Information Technology In Medicine

When it comes to IT, it is all about using computers and telecommunication devices for communicating, controlling, receiving, and storing data. IT provides users with an easier more effective way of handling data rather than on paper, as done in the past. As it is, the field of medicine depends heavily on data for purposes such as diagnosis, research, case history, pharmacological references, allergies, side effects, etc. In a field that uses data to such an extent, it is only reasonable that it integrates IT into itself. While helpful to many areas of medicine, here are three most common areas where information technology is advantageous.

Case Diagnosis

Diagnosis is the identification of the nature of a patient’s illness through proper examination of symptoms. A successful diagnosis would result in successful patient care and recovery. However, it is common for medical practitioners to make errors in diagnosis unintentionally; even a minor error can lead to serious complications, and is a risk to the patient’s safety. Errors in diagnosis include incorrect, delayed, overlooked, or undetected identification of symptoms, which in cases such as surgery or emergency care can be fatal. A systematic approach towards diagnosis with the aid of IT, such as a clinical information system where physicians have easier access to diagnostic tests, research, and patient history, will make it possible to minimize clinical diagnosis errors.

Emergency Care

Emergency medicine deals with patients that require immediate medical attention and as with every emergency, time is of the essence. Patients under emergency care are diverse while physicians are tense, therefore in such cases, timely and precise information is crucial for successful treatment. Here, technology assists in the management of information in order to present, process, collect, and store information related to each patient effectively and expeditiously. This also assists physicians to make swift, accurate decisions and is useful for effective patient after care.

Research and Reference

Research and reference are of utmost importance in the field of medicine. Medical research assists in better understanding and treatment of illnesses. Years of research have helped medical practitioners reach impressive heights in medicine and patients are now able to receive current and relevant diagnosis and treatment. Journals and medical texts grant physicians access to the latest research, although IT provides faster and easier access to such research, thereby ensuring greater patient safety and effective clinical decision-making. Patient references are necessary for ensuring patient safety and for accurate clinical diagnosis. Drug tolerance, allergies, previous treatments, conditions that need attention, test reports, are all important referrals when coming to a decision in diagnosis, and a clinical information system is highly advantageous for clinicians needing to access a patient’s medical records and reports.

Accurate information leads to successful diagnosis and patient care. With IT, medical practitioners are able to have better access to all necessary patient and medical information. Information is the key to success, and with the integration of technology, health care systems stand to improve exceedingly as we move towards the future.