This paper gives a detailed summary with regard to Ignatius Bau’s article, The potential of Healthcare Information and Communications technologies to Reduce Healthcare disparities. Its main focus is to give an overview of what precisely the introduction of technologies in health care would transform lives of patients regardless of their ethnicity, color, physical disabilities, economic status, geographical location and without the limitation of any age bracket. His article incorporates a study by the federal government decision in the United States of America that is devoted to improve the manner in which patients are attended when they go seeking for healthcare services in hospitals within states in the United States of America. The paper would also give additional information on the relevant research required in healthcare information technology to address challenges that befalls health practitioners as well as patient in their pursuit to provide and seek better healthcare services respectively.
It is pleasing that the federal government in the United State has critically recognized the fact that healthcare requires deliberate attention and invested immensely in improving those sectors. According to Ignatius, the government has put aside 29 billion dollars to fund a project by the name Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) whose main aim is to take healthcare to a better level (Bau, 2011). That project is supposed to take effect in the next five to five years. It will see the introduction of electronic health record system to replace the old-manual version that is tedious and incompetent, it involves writing down of patient’s information and doctor’s prescription that at some times appear blurred and cannot be understood well by other parties within the health care who wanted to access them. Apart from buying of this electronic record system, the project will put aside ample capital to cater for the purchase of other software’s and computers as well as cater for their maintenance. They will be required to provide effective and efficient customer care or patient support while they seek for medical services.
According to this healthcare information system, one would be in a position to make appointments online via the internet while choosing the appropriate time and venue to meet a physician in order to be treated with a certain ailment (Bau, 2011). Nurses, physicians, doctors and other medical practitioners would be in a position to offer advices and medical supports to their patients through the phone whilst they are in whatever part of the country. That is by instructing the patient on how to handle or respond to a situation. On the same, most physicians would be able to respond to quick questions where the patient can get the advice he or she wants without making a physical appearance to the physician. As a result, that would eliminate commotion in the healthcare centers paving way to patient with emergency issues to be given utmost attention.
The best part of that technology is that it would be in a position to offer services to patients despite their language, disability, age and geographical location. That is in contrary with the manual system where only a specific language is used to address patients making it hard for those who do not comprehend the applied language in the health sector to access medications. These healthcare electronic devices will be able to support more than fifty different languages in accordance to the language spoken by the patient while at the same time giving translation to complex medical terms that are difficult to understand while you are not a medical practitioner.
Those with physical disabilities like with poor eye vision would also be in a position to receive diagnosis through audio gadgets that are incorporated in the electronic system. Through notifications that are sent via emails and text messages old people will be notified of an important visit to a physician if at any way they might have forgotten about that special meeting. Child immunization information would be disbursed to the parents of their children to ensure that the well being of the child is monitored. In case of a disease break out, all the relevant authorities concerned with matters of health narrowing to the community level would be provided with information on the likely precautions people are supposed to take in order to keep off from a spreading disease. That way, citizens would be sensitized on the suitable treatment if any case they had contacted a spreading flu hence, preventing massive contamination.
May be what is now important is that challenges of poor network needs to be addressed to ensure people even in the very remote areas in the future get to access healthcare information more comfortably like those who have strong network in towns. Ignatius has said that even those in remote areas like the African American can still access these services online through their mobile phone. It is convincing that it will not be as comprehensive like to those receiving it through computer networks (Brailer & Thompson, 2004). Thus, the government needs to establish strong network all over the states in order to facilitate an effective and efficient online healthcare. Moreover, health practitioners need to be well trained in order to become knowledgeable in handling healthcare information technologies. That way, they would in turn educate patients to make sure they can access health services from whatever location they are hence saving a lot of time they could have used to queue in medical centers to attend to something else.
In conclusion, healthcare information and communication technology are required in order to provide quality and effective healthcare to people. It limits wastage of time and resources while the patient is trying to go meet the physician face to face. The government needs to promote this means of medication by funding projects that would allow each and every person in the country to access the medication online. That way, a healthier community would be established that would keep the economy of countries ever growing.
- Bau, I. (2011). Connected for health: The potential of health information and communications technologies to reduce health care disparities. National Civic Review, 100(3), 15-18.
- Brailer, D., & Thompson, T. (2004). Health IT strategic framework. Washington, DC: Department of Health and Human Services.