Technology Assessment in Healthcare

Introduction
Information systems in healthcare continue to press for innovation due to the rapid growth of technology in all arenas and spheres of life. More people are turning to Internet, mobile phones, computers and other forms of technology to gather or acquir information. All organizations and departments in the healthcare have taken to incorporate information technology in order to satisfy the rising need of these services. However, there continues to emerge need for innovation in order to take care of some rising problems in the incorporation of technology. In the arena of electronics and personal health records, there need to be done more than what is there presently. Organizations, especially insurance organizations, need to make more innovations in handling these records and accessibility for those in need of them in order to ensure that both the organization and the customers/clients are satisfied by the systems (Chiason et al., 2007).

Analyzing Basic Technology

Information technology in health management engages all data needed for the users of health services, clinicians and makers of policies in order to protect and upgrade the health of the population. Although there are few countries, which have made use of technology in this arena, many of these countries have not used the facilities to the maximum. Furthermore, their services have many loopholes that still leave unsatisfactory results with the users. There is a need for innovations that close these loopholes in order to present a comprehensive, efficient and effective technological service to those in need of it (Hoehn, 2009). Personal and electronic health records are highly significant to both clients and medical practitioners. Systems designed to deal with these records are some of the busiest systems in this field; thus, they are susceptible to loopholes and unsatisfactory services.
Diverse health care service providers have used systems that are accessible to all parties in need of the information (records) available. Organizations such as insurance companies are some of the entities using this form of technology in order to ensure that they are serving the public at the highest level. However, most experts and professionals feel that there is a significant need to incorporate more innovations in such systems in order to tackle the rising and the necessary demands.

The Innovation

Organizations such as insurance firms need systems that will allow these organizations to enable health and member information improvement. It incorporates a web portal which allows making it fast and easy for members of a given organization to track and gather information concerning their health coverage and care. It is significant to note that organizations have already incorporated such a system. However, this system recommended as it is much more advanced and comprehensive. It will allow members/customers to conduct multiple tasks that contribute to their well-being in as far as healthcare is concerned.
MyCIGNA.com is a web portal owned by CIGNA. The entity launched this web portal in June 2002 (AHIP, 2005). The web portal is secure, and it makes it faster and easier than other means for customers to track and gather information related to their health coverage and care. The site was later enhanced and innovated in the year 2003 and 2004. It is significantly important for a company to understand ways in which it can be modified in order to suite the needs arising in the insurance area. There are various issues that arise in the course of analyzing one’s health records. Some of the issues include the lack of prior information before they become members of insurance organizations or other healthcare entities. There is also insufficient information even after they become members/customers, especially if their treatment took place in diverse regions. Additionally, even with the existence of centralized systems that accommodate personal health records, there are other smaller systems that tend to incompetently handle the information, thus rising complaints of customers information loss.
Customers’ personal records not only include their personal information revealing their age, names, address and information of those close to them, but it also includes information relating to their ailments, pharmacy records, laboratory records, current health status, immunizations, surgeries, medications, amongst others. Since sometimes the information relating to all these issues may be overwhelming, updating it becomes challenging sometimes.
This innovation will engage a pre-enrollment system (Chiason et al., 2007). Additionally, instead of having a centralized system and other smaller system, the whole information will be centralized. However, there will be security measures put in order to avoid the collapse of such a centralized system. Additionally, the organization should have an upgraded system that automatically makes the updates once they are entered in the respective hospitals without necessarily engaging many channels. This means that once the patient/customer’s information is entered in the hospital’s system, it should automatically appear in the information system of the insurance company. This will take place instead of having the many stages that are present currently. This is mostly a common practice for the smaller health care hospitals.
Having a web portal that automatically updates itself will allow the insurance company to incorporate medical information of a customer prior to his/her membership (Ovretveit, 2007). In most, if not all of the time, the accurate information is needed for effective treatment. The information provided by the customer verbally may not be as accurate or as precise as needed. There are customers who purposely alter information, which may lead to negative effects. It is relevant for the upgrading of such a web portal in order to handle the many arising hospitals and small healthcare institutions, which are highly dependent on the information provided by the insurance company. With the high use of mobile phones, the web portal should allow customers to access the information through the mobile phone. They should be able to send the information needed to the customers’ mobile phones even though they may not have access to the Internet. Using the short text messages should accommodate all customers from any background.
The advanced web portal will also incorporate a security system that will make sure that the privacy and confidentiality of the customer are well-observed and safe. The lack of confidence in such systems is a great concern among the users of the web portal. It is relevant that the system should be as secure as possible with the inclusion of all the security measures possible. Personal information is quite sensitive as interference may lead to the death of a patient or the lack of insurance support, which may also be fatal.

Senior Management Roles

In my community, there are many emerging health care providers especially those providing medical health care. This translates to the need for more managers. The senior management can take some of the presented steps in order to ensure that information management is at its maximum. One way of initiating this task is by carrying out awareness and education to those using information systems (Ovretveit, 2007). This runs from other healthcare institutions to individual customers. All these parties need to be taught how to use the website. Hospitals and community can be taught on how to upgrade the information needed promptly in order to avoid encountering cases of missing information. It is relevant that every party should be educated about issues that pertain to them.
The other initiative may be to carry out work allocation appropriately. There are instances when an individual is overwhelmed with a workload, thus the incompetence. In other cases, the wrong allocation of duties leads to the complaints rising in the arena. For example, the doctor or nurse taking care of the patient is also given the work of posting the health information in the system afterwards. In order to solve such occurrences, there should be specialized assistants for carrying out these duties of posting information. If that is not the case, the doctors can use computers to post the patients’ prescription or diagnosis so that it directly appears on the web portal (Hoehn, 2009).
Training the users of the system on matter pertaining to security is another way of pushing management further from its boundaries. As stated, security is quite sensitive and so it should be highly upheld. People posting information to this system should be trained on how to handle the information confidentially and so should the customers accessing it. As indicated, mishandling the information may be fatal.
Conclusion
The web portal as the one in CIGNA is quite relevant to the arena of electronic and personal health records. High measures of security will characterize this system as safety, privacy and confidentiality issues constitute the main issues troubling people in the community. It will also be advanced and upgraded in order to be comprehensive and sufficient. It will incorporate a direct connection between the systems in hospitals and the system at the insurance firm. This will eliminate the other minor channels that facilitate the loss of information Records that were made prior to the membership of the customer will also be available as posted by the relevant hospitals. The progress will continue over the presiding periods.

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