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The hospital operates 2800 beds in various regions in the country that is, Gumi, Seoul, Cheonan and Bucheon cities. With a dramatic increase of patient data the hospital…
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Improvement of Patient Data with Data Warehouse Soon Chun Hyang Hospital (SCHUH)has developed into largest healthcare institution in South Korea. The hospital operates 2800 beds in various regions in the country that is, Gumi, Seoul, Cheonan and Bucheon cities. With a dramatic increase of patient data the hospital has faced challenges in patient service care. Thus the need to quickly process patients test results, refers patients for diagnosis or treatment in various locations more efficiently and minimize admissions times. This paper intends to analyze the institution highlighting the challenges and solutions, describe benefits and potential disadvantages of hospital data warehouse.
Challenges
Previously SCHUH and its four regional institutions utilized different information technology systems that is, Picture archiving and Communications system (PaCS), Electronic payment systems and Electronic Medical Records (EMRs). They helped manage imaging data from computer tomography scanning systems and magnetic resource imaging. This ended up with patient carrying all the relevant medical records and results when they were transferred in the various hospitals. This saw an incredible long and time consuming process as the data was manually entered into the system. To make it worse sometimes doubled diagnostic tests thus duplication of work was observed as the different institutions could not easily share patients histories thus ended up with wasted costs and efforts. Timely delivery of test results from MRI, CT-scans and X-rays was also challenging due to different existing systems in the four regional hospitals. Preparing imaging data to refer patients to relevant physicians could take up to three days which majorly slowed the diagnostic process.
Solutions
SCHUH launched the integrated medical information systems (IMIS) project as a measure to solve this impending havoc. Main objective was to replace the information silos located at the four hospital sites with a centralized source of patient data, namely a data warehouse. IBM was approached to deliver the data warehouse which was to include storage systems for each hospital medical record and PaCS data. To ensure security and resiliency of patient record, each storage system is backed up offsite. Historical patient data is to be held for a predetermined time period before being archived as magnetic tape. The system transmits its patient data in between the hospital via a secure private network. Each hospital is able to access the data warehouse using a web browser.
Benefits of data warehouse
Consolidation of patient data in the warehouse has seen elimination of inefficiencies, instant availability of data in the four hospitals has also been ensured, reduction of unnecessary duplication of diagnostic tests and increased patient transfers and readmissions. This gives room for reducing annual operating cost by 40% as operational efficiency is enhanced. Enhancement in the processing of imaging data reduces the time required to share imaging data with other hospital department as it now only takes 30 minutes instead of 3 days. Researchers also get to benefit as single source of data allows them to perform statistical analysis of the effectiveness of new drugs and treatment programs.
Potential disadvantages
Security is a major concern as storing and transferring of patient data requires privacy. This requires strict regulation in accordance with South Korean Protection of Medical Information Act. Breach of network also poses a threat to the security and thus required a secure private network. Scalability was also featured as a concern, as there were evidenced rapid expanding volumes of data from the hospital growing patient numbers, thus it requires accommodation of the increasing data volume.
Conclusion
Soon Chun Hyang University Hospital integrated medical information systems project has significantly helped in solving the devastating situation of health information system that caused poor patient care services thus reducing the operating cost and providing a timely diagnostic and treatment healthcare service. However, there is need to monitor and improve the data warehouse to ensure scalability and security and any other potential threat that may arise be addressed effectively and efficiently.
Work cited
"Korean Hospital System Builds Country’s First Integrated Hospital Infrastructure." healthcare IT News, March 29, 2012; http://www.schmc.ac.kr/seoul/eng/index.do accessed September 19 2013. Read More
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