Health information system, also commonly known as health informatics, acts as a hybrid of information technology and healthcare. The workers in health informatics are responsible for analyzing and organizing the health records to improve healthcare service outcomes. Therefore, it includes gathering information, researching, analyzing the present systems, and implementing different solutions to address any and all problems relevant to the healthcare industry. To do all these tasks, informatics experts use the resources and devices available to them right now.
The focus on health informatics started when manual record-keeping was no longer feasible. In its place came the electronic health records (EHRs) to help the healthcare service providers keep patient records in digital form. This initiative assisted in improving efficiency, coordination, and data sharing between different healthcare service providers.
As the landscape of the healthcare industry changes, professionals are trying to find ways to address the needs of consumers, healthcare service providers, and vendors. The industry is constantly evolving and enhancing working capabilities, be it relevant to management, patient care, pharma production, digital record-keeping, or telehealth.
To keep up with the advancements, the healthcare sector needs highly skilled professionals in the industry. The scope of healthcare informatics is increasing, and so is the competition in the field. This is why the professionals in the field must have skills such as fiscal management, analytical skills, and communication skill. For someone looking to upscale their career in the industry, a masters in healthcare informatics degree can not only allow them to stay updated with the technological innovations in the field but also teach them how to utilize these technologies for collective benefits and stay with the trends.
To understand the rising healthcare informatics trend, let us take a deeper look.
One of the primary issues in healthcare was that electronic health records (EHR) could not effectively communicate with several people simultaneously. Traditional methods lack the efficiency and compatibility to achieve optimum coordination. However, the issue of interoperability runs deeper and is deeply intertwined within the field.
In itself, interoperability is the ability of a system or device to exchange, access, cooperatively use and integrate data within and beyond the organizational level. It ensures seamless records and information exchange and optimizes services and operations. In addition to that, advanced systems protect sensitive data such as patient information and health records, offering only restricted access and preventing data leaks.
New trends and policies in interoperability allow the information to flow through the organization seamlessly while keeping it safe and accessible from everywhere. Not only does this help reduce operational costs and ensure better outcomes by improving efficiency, but newer trends also tackle the existing issues in interoperability.
Latest informatics experts are addressing ways to use existing technologies and new technologies to support a proactive, open, and easy two-way communication channel between two parties. These parties can be the hospitals, healthcare providers, patients, vendors, stakeholders, etc.
For this reason, healthcare informatics is focusing on developing different courses that enable professionals to understand the importance of each stakeholder. Only then can they focus on making the services more accessible to each stakeholder.
3. AI products
The main focus was on the theoretical use of machine learning, deep learning, and artificial intelligence in the past. But now, it lies in introducing AI products that the hospitals and clinics can purchase and use to improve the system.
However, AI is not as simple as it may sound. The reason is that AI-related jobs are scattered almost all over the industry’s spectrum. Many repetitive manual processes are no longer crucial as AI replaces them. Only in the healthcare industry, these operations are much more intricate and complex. For example, AI is now able to make an automated diagnosis for STAT imaging. It is also able to highlight and report any incidental findings in the test reports and much more. These aspects help in speeding up the process. AI also can search the patient data and sort it in specific areas and categories. This simplifies how professionals look at and interpret data drastically, meaning healthcare professionals don’t have to sort through unrelated data anymore.
4. New age of cybersecurity
With the healthcare system heavily relying on internet connectivity and electronic devices, hackers are stepping up their game to attack the industry. They are going beyond simple phishing attacks and going as far as stealing sensitive information that they can sell on the deep dark web. They are also using ransomware attacks and shutting down IT systems or slowing down hospital operations. Such massive problems risk the integrity and working capabilities of the hospital and affect the patients. As a result, hospitals and healthcare facilities are taking necessary preventative measures to ensure proper security. For example, they are cutting off all the external mails and increasing the screening rates. The industry is also massively investing in establishing a secure and safe data storage system.
5. Telehealth and remote care
Telehealth became a massive part of the healthcare industry during the pandemic. However, even in the post-pandemic world, the healthcare industry continues utilizing virtual care methods to establish a long-term healthcare strategy. The purpose of the strategy is to meet public health needs during an emergency without any disruptions.
In addition to telehealth, the pandemic also promoted remote monitoring of patients who suffer from different chronic conditions. As the hospitals were fully occupied with COVID patients, there was little room for treating patients with minor illnesses, chronic or otherwise. Therefore, anyone who didn’t require critical care had to take up remote sessions.
Combining telehealth and remote monitoring for patients in addition to traditional healthcare services has enabled the industry to establish a hybrid healthcare model.
6. Analytics and well-being
The latest healthcare trends are shifting from treatment and rehabilitation towards the overall well-being of the patient. The industry now realizes the importance of promoting a healthy lifestyle to the masses amplifying the “prevention is better than cure” ideology. Informatics and data play an analytical role, pinpointing the issues by sifting through patients’ histories and family information to create a roadmap for optimal care and well-being.
Information technology has been advancing since the turn of the century and will continue to evolve, leading to new trends in all industries. Although the healthcare industry was slow to integrate traditional systems with advanced innovations, it is now helping the healthcare industry manage security issues, allow information distribution, and give better healthcare access to remote patients. In the future, we can expect healthcare informatics to continue playing a crucial role in the industry, revolutionizing the care models to provide better healthcare services and access to the public.