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Competiveness and Performance Effectiveness for Health Care IT Systems
The use of computers and information technology (IT) is fundamental in increasing efficiency and performance of hospitals. Importantly, the use of IT increases the speed of collecting the patients’ historical information. Additionally, these methods help in organizing and storing the patients’ data in a traceable manner. Notably, the technological ability to lock access to information such as through the use of encryption and passwords ensures that only the authorized users access this information. In light of this, this paper will analyze the role of health officers in ensuring efficiency in the health care IT system.
Question One
Define the Fundamental Responsibilities and Key Characteristics of the Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) within Health Care Organizations.
            In brief, a chief information officer is an individual who is mandated to oversee the development and advancement of information technology in a health care setting. Importantly, a CIO must ensure there is adequate involvement of medical officers in the use and improvement of the IT infrastructure (Casalino, L. et al, 2003). In addition to this, the CIO must create roles and knowledge for the use of information system among all individuals in the hospital.
In essence, the work of the CTO is to stay updated on the new technologies and evaluate their usefulness to health care system. Moreover, he is involved in evaluating the technology standards and supervising IT managers. Further still, a CTO has a duty of evaluating the managerial skills such as return on investment when determining projects that the health care organization should implement.
 
 
Question Two
Make One Recommendation Where they Can Utilize their Expertise to Assist with Employee and Patient Satisfaction.
Ostensibly, the main role of these officers is ensuring efficiency and ease of use of the IT infrastructure. Consequently, the CIO and CTO have a primary duty of ensuring that the employees can properly use the hospital’s IT infrastructure (Casalino, L. et al, 2003). Generally, these two officers should ensure that the health care workers are well trained on how to use the hospital IT system. Notably, these officers may organize for training through holding seminars and workshops. Additionally, they may create a chat box in the organization website where a user support officer can chat and assist a customer who is having difficulty using the health care website. Further still, this department may have a direct telephone line that customers can call and get assistance in health care issues.
Question Three
Suggest Two Developing Technologies that Health Care Systems Should Use in Order to Improve Health Care Processes and Thus Increase the Quality and Lower the Cost of Health Services. Provide a Rationale to Support Your Response.
One important health technology is mHealth. Generally, mHealth refers to the use of mobile devices in health care provision. Importantly, this method enables patients to access necessary health information and services using their tablets, and smartphones. Basically, through the use of smartphones a doctor can freely access a patient’s health information and send them a report on their progress. In addition to this, mHealth enables patients to be active participants in their treatment since it connects communication with biometrics. For instance, through mHealth a patient can wirelessly measure their blood pressure. Consequently, this technology improves patients’ welfare and health.
Evidently, most people have smartphones and are able to use most mobile applications. Consequently, the development and promotion of mHealth will enable many people to access important health care information. In addition to this, it will enable many people to conduct a quick check of certain ailments such as blood pressure. Moreover, mHealth is a powerful health care information tool that health care officers may use to relay important information to citizens. For example, during epidemics the health care officers may tell people the areas they should avoid and the symptoms of the disease. Essentially, the citizens would have vital information to protect themselves from infections.
Secondly, there is use of wearable technology. Notably, wearable technology has the potential of improving patient’s health by reducing the time when a patient is diagnosed to be suffering from a chronic disease. Generally, this technology allows patients to wear electronic devices that are remotely monitored by a third party. Although this technology may sound invasive, these remote monitoring tools enable a doctor to quickly identify any abnormal behavior in a patient’s body. Examples of these tools include the Google glass and the electronic cardiac cast with a pacemaker.
Importantly, most lifestyle diseases can be monitored and evaluated through the use of wearable disease. Generally, these diseases include high blood pressure and obesity. Evidently, through wearable technology a doctor is able to monitor the health progress of a patient. Consequently, the health officer is able to realize when the disease is worsening or improving. In case the disease is worsening, the doctor quickly contacts the patient and put him/her on medication or therapy. As a result, this method is effective in minimizing deaths caused by lifestyle diseases.
Question Four
Determine Two Significant Methods that Health Care Systems Should Use in Order to Prevent Misuse of Information and Protect Data Privacy and Thus Achieve a High Level of Security of Health Information. Provide a Rationale to Support Your Response.
Notably, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) sets rules that ensure privacy protection of health information. Basically, a health officer should safeguard a patient’s private information (Hersh, W., 2004). Consequently, the HIPPA rules require that the health care providers should put physical, administrative and technical safeguards to protect this information. Basically, some of the measures to protect health information are as follows:

  • Access controls: Importantly, these include passwords and PINS to limit the individuals who can access this information.
  • Encrypting stored information: Generally, this means that the health information cannot be read by anybody other than authorized users who have a decryption key.
  • Audit trail: Notably, this method leaves a record of the individuals who accessed certain information. Consequently, this is a disincentive to people who would want to illegally access the information due to the high traceability chances.

Firstly, access controls are an effective and easy way to control private information in a hospital. As a result, all health care officers should have passwords for their computers. In addition to this, every time a person logs to the hospital IT health system, they should put their institution password. Consequently, the IT officers may be able to monitor the specific activities that all healthcare officers are conducting. Essentially, this method will ensure there is traceability of actions done by users of the system. Further still, workers should never share passwords since this behavior would compromise the efficiency of the system.
Secondly, encryption of data is an effective method of protecting the health care information from hackers. Evidently, hard disks where past information is backed are bound to get filled up. Consequently, it is important to backup this information so that only authorized users can be able to decrypt this information. In addition to this, encryption of hospital information protects the hospital from hackers who may have illegally accessed company information by tapping into the hospitals health care network.
Question Five
Suggest One Strategy for Health Care Organizations to Train Providers in Using Technology in Health Care. Provide a Rationale to Support Your Response
Generally, training strategies refers to the method used by the health care providers in teaching health care workers. Importantly, the management tries to utilize the most efficient method. Basically, there are three training methods which are indicated below:

  1. Role-based training: Generally, this training method involves educating of organization members according to the functions that they operate in the electronic systems. For example, in the electronic health care system, a health records officer would be trained only on the sections of the storage, recording and maintenance of health records.
  2. Process-based training: Notably, this training involves educating the organization members on how the overall electronic health care system works. As a result, workers trained using this method may perform roles involved in more than one department.
  3. Mock-clinic training: Importantly, this method provides an end-to-end integrated process training method. Essentially, this method involves the trainers carrying out a mock session of the training process. Notably, the workers are trained by carrying out mock sessions of all activities involved in the training process till when they are fully competent.

Notably, the institution should use role-based training method (Hersh, W., 2004). Essentially, training is more relevant when it is organized according to functions. Similarly, trainees are more attentive when the training is directly related to their work. Importantly, since the training will be tailored to specific users, the trainers should be excellent users of the electronic health care program.
Question Six
Provide Three Best Practices for Effective IT Alignment and Strategic Planning Initiatives. Justify Your Response.
Importantly, the IT infrastructure aims at increasing efficiency, trust, reliability, and confidentiality among the community. Consequently, the plans for an effective IT health care system are developed with these thoughts in mind. In brief, the IT health care has unique strategies for achieving each strategic planning initiative:
Plan 1: Provision of a Secure and Trusted IT Environment
Basically, this provision aims at ensuring the information delivered through the IT infrastructure is secure and only authorized users can access it (Sultz, A.H., & Young, M.K., 2013). Importantly, the health care offices use encryption, access controls such as passwords, and audit trail. Besides this, there is also the use of physical controls such as strong doors, security guards, CCTV’s, and alarms. Importantly, these methods enhance confidentiality on the IT infrastructure.
 Plan 2: Enhancing the Quality, Availability, and Delivery of Health Care Information to Citizens, Employees, Business, and Government
Generally, the IT infrastructure aims at ensuring only the right people have access to certain information. In essence, patients would like to know information on their health progress, business such as insurance would like to know if indeed one of their customers was treated in the hospital, and the government would like to know the most common diseases (Sultz, A.H., & Young, M.K., 2013). In light of this, the IT infrastructure is modeled in such a way that it provides a quick and secure access to customer information. Additionally, it utilizes internet services to deliver information and health service securely to customers and other stakeholders. Finally, it provides relevant technologies that enable all stakeholders to share knowledge on health care.
Plan 3: Implementing an Enterprise Approach to IT Infrastructure and Common Administrative Systems that will Foster Innovation and Collaboration
Importantly, this plan aims at ensuring the IT infrastructure can accommodate various private stakeholders into the system. Notably, the IT policy appreciates the innovative technologies that incorporation of private investors may bring to the health care industry (Sultz, A.H., & Young, M.K., 2013). Consequently, the IT infrastructure aligns this department by implementing a consolidated financial management system. Additionally, it also improves communication within the healthcare setup. Moreover, it enables consolidation and simplification of similar IT services within all health care departments. Finally, it creates a unified infrastructure to achieve interoperability in healthcare departments.
Conclusively, health IT is an effective method in ensuring there is confidential storage, and communication of health information. Notably, the health care industry has a lot of players who inevitably share information with one another. Additionally, the health IT enables patients to actively monitor their health progress. Consequently, all stakeholders should collaboratively work in ensuring that the system is effective in handling all health care matters.
 
 
References
Casalino, L., Gillies, R., Shortell, S., Schmitdeil, J., Bodenheimer,T., Robinson, J., … & Wang, M. (2003). External incentives, information technology, and organized processes to improve health care quality for patients with chronic diseases. The Journal of American Medicine, 289(4), 434-441.
Hersh, W. (2004). Health care information technology progress and barriers. The Journal of American Medicine, 292 (18),2273-2274.
Sultz, A.H., & Young, M.K. (2013). Health Care USA: Understanding its organization and delivery. (8th Ed.). Burlington, M.A. Jones & Bartlett Learning.