Information Technology in Healthcare: Applications and Role

The Growing Significance of Health Information Technology

From anesthetics and antibiotics to MRI scanners and radiotherapy, health information technology (HIT) is transforming patient care in unprecedented ways. Customized healthcare applications, medical practice management software, remote patient monitoring technology, and other health information systems in hospitals, clinics, and medical facilities allow healthcare providers to stay relevant and competent amidst the waves of change.

“Information is the lifeblood of medicine and health information technology is destined to be the circulatory system for that information.”

– David Blumenthal

With a fair understanding of the key applications and role of information technology in healthcare, physicians, hospital networks, medical practitioners, and caregivers can successfully leverage health IT to reduce costs and improve the overall quality and effectiveness of patient care and experience.

What is Information Technology in Healthcare?

Health Information Technology (HIT or HCIT) is a key segment of healthcare as well as IT that involves the design, development, implementation, usage, and maintenance of information systems and software solutions for the healthcare industry.
Information technology in healthcare encompasses a wide range of functions, including and not limited to:
Current State of Global Healthcare Information Technology Market

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Types of Health Information Technology

Health information technology collectively refers to the different types of software systems used by healthcare professionals, care providers, and sometimes patients, to store, share, and analyze health information. There are different types of Health IT systems.

#1Electronic Health Records (EHR)

EHRs or electronic medical record (EMR) systems are used to document and store a patient’s medical information, such as their health reports, diagnosis results, allergies, laboratory charges, treatment history, and so on.
Benefits of using EHR/ EMR systems:

#2Medical Practice Management Systems

Medical practice management software is used to manage the different administrative and clinical aspects of your practice such as handling the documents pertaining to your facility, scheduling appointments, billing and payments, report generation, insurance eligibility verification, and other day-to-day tasks.
Benefits of medical practice management software:

#3E-prescribing Software

Doctors can use the e-prescribing software to generate and share prescriptions with their patients online or send the prescriptions directly to the pharmacy in just a few clicks. This saves the time and effort for both the patient as well as the pharmacist.
Benefits of e-prescribing software:

#4Remote Patient Monitoring Tools

Remote patient monitoring (RPM) is a kind of homecare telehealth that allows patients or their bystanders to use wearables or mobile medical devices to gather patient-generated health data and send it to healthcare professionals for virtual monitoring and diagnosis.
Examples of remote patient monitoring technology:

#5Medical Billing Software

Medical billing software consists of tools that simplify billing-related workflows for healthcare facilities. It helps handle invoicing tasks, patient billing, insurance coverage verification and claims processing, patient demographics, creation of financial reports, and more.
Benefits of medical billing software:

Benefits of IT in the Healthcare Industry

The ultimate goal of information technology in healthcare is to enhance the overall health of the population by improving the quality of care that patients receive. Applying information technology in healthcare offers a lot of benefits.

Web Application for Health Insurance Decision Makers: A Case Study

In a world of complex and ever-changing healthcare dynamics, health insurance decision-makers often find themselves caught in a web of challenges. Casenet, a leading provider of population health technology solutions in the US sought a dependable ally- a tool that would empower them to sustain their business, optimize day-to-day operations, and unearth untapped user segments.
Fingent emerged as the transformative force, turning their struggles into resounding triumphs with the advent of TruCare Insights. This cutting-edge web application became the catalyst for empowering decision-makers with real-time insights and robust analytics. Seamlessly integrating with their existing systems, TruCare Insights revolutionized the management and exploration of data. It unveiled a suite of action-oriented dashboards and management tools, allowing leaders to monitor operations and streamline team workflows. The result was a powerful transformation.

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Uses of Information Technology in Healthcare

Information technology is being used in numerous ways to improve patient safety, healthcare delivery, and communication between healthcare providers and patients.

Patient Records and Data Management

Digital management of patient data prevents important health information from getting lost, damaged, or misinterpreted. Health information technology applications enable healthcare professionals to manage patient data securely in a centralized location. A medical professional can add pharmacy records, X-rays, test results, and even vital signage to the virtual patient charts that are easy to read, share, analyze, and preserve for future reference.

data management in healthcare

Nursing Informatics

Nursing informatics is a fast-growing field in healthcare that combines patient care with data and technology to improve the quality of care, patient experience, and outcomes. In simple terms, nursing informatics specialists work with EHR systems and patient data management solutions to collect, analyze, optimize, and maintain patient data and build important reports for clinicians to make data-driven decisions.

Informatics in healthcare

Medical Data Collection and Research

Using health information technology applications such as EHRs, patient/ disease registries, discharge summaries, health surveys, and hospital databases, medical researchers can collect relevant data that will help them produce new medicines and design new types of treatments and conduct clinical trials. However, researchers gathering personal health information should obtain the required permission from data owners, adhere to data compliance regulations, and anonymize data samples before putting them into actual use.

data collection in healthcare

Prevention and Control of Pandemic Epidemics

Digital health technologies play an important role in curbing the spread and impact of global pandemics like COVID-19. Health information technology aids in understanding the nature of diseases, improving diagnostic tools, and controlling the spread of infection on a larger scale. Telehealth systems, contact tracing apps, remote health monitoring tools, medical analytics, and online health surveys help control the spread of the infection, monitor outbreaks and their extent, and keep medical professionals and patients safe while providing continued care.

telehealth systems

Monitor Patient Compliance

Remote patient monitoring tools, such as medical mobile apps, wearables, fitness apps, and custom healthcare applications for tracking conditions such as diabetes and oncology allow physicians to keep tabs on bed-ridden or homebound patients who need to be checked on more frequently. Instant feedback and suggestions from doctors enable the monitoring of patient compliance in real-time, especially by community pharmacists or home nurses who can make timely interventions to keep the patient safe and healthy.

healthcare app

Role of information technology in healthcare:

Top Health Information Technology Trends

#1Internet of Medical Things (IoMT)

#2Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality solutions allow both healthcare professionals and patients to interact with highly-personalized simulated environments.

#3Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality services are becoming more accessible and affordable in healthcare due to their versatility. They can be used for medical imaging, medical education, dentistry, and nurses’ training, providing an engaging and immersive learning experience.

#4Artificial Intelligence

AI software development is transforming healthcare by leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI) to improve diagnosis accuracy, predict outcomes, and reduce medical errors. AI can enhance personalized medicine and drug discovery, providing new opportunities for improving patient outcomes.

#5Cloud Adoption in Healthcare

Healthcare-compliant cloud platforms offer a robust and flexible foundation for rapid development and testing of new software platforms.

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Key Considerations for Implementing Information Technology in Healthcare

Crucial steps for the successful implementation of health information technology:

How Can Fingent Help?

Fingent is a top custom software development company offering healthcare information technology consulting, application development, implementation, maintenance, and support services for different players and industry segments in the healthcare ecosystem.
We help identify your medical practice’s specific needs and come up with the best custom software solutions for improving patient care delivery and enhancing the productivity and performance of healthcare professionals. We also develop technology solutions for healthcare payer organizations and insurance carriers that help them make better decisions and improve their visibility in today’s competitive market.
Our healthcare technology consulting team aims to deliver value through personalized healthcare application platforms and customized health information technology solutions designed to fulfill your business objectives. Contact us to understand how your business can benefit from our healthcare IT consulting services.

Frequently Asked Questions About Health Information Technology

Electronic Health Records are digital records of patient health information that can be used by physicians for clinical decision-making. EHRs can be shared with other medical departments, care providers, or labs as they are updated with real-time patient data.
Personal health records also contain the same type of information as EHRs like diagnoses, test reports, patient charts, and medical history. However, PHRs are designed to be configured, accessed, and managed by patients to maintain their personal healthcare information in a private, secure, and confidential environment.
Electronic prescribing tools are used by medical practitioners to create and share prescriptions with their patients online or send the prescriptions directly to the pharmacy in just a few clicks. This saves the time and effort for both the patient as well as the pharmacist and eliminates the risks like loss or misplacement of prescriptions.
A patient portal is an online healthcare application that allows patients to interact and communicate with their healthcare providers, such as physicians and hospitals. Patient portals provide patients with convenient, 24-hour access to their personal health information from anywhere with an internet-connected device like a laptop, smartphone, tablet, PC or a connected gadget.
Electronic Health Information Exchange (EHIE) refers to the mobilization of healthcare data digitally across different healthcare information systems used by care-giving organizations, communities, and hospital networks. HIE facilitates continuity of care with multiple providers by moving real-time patient information across the systems involved in the exchange process.
Telehealth or telemedicine involves the delivery of remote clinical services over the telecommunications infrastructure. Examples of telehealth include virtual diagnosis and monitoring, connecting with the healthcare provider through video call or live chat, online therapy and counseling, patient-doctor communication through patient portals, mobile health devices, and wearables.
Custom healthcare software development simplifies and improves day-to-day healthcare management for care providers, hospitals, medical professionals, vendors, patients, and all other players in the healthcare ecosystem. Developing software tailored to your healthcare organization’s needs will help you:
  • >> gain end-to-end visibility over your routine clinical activities,
  • >> integrate disparate applications used for different purposes,
  • >> generate custom reports,
  • >> get up-to-date medical data across all your devices and applications,
  • >> reduce total cost of ownership,
  • >> ensure health information safety,
  • >> track medical history of patients,
  • >> optimize revenue, and gain financial stability.
Healthcare information technology allows you to create electronic health records that provide in-depth, real-time data for physicians to make critical decisions concerning their patients’ safety. Healthcare technology applications produce a lot of data every second, which is highly insightful in patient care management.
Analytics can improve medication safety and ensure better treatment reconciliation. Custom software has created a higher degree of transparency in the healthcare ecosystem. By utilizing the valuable health data, it is now possible to combat diseases and offer better healthcare outcomes in general.

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