According to our lecture, the possibilities of HIT in relation to healthcare are limitless. Discuss what this may mean for the future of healthcare delivery. In your discussion, be sure to address the hesitation of older populations to accept technology. Would you personally be comfortable receiving surgery or receiving medications without human interaction? In replying to your peers, comment on their comfort level with such technology.
REPLY TO MY CLASSMATE’S DISCUSSION TO THE ABOVE QUESTION AND EXPLAIN WHY YOU AGREE. (MINIMUM OF 200 WORDS)
The purpose of the HITECH ACT is to expand the use of health information technology, specifically the use of the electronic health record (EHR) by a healthcare provider (Alotaibi, 2017). The use of health information technology sets out to improve efficiency in areas of care coordination and, decision making with its overall impact being to improve quality and patient safety. What this means for the future of healthcare delivery is that there are now more opportunities for transforming the healthcare delivery system through the quicker exchange of patient data such as “Big Data”. Big Data includes diagnostic and imaging results that can allow providers to treat diseases such as cancer expeditiously. In addition, newer technology will improve clinical outcomes by allowing providers to have access to “real-time” patient data which aids in quicker treatment, preventing or decreasing hospital admissions in chronic diseases such as heart failure. It also allows for remote monitoring of patients by retrieving data from wearable devices which helps to improve patient outcomes in other chronic illnesses like asthma and COPD. This data is then sent to providers to be analyzed to aid healthcare providers in interpreting and decision-making.
Other forms of health information technology devices can generate a diagnosis or treatment plan from the entry of symptoms. This also means better training and educational opportunities for providers which will allow them to become more efficient in providing care. In addition, the use of HIT for providers will provide support in assuring that physicians and healthcare providers are practicing according to professional standards when treating patients.
The possibilities of HIT are endless, and studies suggest that the use of technology will continue to decrease costs to the patient and healthcare organizations allowing for better allocation of resources.
The Hesitation of Older Populations to Accept Technology
There are various reasons why the older population has not totally embraced the use of technology in healthcare. Some older individuals do not feel confident in using digital technology because they may not have the know-how. If digital technology was not a part of their employment era or had a job where it was required, then they may lack the skills for using it. I have also heard older people voice concerns regarding trust issues when using technology because of not knowing who has access to their personal information and the possibility of hacking. Some even have verbalized concerns or the loss of face-to-face interactions being replaced by technology. An example of this is grocery stores have now replaced cashiers with self-check-out. Some older people may feel they are too old to learn something new and have no desire to do so.
I didn’t grow up in the technology era but out of necessity and fear of being left behind, continued to educate myself on the different forms of digital technology. Technologies such as e-banking, paying bills online and the use of patient portals caused me some anxiety. My greatest concerns regarding the use of technology were privacy issues, (who has access to my personal information and where is it going?. According to Ngilneii (2018), a common fear among older adults when using software is the fear of getting things wrong.
While I agree that technological advances the healthcare industry and provides positive patient outcomes, I would not be comfortable with surgery done through robotics or medication administered without human interaction. I think of the potential dangers that could result from this. Will technology be aware of the 5 rights when administering medication? How will technology know of my response to the treatment? I believe that technology should be used to assist physicians and healthcare providers in the provision of care and in improving outcomes but not as a replacement. There are certain tasks that require human interaction. Talking to a comatose patient or interacting with an end-of-life patient. I was told that hearing is the last sense to leave in a dying patient. Technology cannot provide the same form of interaction as a person talking to a loved one or singing a song.
Alotaibi, Y. K., & Federico, F. (2017). The impact of health information technology on patient safety. Saudi medical journal, 38(12), 1173–1180. https://doi.org/10.15537/smj.2017.12.20631
Buntin, M. (2011). The Benefits of Health Information Technology: A Review of the Recent Literature Shows Predominantly Positive Results. Health Affairs, 30(3), 1007-1013.
Ngilneii, C. (2018). The Reason Why Old People Don’t’ Like Technology. Medindia.
Retrieved from: www.zurinstitute.com/blog-post/why-some-older-adults-reject-online-technology
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