My hospital is working with ‘braille’ identifying cards
Recently I went to the hospital because I had to make a x-ray of my leg. Once I arrived in the hospital I first had to make an identifying card. My first thought back then was, why should I make a identifying card? Why doesn’t every department in the hospital already have my personal information and my medical background available? While I was thinking, an old lady entered my personal information from my passport into the computer. After she was done, a very old machine started printing my identifying card.
After I got my card I walked to the x-ray department. I gave the employee my identifying card and he made a copy of it on paper with a machine. But why could my personal information that was just inserted in the system a few moments ago not be seen by this department? From an IT perspective you can say that my hospital was working very inefficient. How can a hospital where information plays such a big role, still work with this outdated system that is very susceptible to fraud?
In the last decade the adoption of digital patient records, constant new regulations, working paperless and the increasing need of information between the family doctors, insurances, patients and hospitals has grown a lot. IT spending in healthcare sector trails that of many other industries, typically 3–5% of revenue, far behind industries like financial services where closer to 10% is the norm (Bartels, 2006). There are many reasons why implementing new IT systems in the healthcare is a lot more difficult than in other sectors. Despite the growing stream of research on information security, very limited research has focused on studying information security risks in the healthcare sector. The healthcare sector is very regulated and has a different business model than all other industries (Appari, A., Johnson, E. 2010). From this we can conclude that it is pretty logical that a hospital only implements new IT systems if it is bulletproof. Not only is healthcare information shared within the hospital, but also with many stakeholders such as agencies and insurances that are involved. This makes it extra difficult to implement a new IT system. But there is also good news, the healthcare IT systems have made a lot of progress in the past years. Many hospitals around the world are currently implementing new IT systems, and I expect that my hospital will follow soon.
Is your hospital still working with this old fashioned system? Please leave your thoughts and comments below.
384993cc – Oscar Chong
Appari, A., Johnson, E. (2010) ― Information security and privacy in healthcare: current state of research’, Int. J. Internet and Enterprise Management, vol. 6, no.4, pp.279-314
Bartels, A. (2006) ― “US IT Spending Benchmarks for 2006,” Forrester Research Report.
Hillestad , R., Bigelow , J., Bower, A., Girosi, F., Meili, R., Scoville, R. and Taylor, R. (2005) ― ‘Can Electronic Medical Record Systems Transform Health Care? Potential Health Benefits, Savings, and Costs’, Health Affairs, vol.24, no.5, pp.1103-1117