Information Technology Continues to Improve Medical Care

There is currently a growing number of newly developed healthcare technologies. Treatments, procedures and medications continue to improve. The effectiveness of these all depend on data storage and reports.

Different computer-related technologies have been developed in order to help healthcare professionals in treating medical conditions. These programs have made their tasks easier and more accurate. Over the past few years, a number of computer software programs have successfully made their mark in the healthcare field.

Comprehensive Health Enhancement Support System

The CHESS system was developed at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. This is a computerized self-management program for patients with chronic diseases. The program can be installed on a computer in order to help patients manage their illness from their homes. It aids people with cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease and HIV infection. However, this tool can only help people evaluate and manage their conditions and is not an alternative to hospital care.

The system educates patients about their medical condition in order to prepare them and help them deal with their illness. It provides facts regarding common questions about the disease with its pool of data and articles. The system also helps patients in searching for healthcare services and gives them referrals, as well as providing possible action plans and help in carrying them out.

Health Evaluation Through Logical Processing

This computerized system was developed at LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City and is currently distributed through the 3M Company. This program aids physicians in deciding on the best drug for a patient’s specific condition. The system collects necessary data and provides possible drug options. This reduces potential adverse effects and medical costs through careful elimination and evaluation.

The system has an automatic antibiotic consultant that allows physicians to input the patient’s condition and overall health status. The program then identifies a suitable antibiotic based on all the information given. It utilizes important data that includes the patient’s body system status in order to eliminate drugs that can potentially harm them.

Computer Stored Ambulatory Record

This system was developed in 1968 and continues to help hospitals and clinics in effectively recording and storing patients’ data. The information can then be used to assess the patient’s clinical condition for current and future diagnosis. The system has 13 guidelines and still progresses over time.

COSTAR has a computerized guideline that records patient’s laboratory results. These can be used to monitor whether the patient’s health is improving or worsening. The program stores the initial results as the baseline data and inputs subsequent information in the graph. This is a clear representation of a patient’s health status over the years.

Regenstrief Medical Record System

This was initially used at Wishard Memorial Hospital in Indianapolis as a recording system for patients’ medical information. The system records all medical interactions with the patient. This includes clinical visits, hospitalizations, laboratory findings and all other medical data. These are the used to help physicians in coming up with a diagnosis.

The RMRS also aids medical staff in providing effective care. It has an automatic reminder that alerts healthcare teams whenever a patient needs a particular laboratory test, screening or vaccination. It also records scheduled hospital visits in order to remind the medical staff and help them prepare.

Advances in Information Technology within the healthcare arena happen every day.  We are fortunate to be living in an era where these advancements and enhancements can greatly improve the quality of medical care, and, in turn, life.

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