Once you’ve completed the Master of Health Informatics program at the University of Cincinnati, you’ll be fully prepared to immerse yourself into an array of new opportunities in your industry. With the combination of healthcare, data and technology courses under your belt, you can feel more confident pursuing your career in the healthcare world.
Today, technology has made an impact on nearly every working industry, and that won’t be stopping any time soon. As a health information technology expert especially, you’ll be introduced to new technological advances that’ll make healthcare delivery a seamless process, benefiting both you, clinicians and the patients who visit the practice where you work. Now, it’s your job to determine what health IT outlets will have the most impact in your workplace.
“While mobile phones have already emerged as a means for doctors to look up medical information quickly and efficiently, tablet usage is ramping up quickly and shows significant promise to serve as a substitute for computers in handling more involved tasks like record-keeping,” John Mangano, vice president for comScore Health and Pharmaceutical Solutions, shared with Modern Medicine Network.
Benefits of Health IT
There are numerous benefits of health information technology, as explained by HealthIT.gov. Innovations allow physicians, health administrators and practitioners to provide the best quality care for patients all while streamlining a steadier workflow for staff members in the practice. Technological advances can reduce paperwork loads, provide concise, accurate information for patients and physicians and coordinate care more precisely, which is advantageous for nearly every staff member and patient involved in the practice.
Following Trends in Health IT
Following along with the latest trends is also critical, as it’ll keep your practice relevant and ensure the physicians are providing the most quality care available. In a survey developed by Healthcare IT News, polling 95 healthcare executives in October 2016, 52 percent of those surveyed reported they would be upgrading their security technologies this year. Joe Fisne, associate chief information officer at Geisinger Health System, stressed the importance of health IT security, adding that the survey’s results make sense.
“From the standpoint of security being No. 1, it certainly is one of the most critical things in healthcare today,” he said. “We are in an age where technology has extended so far into the realm of healthcare that it has become one of the most critical things, so the heightened need for security follows.”
The University of Cincinnati gives their students the opportunity to be a part of this critical shift through the Graduate Certificate in Health Information Security. After completion, students grasp a better understanding of security technologies, which can make you stand out in a group of colleagues pursuing a similar career. By obtaining the certificate, you can:
- Easily detect cyber threats.
- Apply critical thinking to practices, policy and legislation to develop solutions to problems.
- Apply your technological and administrative skills to ensure property security.
- Develop disaster recovery plans for cyber breaches.
Health IT Needed to Become a Successful Medical Practice
Beyond security, the executives said they would focus on improving the technology of analytics, patient engagement, population health, electronic health records, remote patient monitoring and revenue cycle management. That being said, monitoring all of these aspects is critical for running a successful medical practice. By implementing the following health IT in your practice, you can improve patient care and overall experience, all while streamlining a steady workflow for all practice physicians and staff members:
Electronic Health Records
Electronic health records have the potential to eliminate stress and streamline accurate information throughout an office. According to Right Patient, EHRs allow practitioners and physicians the opportunity to better engage with patients and strengthen their relationships. This is because they’ll spend less time shuffling through a paper chart. Instead, they’ll have immediate access to a patient’s health record via the organized technological database.
With less paper charting, the chance of error decreases, due to better legibility and lowered risk of misplacing the files. With an EHR, the physicians in your practice will be able to trace back information from years ago in moments. This advancement in technology improves the ability to access data, thus increasing the overall quality delivered to the patients.
In a report titled “Patient Safety and Health IT: Building Safer Systems for Better Care,” the Institute of Medicine makes 10 recommendations for patient safety in health IT. By highlighting these suggestions, keeping patients free from harm is a priority while properly utilizing this advancement in technology.
The digital age has made many of life’s everyday tasks easier with the help of technology. With this is mind, patient portals were designed to make self-care seamless and simple. Essentially, a patient portal is a resource that both patients and physicians have access to. It’s a gateway that allows communication in a convenient and effective environment. According to Medical Practice Insider, a portal can eliminate an average of 4.2 daily phone calls made by the doctor to send lab results to the patients. This allows both parties to make effective use of their time.
Not only is it a great outlet for communication between doctors and patients, it’s also a database that provides all necessary information a patient may seek in regard to his or her current and past health status, such as medical records and educational information for coping with illnesses or chronic conditions. This enhances care and overall experience for the patient, while improving the customer service reputation and workflow within the practice.
A Practice Management System
Some of the most pain-staking and time-consuming tasks take place in the front area of the practice, in the waiting room and reception area. With an advanced practice management system, you can ensure everyone’s time is being used wisely, in regard to the patients and the staff members. Working with a management system is key if you want to maximize productivity in the workplace. With an advanced system, front office staff members can schedule appointments digitally – and send text and telephone call reminders. They can also quickly and accurately scan identification and health insurance information into the system. Tracking patient financial transactions is made easier, and with the click of a button, you can develop and distribute administrative reports to whomever requests them. Depending on the desired system, your practice can choose features that will benefit the workplace most.
For example, MHI student Tegla Kibor focused on appointments and scheduling for her practicum and found health IT incredibly beneficial for health care professionals.
“To understand the Appointments and Schedules process, I created reports that use the Electronic Health Record (EHRs) data,” she said. “Some of the reports were Third Next Available Appointment, Cancelation Reason, Daily Demand, Daily Supply, Confirmation Status, New Patient, and Average Appointment Cycle Time. The reports gave insight into provider availability, provider utilization, bottlenecks, and predictions of patient appointments.”
The Future of Health IT
There’s always room for growth in the world of technology. But what does that mean for the future of health IT? Forbes contributor Mike Montogomery spoke with Heather Zumpano of IMST Telehealth Consulting who said that data analytics should be the primary focus for new health IT innovations.
“If you go to the American Telemedicine Association annual conference, you’re like a kid in a candy store — there’s so much wonderful technology and equipment,” she said. “But there’s a real need for big data and telehealth to merge into one. There are many opportunities for improvement. … Health data is being collected to inform clinical decisions and [to shape] personalized predictive medicine,” she says. “But there really isn’t integration to improve clinical trials and inform better health practices.”
With a focus on data analytics, Zumpano said clinical trials, epidemiology, genomics, health insurance, medical billing and overall patient care can improve.
Completing a Master of Health Informatics with the University of Cincinnati
If you have yet to pursue a career in health informatics we encourage you to consider the Master of Health Informatics program at the University of Cincinnati. With this program, you’ll receive the skills and knowledge about healthcare, data and technology. With the invaluable knowledge and a graduate degree under your belt, you can benefit the world of health care with your increased competency in health informatics.