin, 1993). Therefore, HIT has greatly improved quality healthcare, although much improvement is still needed. Healthcare organizations are negatively impacted when the sole method of data collection is done manually, according to a study done by Alhazme, R.H., et al (2016). HIT affects in many ways how healthcare is provided to patients. One of the ways is the ease of access to medical files of patients of other healthcare facilities. As it happened in my experience.
An event in my life where I witnessed how HIT affected the quality of care I received was when I was taken to the ER by my wife in the middle of the night to a hospital I had never been in before when my L4 and L5 discs slipped in my spine. The staff at this hospital were able to retrieve my medical records from the military healthcare facility I was usually seen at. When it was time for me to leave they were able to provide me with all the paperwork I needed to present to my commander and my primary care physician without me having to request any of it. Which made it easier for me to explain to my commander why I had to go to an unapproved facility. – As a side note, being in the military comes with a lot of restrictions, some of those can include which healthcare facilities you can go to –.
What this event meant to me was that although my usual healthcare facility was closed, they were able to somehow communicate with the system or the system’s operator to retrieve my files. As a result of that I was able to receive the proper care I needed at the time. It meant the healthcare provided to me was adequate. I left satisfied with my care.
I know – from listening to other people’s experiences – that not all facilities have such ease of access. So my suggestion is that if your usual healthcare facility does not operate 24 hours to learn how to access your medical profile from a remote location through the web.
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. (2018, October). Understanding quality measurement. Retrieved from https://www.ahrq.gov/professionals/quality-patient-safety/quality-resources/tools/chtoolbx/understand/index.htm
AlHazme, R. H., Haque, S. S., Wiggin, H., & Rana, A. M. (2016). The impact of health information technologies on quality improvement methodologies’ efficiency, throughput and financial outcomes: a retrospective observational study. BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making, 16(1). doi:10.1186/s12911-016-0395-z
Aronow, D. B., & Coltin, K. L. (1993). Information Technology Applications in Quality Assurance and Quality improvement, Part I. The Joint Commission Journal on Quality Improvement, 19(9), 403-415. doi:10.1016/s1070-3241(16)30024-4
Collins Higgins, PhD., T., Crosson, PhD., J., Peikes, PhD., D., McNellis, M.P.H., P.A., R., Genevro, PhD., J., & Meyers, M.D., D. (2015). Using Health Information Technology to Support Quality Improvement in Primary Care. National Center for Excellence in Primary Care Research. Retrieved from https://pcmh.ahrq.gov/sites/default/files/attachments/Using%20Health%20IT%20Technology%20to%20Support%20QI.pdf
Doyle, C. A. (2016). Health Information Technology Use for Quality Assurance and Improvement. Oxford Medicine Online. doi:10.1093/med/9780199366149.003.0015