Information technology and Healthcare

As an increasing number of governments are heading towards the digitization of the healthcare records of its citizens, many exciting avenues are opening where digitized healthcare can benefit from the advancements in information technology.

One of the terms that are often thrown around with regard to information technology is ‘Big Data’. Basically, the process of collecting huge amounts of information and working with that information to optimize business performance is what Big Data does.

The most important development in this regard has been the digitization of patient records. This way, massive amounts of medical data is stored digitally and can easily be manipulated or analyzed to deal with many kinds of business problems. Big Data helps healthcare professionals and by default helps the consumers as well. There are many health websites and lifestyle apps that are not just using modern technology but data manipulation as well in order to deliver a healthy lifestyle to the consumers.

One of the most exciting areas that are effected by Big Data is research. With massive amounts of data available, researchers can conduct extensive analysis and can answer many kinds of questions thus helping development of the healthcare.

The government in the US is working to make health information technology more widespread. In this regard it has passed a number of legislations. First and foremost is the affordable care act, which gives bonuses to healthcare providers that share data with the government.  There is also the Hi-tech act which promotes development of strategies to promote the technology and a massive amount of funding is also allocated as per this law. Finally, there is the FDA act that promotes use of such technology especially with regard to food and drugs.

With an ever-increasing amount of data being digitized, many experts are raising legitimate security concerns regarding all this data. The sensitive nature of the data demands that governments as well as individual organizations take steps to ensure the safety of the data and to prevent the data from falling into the wrong hands.

Despite all this talk of data security, the sad truth is that healthcare data is largely unprotected. This is partly due to the fact that there is a shortage of health-technology experts who can design mechanisms to protect all this data and primarily due to the unwillingness of the organizations to take proper steps. A research showed that more than 90% of healthcare organizations have experienced a data breach in the recent past.

One of the best ways to ensure increased data security is by making healthcare information technology more widespread. This will naturally lead to a better understanding of data security and also a realization of the importance of protecting patients’ data. With digitization increasing exponentially, it is only a matter of time before companies all over the globe begin to take data security more seriously.

As already stated in the article, healthcare is transforming and these information systems are p-laying a key role in doing so. In the future, healthcare systems will require not just doctors and nurses but data analysts as well. Hospitals will require people who understand the data is being generated, there will be a need for people who can toy with the data and make meaningful interpretations out of what seems to be a mess that just can’t be understood. One of the degrees that are most suitable for these kinds of job is the online Master of Science in Health Care Administration and Management. The program focuses on relevant healthcare areas such as informatics and policy making, and is one of the ideal programs for the future of healthcare.