Biometrics Revolution in Healthcare

What is meaningful use?

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Meaningful use, as it can be interpreted in the context of health information technology, refers to a minimum set of standards for the use of electronic medical records to improve the process of sharing information about patients between all stakeholders involved (Murdoch & Detsky, 2013).

Meaningful use of EMR implies that the technology is used for (Murdoch & Detsky, 2013):

  • ensuring quality, patient safety, and efficiency of care while eliminating current disparities;
  • involving patients and their family members in the process of care;
  • improving coordination among stakeholders;
  • promoting public health;
  • enhance the security of personal data;
  • achieving better health outcomes;
  • increasing transparency for health care providers;
  • empowering the staff;
  • facilitating research.

Why are the questions that the team members ask important?

The question the team members ask is important indeed since practical experience has proven that the process of change has a fluid and unpredictable nature – this implies that the approach must be flexible and take into account peculiarities of health care settings. The success largely depends on the team’s commitment, the ability of the personnel to share information and to collaborate, implementing their technical knowledge and skills to support the organization during the introduction of EMR. Therefore, the staff needs to be aware of all the peculiarities of the practical application of EMR. The answers to their questions will help them ensure that the new technology is properly installed and maintained, can be supported and controlled by all local users who have access to the system, and can be adjusted to their personal working needs.

How might meaningful use affect what the task force does?

With the introduction of EMR, meaningful use is supposed to produce a considerable impact on the activities the task force performs. The task force involved in health information technologies control has to be experienced in the field to ensure meaningful use. This includes (Murdoch & Detsky, 2013):

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  • choosing an EMR system;
  • controlling EMR implementation;
  • devising ways to get providers on board;
  • ensuring proper data extraction from records;
  • developing technical skills of the staff;
  • applying quality standards.

How has informatics affected your workplace environment?

Informatics is currently an integral part of the health care environment. This is accounted for by the fact that reliability of data (as well as the quality of operation of information systems) determines the quality of organizational performance. Planning, implementation, and assessment of health care policies related to the workplace environment directly depend on how properly information is collected, processed, and interpreted. The major points of influence informatics exerts can be summarized as follows:

  • it increases the personnel’s understanding of health challenges and treatment decisions;
  • it fosters the development of health care plans that guide practice;
  • informatics helps assess the workplace environment on the health policy outcomes;
  • it allows determining hazards that the working environment presents and eliminate them.

Which biomedical equipment have you used or seen used?

There are not a lot of hospitals that use biometric security architecture in ensuring safe access to databases and to control the access to buildings and wards of the staff. However, I mostly encountered biometric technology that identifies patients. I have not seen how insurers use biometrics (although I have heard a lot about it) but I saw the implementation of the mechanism by medical facilities and had a chance to estimate its effectiveness.

How does this equipment impact care?

This modern technology is primarily meant to guarantee privacy and identity assurance while reducing costs, errors, and chances of identity fraud. When it is implemented in highly developed countries, it is used every time a record has to be accessed to facilitate the process and avoid inserting personal information. This makes health care safer, more advanced, and reliable (Annulis & Kephart, 2014).

References

Annulis, J., & Kephart, J. (2014). Biometrics revolution in healthcare: Where access and control of medical history shifts from provider to patient. Biometric Technology Today, 2014(7), 5-7.

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Murdoch, T. B., & Detsky, A. S. (2013). The inevitable application of big data to health care. Jama, 309(13), 1351-1352.

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