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Healthcare Systems Analysis

In: Business and Management

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A comparison of healthcare systems
James C. Meredith
Strayer University

A comparison of healthcare systems

Monitoring Systems
Advances in technology have given us the ability to monitor patients with wireless sensor networks attached miniature monitoring devices. This allows for continuous monitoring of the patients, and provide various types of data critical for each patient. A BSN can even alert medical staff of any event taking place with a given patient.
“Body Sensor Networks (BSN) incorporates context aware sensing for increased sensitivity and specificity.”
Unfortunately data collection and monitoring in real time takes a lot of continuous labor and effort, just as well these methods are very much prone to perpetual errors. A solution was proposed to use sensors of various medical equipment so that they could intercommunicate with each other and give each other required information to function properly with less effort on the staff’s part. The data the machines provide and exchange can be stored, and monitored within network cloud where a professional can keep track of the goings on and relay the necessary information to the medical professionals.
These ideas can be time and lifesaving in the event of a doctor’s office or hospital visit. As opposed to medical staff having to check vitals, conditions and various other medical visit requirements, this cannot only provide more accurate information, it can free up time for medical staff to take care of other patients making any visit overall optimal for every facility that utilizes these technologies. Prior to these advances staff would have to check various vitals and manually observe for information and diagnosis with each individual patient, costing a lot of time for both patients and medical staff.
Pros and Cons1
The following is a direct quotation from www.revenuexl.com:
“Pros of Tablet PC’s for Electronic Medical Records
Ease of use/Mobility – Unlike desktop PC’s with additional accessories and operating systems loaded third party and proprietary software, tablet PC’s are relatively easy to use. The touch screen interface makes navigation simple, and the small design makes it as easy to move from one patient to another as if you were carrying a clip board.
Affordability – Depending on the investment in your current hardware, upgrading to tablet PC’s could be a more affordable and cost effective option over purchasing a desktop PC or mobile computer carts. In either case, you’ll need to consider the size of your office and the number of PC’s you need. In many cases, the cost of a tablet PC for interfacing with electronic medical records is cheaper than a high end PC that’s more reliable than your typical off-the-shelf HP in a box.
Local Data Storage – You can easily store files within the tablet or on a secondary external device such as a USB drive. That way no matter where you (and your tablet) are located, you can access files for communication purposes – online or off.
Cons of Tablet PC’s for Electronic Medical Records
Not Designed for the Clinical Environment – One of the major issues with using tablets, despite them being widely adopted at a rapid pace – is that they aren’t designed to fit the clinical needs of physicians. The study showed that 80% of physicians included in the survey felt the iPad showed significant promise for the healthcare industry, but was primarily being used for communications rather than interfacing with electronic medical records and practice management software.
Missing Supportive Applications – Because of the lack of design specifically for healthcare, and the app driven environment of tablet PC’s, the systems lack innovative applications that are required in order for the devices to offer as complete a solution for electronic medical records as a desktop PC or laptop.
Security Vulnerabilities – Security is an area where physicians often lose focus because it’s more IT related than medical related. IT firms show concern for mobile computing devices like tablet PC’s in the use of electronic medical records because they have unique vulnerabilities. This is an important point to consider when interfacing with electronic medical records over a network while accessing sensitive patient information.”

Social Networking for Patients.
“Patient social networks are a new niche. Health is often sensitive and private — not something people want to discuss on Facebook with all of their friends and colleagues. The ill often seek what social networks are best at — connecting someone who does not know anyone like them with someone else who can relate.”
Various social groups exist to support multiple medical ailments for disabled, terminally ill and etcetera. There are some that exist also for those who are looking for information regarding their illness. These networks provide a sense of security and togetherness for those who are ashamed or scared to discuss it with friends or family who are otherwise unaware. People are able to connect with others in the same health struggle as they are so that they do not feel alone. In some cases a patient cannot even leave home do to the ailment, and a social network would provide the social touch they need to know that there are others having the same problem, providing a much needed social life.
“In a group sponsored by the National Organization for Rare Disorders on Inspire, people who have never met anyone with their disease find friends, said Brian Loew, its chief executive.
But for all their benefits for patients, these sites present challenges. Because the vast majority of the medical advice comes from other users or from unverified articles on the Internet, some physicians are concerned about the quality of the advice. Patient social networks do not generally moderate comments to verify accuracy, though they try to make clear whether content comes from medical professionals or fellow patients.
As with all social networks, it is difficult to monetize these sites. Many rely on advertising revenue, which has taken a hit as advertisers cut back to weather the financial storm. Others have partnerships with pharmaceutical companies and clinical trial researchers, which could potentially bother patients on the sites.”
While these sites may not always be reliable in regards to information, advice, or experiences, it is also subject to being unfiltered, so may use these sites to harass or even ridicule others. There are some who might even try to profit from this using various means, advertisement, membership fees, bonus features. Whether the pros weighs out the cons is solely up to the people who use the networks and website.
References
Body Sensor Network http://csis.pace.edu/~marchese/CS396x/L3/p077-080.pdf Cloud Computing Solution http://www.healthlawyers.org/Members/PracticeGroups/HIT/Toolkits/Documents/Cloud%20Computing%20Resource%20Toolkit/2_ArticlesAndPapers/Rolim-Cloud_Computing_Solution_for_Patient's_Data_Collection%20in%20Health%20Care%20Institutions.pdf

Pros and Cons http://www.revenuexl.com/blog/bid/102186/Electronic-Medical-Records-Pros-and-Cons-of-Mobile-Computing-with-Tablet-PC-s

Social Networking for Patients http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/10/24/social-networking-for-patients/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0…...

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