Health Informatics Interview Name: Institution: Introduction Informatics or information systems denote a field in science that specializes in the investigation of the properties and structure of scientific information, which may not necessarily be specific to sciences…
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In order to develop comprehensive understanding of healthcare informatics and the role that the field plays in the health sector, I took time to interact with and interview a professional in the field. I carried out an interview with one hospital based healthcare (IT) information technology executive from Baylor University Medical Centre-Jason Baron. Interview Specifics Interviewer: As an IT Executive in this hospital could you briefly describe your role and job description? IT Executive: My role specifically entails liaising with the house staff, medical staff and different patient care departments with an aim of designing, developing, planning, implementing, maintaining, evaluating and upgrading clinical systems, which mainly include medical records. I coordinate my teams’ analysis of clinical operations and structural processes so as to facilitate decision-making in clinical operations. As a team, we also determine clinical functions, which need incorporation into computer systems. Interviewer: Your description is a little skewed and greatly highlights the technical aspect, but I would like to know whether you have any legal or clinical research role mandated by the description of your job? IT Executive: Yes, in addition to the more technical roles, I also have to ensure that the developed system is consistent with legal regulations and professional standards of accreditation and practice. The legal aspect is important in systems security, especially; with the development of HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). Additionally, researchers often seek information from our team for research purposes, and the collected information serves as an important base for building evidence-based clinical practice. Interviewer: Therefore, it could be said that your role entails more than just computers? IT Executive: Yes, of course. Informatics within the health sector entails more than just dealing with computers, but also medical technical language, clinical guidelines, laws, regulations and IT communication systems as well. Interviewer: The medical field is wide, and I would like to know whether there are specific areas or departments, where your services are necessary than others? IT Executive: Healthcare is pervaded with information use and creation. As such, it would not be appropriate to say that there are departments that need our services more than others. In actual sense, all departments require our services be it for billing purposes, prescription, and research or policy formulation. In fact, be sure to find an element of informatics in any health department. Interviewer: What would you say is the importance of healthcare informatics for the future of the health sector? IT Executive: Firstly, instituting appropriate information systems facilitates faster coordination, decision-making and smooth service delivery. Secondly, it presents significant optimism with regard to service delivery in the health sector, especially; in relation to error reduction. The World Health Organization and the Institute of Medicine have both expressed concern about the significant harm caused by different medication errors including treatment and diagnostic errors (WHO, 2012; IOM, 2006). The use of computers and information systems has shown that they can bring about significant reduction in errors and improve care. Additionally, Rothschild (2011), states that computers and
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