Theuse of health information technology plays a significant role inimproving quality of patient care. Examples of health informationtechnology include electronic health records and computerizedphysicians. Health information technology can be useful in improvingthe quality of various healthcare domains. These domains include:efficiency, effectiveness, safety, patient-centeredness andtimeliness in the delivery of patient care (Lavin, Harper & Barr,2015).
Thesafety of patients is an area that requires improvement within theAmerican healthcare system. Errors in healthcare have becomeprevalent affecting quality of care. Studies by James(2013) indicatethat estimates of about 44,000 deaths are experienced annually withinthe American healthcare system. The clinical errors usually occurduring administration of medication or failure to administer therecommended treatments to patients as instructed. The clinical errorscause significant burden to the healthcare system and the largercommunity due to poor health outcomes and increased death thuscompromising the quality of patient care (Mitchell,Schuster &Smith et al., 2016).
Patientsafety is crucial in promoting quality healthcare. However, theAmerican healthcare system is faced with the problem of patientsafety. The increased cases of medical errors in healthcare systemsimpact adversely on the quality of care by putting patient safety atrisk. Poor communication among health providers is a majorcontributor to increased risks of patients’ safety. Poorcommunication has resulted to uncoordinated care that has led toincreased clinical mistakes such as diagnostic errors, medicationerrors, health care-acquired infections, readmissions and wrongsite-surgery among others. The prevalence of clinical errors hascompromised patient’s safety causing poor health outcomes andincreased deaths among patients (Mitchell,Schuster &Smith et al., 2016).
Importanceof Improving Patient’s Safety
Patientcare has become a major concern due to the harm it causes on patientsthus compromising the quality of care. It is important to improve therisks of patient safety to minimize the unintentional harm thatresults from medical treatment. Additionally, it is crucial improvepatient safety to minimize the clinical mistakes that impactadversely onhealthoutcome (Shekelleet al., 2013).
Thepatient’s safety can be improved by adopting the use of healthinformation technology such as the electronic health records (EHR).The electronic health record is essential in promoting patient safetyby improving communication. Health information technology has allowedprofessional physicians to adequately share patient informationthrough developing secure electronic records containing patient. Theelectronic health records has encouraged provision of accurate andcomplete information on health condition and progress of patients topromote improved coordination of care that contributes to positivehealth outcomes in patients (Middletonet al., 2013).
Additionally,integration of electronic health records will facilitateeffectiveness in the “implementation of decision-making tools andcare guidelines” in the healthcare system to prevent clinicalerrors. Moreover, the decision making tools will enable thehealthcare to share the patients’ condition with the family andcaregivers and allow them to take part in the decision-makingprocess. The U.S healthcare system can also be recommended to adopt acomputerized physician to enter patients’ data records to minimizeinpatient errors (Barry& Edgman-Levitan, 2012).
HealthInformation technology is significant in promoting quality of patientcare and recommended for integration into the American healthcaresystem. Implementation of electronic health system contributes toimproved communication, which enhances coordinated care thatcontributes to reduced cases of clinical errors. Also, the adoptionof computerized physician will make significant contributions towardsimproved patient safety and promote quality delivery of patient care.
Barry,M. J., & Edgman-Levitan, S. (2012). Shared decision making—thepinnacle of patient-centered care. NewEngland Journal of Medicine,366(9),780-781.
James,J. T. (2013). A new, evidence-based estimate of patient harmsassociated with hospital care. Journalof patient safety,9(3),122-128.
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Middleton,B., Bloomrosen, M., Dente, M. A., Hashmat, B., Koppel, R., Overhage,J. M., … & Zhang, J. (2013). Enhancing patient safety andquality of care by improving the usability of electronic healthrecord systems: recommendations from AMIA. Journalof the American Medical Informatics Association,20(e1),e2-e8.
Mitchell,I., Schuster, A., Smith, K., Pronovost, P., & Wu, A. (2016).Patient safety incident reporting: a qualitative study of thoughtsand perceptions of experts 15 years after ‘To Err is Human’. BMJquality & safety,25(2),92-99.
Shekelle,P. G., Pronovost, P. J., Wachter, R. M., McDonald, K. M., Schoelles,K., Dy, S. M., … & Bates, D. W. (2013). The top patient safetystrategies that can be encouraged for adoption now. Annalsof Internal Medicine,158(5_Part_2),365-368.