The use of information technology

In hospitals, the usage of information technology has grown dramatically in recent years. Health Information Technology (HIT) has emerged as a critical instrument for improving health-care delivery. It has aided the concept of implementation science, which enhances quality of care by focusing on the system of care rather than individual components such as physicians. HIT has facilitated access to evidence-based practice (EBP), allowing health care practitioners to apply innovative solutions to challenges in their practice while improving health outcomes. The emergence of mobile and online technology has contributed to the development of telemedicine and e-health making it possible for addressing health care needs in remote areas, as well as handling emergencies. It has brought lots of benefits for both of patients and hospital-related workers (Blumenthal 2009, p. 1477-1478).

Experts are fore-sighting that the HIT is crucial in reducing paperwork, getting accurate information into the hands of people who need it, assist doctors in coordinating patients care and protecting their safety as well as reducing unnecessary tests and procedures and giving direct access to the health records of patients. Although HIT has many benefits that help people, there are still many risks and problems such as cost, technology, and safety. Installing HIT in a hospital is much more complicated than installing software on a computer. Therefore, it requires lots of money for investment and technology to develop. There are also privacy and security risks due to hackers, identity theft and unauthorized access which would corrupt the patient data.


The hardware requirements of an information system include network infrastructure (wire and wireless); desktop computers (Windows, Macs, Unix); IBM mainframe for hosting the hospital databases; and production support systems like the computers for a web server, and related hardware for providing like UPS and backup tapes. Software requirements operating system (Window, Mac, Unix); applications like browsers that are compatible with JavaScript; network software and protocols like FTP, TCP/IP, HTTP and HTTPS which are crucial in enabling the communication of the system; mainframe system like the IBM Gateway and DB2 database; and valid licenses that are needed to run software from third party vendors. IT personnel such as programmers, system developer and administrators have to be hired to facilitate the implementation of HIT in a health facility. It is crucial to train hospital personnel on the use of HIT (Iden and Eikebrokk 2013, p. 520).

The need for information technology

The information flow and interoperability are essential in an environment such as hospitals. It depicts the capability to define the information flow at various levels of support, scalability, and sustainability of the whole infrastructure. The information management system includes the network, hardware and the software platform for the specific provider organization. The vendors of software applications, service providers, and other vendor organizations are part of the overall infrastructure. One of the basic aims of an information management system is to provide the sustainable services and continuous information flow across all components of the system. The added effect of sustainability provides the basis of innovation that is necessary for continuous improvement of any system (Sharma, Chandrasekaran and Boyer 2014, p. 13895). All the efforts and the added complexity result in the formation of health information system which is efficient and simple. This also transforms into a better health service for all the stakeholders in hospitals. The use of technology is also essential which can help to make better and productive systems. Technology innovations are also required in the complex health scenarios that arise from time to time in hospitals. Exchanging data in a secure manner is regarded as the best possible way to deliver the growing health industry. The effects of the aging population can also be countered with the help of efficient information management system (Sahay and Walsham 2017, P. 276).

Just like any other industry technological innovation along with the information management system derive the results of sustainability and innovation. The information management system is built upon the exchange of data and interoperability. The processes and tools used for flow of information for healthcare industry are similar to any other industry. Some of the main differences between the health sector and other sectors are the risks involved with health care industry. The stakes and consequences in health care systems are far higher as they are responsible for personal health and well-being of a human. The situations of life or death are far more complex than any business decisions. The workflow is presented for the integrated information management system for effective mechanisms (Haux, Winter, Ammenwerth and Brigl 2013).

The benefits of HIT

HIT is vital in facilitating communication between the various stakeholder in the sector thereby promoting competent and prompt decision makings. It increases safety and quality of health care delivery. It promotes the use of evidence-based practice in the health care industry. HIT has also increased the accessibility of health services to remote areas through the advent of telemedicine and mobile health. The implementation of IT in healthcare delivery is crucial in reducing paperwork. The storage and retrieval of patient data become easy. The adoption of HIT can make it possible for doctor and hospital to have relevant data available when a patient arrives. The application of IT reduces the number and shortens the forms that have to be completed by patients in a health facility. The HIT organizes and brings information more accurately. It is often difficult to coordinate information among health care providers, and medical mistakes can be realized if done incorrectly (Blumenthal 2009, p. 1479). HIT makes it possible for all of the providers to share the health information patients. Healthcare practitioners can easily access updated and accurate information on patient care thereby enabling better decision making, especially during a crisis.

The HIT helps doctors in coordinating patient's care and protecting their safety. Suppose a patient has seen three different doctors for primary health care. The patient may be prescribed different drugs, and sometimes, the interaction of these drugs may be harmful. The HIT can prevent these events from taking place by warning against prescribing a drug that could cause a harmful interaction. Additionally, the system is capable of alerting doctors in case a drug that did not respond positively had already been prescribed for a patient thereby saving the patient from the risks and costs of taking an ineffective drug (Sahay and Walsham 2017, P. 277).

According to Haux et al. (2013), HIT is vital in making all the procedures shorter. In a hospital, the more time it takes, the more risk it brings. In the current hospital and health care market, customers are looking for the cheaper, faster and safer hospital and procedure; doctors are looking for the cheaper, easier and more convenient technology at a hospital. HIT can satisfy all the needs and wants. Reducing unnecessary tests and procedures is attractive news for patients. In a hospital, there are lots of patients in the lobby waiting to see a doctor, which takes a long time. In addition to this, patients often have to repeat medical tests because the results were not readily available to another doctor. However, with the HIT, all of the care providers can access the test results and records of all patients resulting in the reduction of unnecessary repeat tests (Haux, Winter, Ammenwerth and Brigl 2013). Providing direct access to patient’s health records assist both doctor and patient.

One of the main issues that have been of great concern in medical practice is the problems associated with the manual prescription system. As a result, an electronic prescription system was developed to increase the prescription efficiency. An electronic prescribing system allows centralization of information within health institutions, which is beneficial for follow-ups on patients' medical records when prescribing pharmaceutical prescriptions. The system incorporates standardized medical evaluations and an evidence-based mechanism, ensuring medical test readability and significant reduction of diagnosis errors. Time is a valuable asset in medical administration, and this system would help conserve time by extinguishing the need for clarifications and confirmations of insurance related matters through phone calls and exhaustive paperwork (Lee, McCullough and Town 2013, p. 559). The implementation of an electronic medication prescribing system that automates prior authorizations would help to eliminate several possible legal problems. The e-scribing system is designed to send prescriptions directly from the provider to the pharmacy, eliminating possible prescription tampering. Electronic prescribing also decreases medical errors caused by handwriting legibility, drug interactions, and drug-disease interactions, potentially preventing two million adverse drug events per year.

The risks

Since the HIT requires better technologies and new computers to support, lots of money is needed for the investment. Thus, hospital industry and doctors have to put their money into it. In addition, they also have to care about the information safety and takes responsibility for its risk. This information safety issue also belongs to patients also because it is their information. There are hackers who might want this personal information. There are several risks associated with HIT. The first risk is the cost. The HIT costs lots of money at the beginning as other technologies have to be developed. An institution can incur huge debts if the project fails. Secondly, there is information safety problem. Since all the information is stored electronically or online, it is open to a risk from hackers and information thefts. Therefore, extra care on information safety is necessary, such as hiring third-party (Sahay and Walsham 2017, P. 281).

The healthcare industry requires well-developed technology system compared to any other industry because this system is directly dealing with human health. Therefore, technology organization and hospital need to elicit information carefully from patients. Meanwhile, one of the vital considerable factors is that the information gained by a hospital is very personal things which need to keep safely. However, there are also concerns over the possibilities of information being misused for illegal activities such as insurance fraud which is responsible for the security business. Consequentially, a collaboration of hospital, technology organization, and security business is the most significant work to get success in this field (Lee, McCullough and Town 2013, p. 560).

Sahay and Walsham (2017) assert that the flow of information about the patient in the form of bar codes can be ensured with the help of a mobile or portable device. The device can even exist in the home of a patient. The device will transmit information in the form of bar codes over the Internet to a service provider. The flow of information can use the information exchange program that direct the data to the database of the hospital. The database at the hospital monitors the record of patient and transmits it to the care team members. These team members use the information to efficiently evaluate the condition of the patient. Based on the information about the condition of a patient, the action will be taken accordingly. The care teams that make use of the information include nurses, physicians, ancillary staff and medical technicians. Some non-clinical providers can also be part of the care team. The non-clinical staffs provide the billing, admissions, and eligibility of the patient’s data (Sahay and Walsham 2017, P. 288).

Maintaining and monitoring IT system

The continuous monitoring of the system performance is usually done during the operation and maintenance of IT system. It is vital in ensuring that the system is in compliance with the pre-established user, and security requirements. It also ensures the incorporation of the system modifications. Conducting Configuration management (CM) assists in documenting any proposed or actual changes in the security plan of the system (Iden and Eikebrokk 2013, p. 516). IT system is continuously evolving with upgrades to hardware, software, and firmware. Documentation of the changes in the information system should be done as well as the assessment of the potential impact of the changes on the security of a system with the aim of giving assurance that there is a prevention of lapses in the accreditation of the system security.

Managing problems and incidents are vital in increasing the efficiency and reliability of IT services. Problem management is a reactive process that is triggered by the occurrence of incidents. It aims at preventing the occurrence of future incidents. The service desk is considered to be a vital function of problem management. It is a point of contact between the contact staff and the clients. Clients use it in reporting incidents and submitting service requests. The management of technologies, processes, and methods in a centralized manner can be achieved using project portfolio management (PPM) tools. The effective management and improvement of IT systems can be realized through the use of configuration management database (CMDB). CMDB makes it easy to understand the IT environment of an organization such as configuration management, service impact analysis, compliance, and asset management controls (Iden and Eikebrokk 2013, p. 519-522).


Various components of information management system include Patient; Software provider; Database Provider; Portable measuring device; Hospital; Physicians; and Doctors and analysts. Health care institutions are continuously searching for innovative Information Technology (IT) solutions. The implementation of information systems is useful in the administration of the best health care services to patients. It is associated with the improvement of care and reduction of costs. The functioning and survival of health care institutions are highly dependent on the application of IT. Many health organizations are often faced with the challenge of implementing an effective information system. It is important for an organization to choose the correct information system that is useful in the achievement of the organizational goals.


Blumenthal, D., 2009. Stimulating the adoption of health information technology. New England journal of medicine, 360(15), pp.1477-1479.

Haux, R., Winter, A., Ammenwerth, E. and Brigl, B., 2013. Strategic information management in hospitals: an introduction to hospital information systems. Springer Science & Business Media.

Iden, J. & Eikebrokk, T.R 2013. Implementing IT Service Management: A systematic literature review. International Journal of Information Management, 33(3), pp.512-523.

Lee, J., McCullough, J.S. and Town, R.J., 2013. The impact of health information technology on hospital productivity. The RAND Journal of Economics, 44(3), pp.545-568.

Sahay, S. and Walsham, G., 2017. Information technology, innovation and human development: hospital information systems in an Indian state. Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, 18(2), pp.275-292.

Sharma, L., Chandrasekaran, A. and Boyer, K., 2014, January. The Impact of Hospital information technology bundles on performance: an econometric study. In Academy of Management Proceedings (Vol. 2014, No. 1, p. 13895). Academy of Management.

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