Health management information systems as data systems that are developed for the health sector with the aim of managing information and other resources for effective decision making. Health information is very important information about patients within health institutions. It includes details such as their financial information in relation to their health, the medicine prescription, their referrals, their insurance and many other details that require good record keeping. With health information management such details get easily accessed by physicians who are able to analyze them. The system also protects the information and makes it available whenever necessary. Health information systems help in the improvement of provision of health care. It is usually a breakdown of fields such as information technology science and business all of which have been combined into one integrated system sharing all the principles of the field for the benefit of effective management of health institutions and health information (Chaudhr, 2006).
The contribution that health information management has provided is immense and has seen health services provision greatly enhanced and developed over the years by upgrading service delivery, movement of information and keeping of records belonging to patients, staff, and other important stakeholders within the organization. Health Informatics is a science dedicated to the definition of how the system works and incorporates aspects of how the information is captured, transmitted to different places and different people as well as how it is stored for future reference. It has developed and now operates with the use of information technology where the information is manipulated in a digital form. Information technology, information systems, and principles of informatics are the three building blocks of health information systems management.
It is usually considered that the use of information technology in the management of health information as a great benefit that is associated with efficiently and provision of quality services for health care institutions. The use of computerized systems of order entry and other aspects such as the use of electronic health records have transformed the management of information. This is important because it has led to the upgrade of health care delivery in terms of time and quality. Health care is usually a very fragmented sector with different independent facets. These facets also deal with a lot of individual information. Health information system management has come in to provide a systematic and integrated approach to the management of the complex and fragmented healthcare sector. However, this management has for many years focused on aspects of finances and administration rather than actual clinical care, but has greatly eased it and made work very easy. Adherence to protocol and instructions is one of the factors that health information technology has been credited for. Research shows that the establishment of a multifaceted health information system has great benefits associated with increased delivery of care especially based on the aspect of protocol adherence. It also enhances the process of monitoring, evaluation and the surveillance of activities within a health institution. This has the effect of reducing errors and increasing the efficiency of utilizing resources, reduction of redundancy and increasing provision of quality services (Dwivedi, 2014)
Despite the many benefits that health information systems promise they still record high rates of failure. The success of such an information system is dependent on many factors within an organization, however effective incorporation and adoption leads to great success to an organization. The success of such systems is associated with aspects such as effective use of the system, quality information, quality system, user satisfaction and both organizational and individual impacts.
There exist three factors that have to work together for such a system to work effectively, and they include the organization that needs its application the system itself and the supporters. Failure of one of these aspects would lead to failure of implementation and operation of the system this would result in losses in terms of finances, time and customer loyalty. The information belonging to patients, employees and other stakeholders would also be at great risk of loss. For the system itself to work well, it has to be developed in a manner that enhances communication between different parties within the organization. The mediums used for communication have to be well set up, and safety of the information conveyed has to be well guaranteed. The supporters of the system have to be well trained in the use of the system. It should be developed in a way that eases their work and enhances their productivity. They have to support the system in order for it to be well received and accepted by the organization. It also has to satisfy the needs of the highly fragmented health institution and ensure communication between the different fragments and operations of the institution are working efficiently without any conflicts. The organization itself has to support the system financially and technically by employing the best health information management professionals that would ensure the system operates smoothly. The success of such systems is very important because of the many benefits such systems provide. However, in some cases, failures are also imminent, and the implementation process has to be that is well informed and well supported by all the users of the system.
The idea of adoption is one that greatly stands in the success or failure of health information systems. The matching of the principles of a system with the organizational structure of an institution moves closer towards success because of high levels of adaptation while the vice versa s true where mismatch moves closer to failure. The implementation of such systems requires great levels of organizational change all of which have to adapt to a new way of business. The health information system has to be well designed in order for it to be easily adapted to a certain organizational environment in order for it to have success. There is always more to just the technical aspects of an information system, and if they are emphasized more than the other important facts such as organizational structure and social factors, then the system is up for doom. It can, therefore, be true to say that the success of a system will greatly depend on whether or not it matches with the technical, organizational as well as the social aspects of the institution in which it is to be implemented. Despite these facts, such systems are usually implemented for the purpose of bringing change to an institution. Therefore, the system itself has to bring some form of change that is visible in the institution. Patients, employees and other stakeholders have to see the change that the system is bringing and should be enough to warrant support from everybody (Nguyen, 2014).
Understanding the reality gap is very important when it comes to health information systems. This is associated with showing the difference between the past where the system never exists and also showing what the system expects to take the institution to. The change has to be clear and realistic enough for the people that use the system (Staggers, 2001).
Health information systems are, therefore, very important tools in healthcare institutions. This is because they are characterized by the management if information crucial for the operation of such institutions. Health care institutions and single organizations that are greatly fragmented with different sections within the same roof. These sections are most of the time independent, but in some cases, their operations get interconnected with each other, and this necessitates the need for sharing information. The information systems that are required for effective management of such institution shave to be large and complex in order to meet the needs of the entire institution. Health care information system management has, therefore, become very important aspects in the world of health care (Jonathan and Weiner, 2013).
The success and failure of such a complex system need a lot of knowledge and understanding. Such systems come with great benefits that include efficient storage of information, access and dissemination of the information, efficient use of resources such as finances and time, quality services for customers and general efficiency in operations. This has been mainly attributed to advancement in technology that has led to the digitization of information which is easily manipulated in term of movement and storage. Despite such important benefits, failures in such systems are always common and come with great losses, and therefore, the system has to be well managed and well supported for it to be successful (Hunger, 2016).
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