Advances in Information Technology have great impacts in several fields within the society. Presently, Information Technology is by and large facilitating data reliability, integrity, and efficiency (William, 1956). For example, the technology has improved data access, filtering, storage, and sharing in a manner that has not been witnessed before. Advancements in Information Technology have also had a significant impact on the nursing domain. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the prominent attributes of data held in information systems as well as how they facilitate improvement in quality nursing and patient safety.
Data Accuracy and Safety
One of the main functions of Health Information Systems is to generate the individuals’ health improvements within the society. They help eliminate inappropriateness in medical data recording and analysis thereby helping the patients to gain trust in the medical services provided to them. Medical data accuracy refers to the closeness of medical observations to the prevailing circumstances. This accuracy helps in addressing the real medical problems right from the start thereby alleviating pain that a patient suffers. In addition to the basic role of facilitating patient care, data accuracy presents other advantages, which include health-system and research management. This is because government agencies acquire the knowledge on where to focus their attention, as well as increase research funding. This means that advantages of Medical Information Systems are all encompassing (University Microfilms International, 2002).
Information Technology ensures data safety as it presents the capability of having backups. A backup is an exact copy of a directory or folder which is kept on a separate storage medium. These backups are meant to prevent information losses, which may result from disasters like fires and floods. Information Systems present superior methods of ensuring safety in the face of calamities because their data is not bulky. Furthermore, it is possible to store data on the internet and still protect it through the use of passwords. In addition to enhancing access, the possibility of losing this data is minimized because, unlike physical storage, one does not have to take the risk of carrying vital medical documents with him/herself.
Data integrity is the reliability, consistency, and accuracy of the information store in the database. This is an attribute of Information Technology that has enabled stakeholders in medical fields make informed judgments based on adequate information. There are various constraints used to ensure the integrity of the data entered into a database (June et al, 1996). These include the null-ability and Data type constraints among others. The null-ability constraint is vital in ensuring that important pieces of data like age and sex are not left out of a patient’s profile. These data assist in developing medical hypotheses that aid in providing rough guidelines as medical attention is administered. The data type constraints reduce irregular data entry which would further complicate the work of practitioners.
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Medical Information Systems help booster the morale of the stakeholders, especially after they realize and appreciate the completeness and validity of the data presented to them. Data integrity is, therefore, an attribute that facilitate strategic planning as it eliminates fear and uncertainty that may result when data is inaccurate or incomplete (June et al, 1996). Furthermore, losses in time and monetary resources as a result of ill-planning are minimized. This, therefore, reduces discontent within the medical fraternity as well as the general public. Following their appreciation, individuals make useful medical contribution which assists policy makers in refining their decision.
Contributions of Information Technology
Information Technology has enabled significant management of patients’ information in a secure manner. Information sharing between the nursing facilities, insurers, and government agencies meets the safety and privacy standards such as those required by the Privacy Act of 1973. These standards have helped in easing administrative challenges as they are conventional and thus commonly recognized (John & Claudia, 2011). Furthermore, the medical practitioners such as aid workers, who often relocate to various locations worldwide, are not faced with the difficulty of adapting to unique medical practices of a certain jurisdiction. This is due to conventionality provided by these Medical Information Systems. In addition to reduction of the confusing paperwork, these systems largely prevent medical faults while improving the quality of health care. They also facilitate access to affordable Medicare for the aged.
Information Technology has enabled governments and nongovernmental organizations worldwide to detect the outbreaks of infection diseases early enough. This enables policy makers to devise measures of arresting the spread before further damage has occurred. Additionally, they facilitate the tracking of long-lasting diseases and ailments and, therefore, provide a wide variety of medical information, which is useful in research. Finally, Medical Information Systems helps gather data for quality comparison (George & Nina, 2011). All these contributions serve to improve the quality of health care in the society.
Information Technology has increased the speed of performing simple tasks. This increase enables medical practitioners and institutions to save resources such as money, energy, and time. The speed results from the effective connectivity that Information Systems provide between various sites, which in effect facilitates researchers’ efficiency and productivity. Productivity improves because stakeholders are able to get access to a wide range of information in real time, while saving the costs which otherwise result from transport and communication. Furthermore, doctors are able to evaluate the health improvement of their patients in a timely manner (Cambridge Scientific Abstracts, 1978). Information systems also lower the medical costs thereby reducing the burden that families with sick relatives have to bear. Additionally, computer literate patients are able to search the internet in attempts to gain a satisfactory level of understanding regarding their health. As much as the contributions of the Information Technology in ensuring quality nursing have been appreciated, much research in the field continues which is aimed at addressing the worst-case scenarios.
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