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In What Ways Can A Fully Operational Health Information System Help Alleviate The High Cost Of Healthcare In The United States?

1095 words - 5 pages

ESSAY #1

In what ways can a fully operational health information system help alleviate the high cost of healthcare in the United States?
It is quite evident that the cost of healthcare is increasing at a rapid pace, and philosophies about how to reduce the costs have continued to be debated. According to the Plunkett Research, U.S. health care expenditures grew to $2.6 trillion in 2010. Thoughts and ideas about how and if the implementation of a health information system (HIS) can reduce the cost of healthcare have been the focus for clinicians, politicians, and consumers alike. As Chaudhry et al state (2006), “the benefits of health information technology are ...view middle of the document...

With the implementation of a system, healthcare providers would be able to not only coordinate a patient’s care in a more streamlined manner but they would in fact have more control about how the patient is treated throughout their patient’s lifecycle. That would mean that with the deployment of this system the physician is able to cut out unnecessary and tedious paper work.
Being able to not only manage a patient’s care but also share information with other physicians is one of the most crucial ways in how the cost of healthcare could be lessened. If physicians were in fact able to take a more proactive approach to healthcare rather than a reactive approach there could be numerous benefits to not only the patient but also hospitals and private physicians. The RAND study points out that one of the crucial savings that we could see with such a technology system would be efficiency savings. Efficiency savings according to the RAND study are those savings that occur when “the same work is performed with fewer resources”, (RAND, 2010). Furthermore the RAND study detailed that one factor of health benefits that was extremely useful was of cost savings. According to the RAND report, “two kinds of interventions intended to enhance health: disease prevention and chronic-disease management…HIT helps with prevention by scanning patient records for risk factors and by recommending appropriate preventive services, such as vaccinations and screenings” (p. 2). In addition RAND states that “at a cost of only $90 million each year, between 15,000 and 27,000 deaths from pneumonia could be prevented” (p. 3), because HIT can be used to facilitate long-lasting disease management, which is one of the overall goals of the HIT system.
With the implementation of a technology system, healthcare providers would be able to perform many functions in essence not only saving costs but also saving time in how the tasks are performed. For instance, having such a system could help track patients’ visits and care. There could be time cut down when trying to search for a patient’s file, very much like what occurs now when you visit your doctor’s office. Imagine a system that not only has all your pertinent information but having it contained in one place where your physicians can have access to it thereby opening the possibilities for...

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