The term “Informatics” is the branch of information engineering. It includes the effective practices of information which is to be processed appropriately & the engineering of all the information systems. It works as an academic field or the applied form of “information science”. Informatics helps in studying the overall structure, behavior & all the interactions of the natural as well as the engineered systems of the computation. It also helps in studying the representation, processing & effectively communicating the information in both the natural & engineered systems. It studies the different aspects of computational, social and cognitive.
The chosen business organization is the “Royal Children’s Hospital” which is the major hospital for children in the country of Australia, Melbourne. It was established in the year 1870 by the brilliant doctors “John Singleton and William Smith”. This hospital is famous for providing a wide range of clinical services, for tertiary care and for enhancing health promotion. Various effective programs are also being conducted by the Hospital to prevent all the children as well the young people from major diseases (Valdez, et.al. 2014). The hospital is surrounded by the “Parkland of Royal Park” and the campus partners of the Hospital are the “Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and the University of Melbourne Department of Paediatrics”. Both of them are based outside the Hospital.
The main goal of the Royal Children's Hospital is to be the great hospital for all the children. It also wants to enhance the competitive advantage among all the best or top hospitals of children care. There are various defined strategic goals which are to be achieved by the Royal Children's Hospital including the excellence in the health care, enhancing the leadership in the areas of research & education, focusing more on the quality & safety, increasing the number of partners in Paediatric Care & also improving the internal as well as the external organizational environment. All these strategic goals & the overall vision of the company can be accomplished & enhanced effectively & efficiently with the help of the new concept of informatics (Knight and Shea, 2014). Implementing the unique concept of informatics will not only enhance the maintaining of data of all the patients in an easy manner but will also help in gaining the competitive advantage among all the other big hospitals for children. With the help of informatics, the Royal Children's Hospital will also help in delivering effective health care to all the patients. The “Health Informatics” helps in combining the different fields of medicine, science and information technology (Simpao, et.al. 2014).
Before critically analysing the use of informatics, it is important to analyse the stakeholders of the hospitals and determine the impact on them. There are three categories of stakeholders of ‘Royal Children’s Hospital’, namely interface stakeholders, internal, and external stakeholders. The interface stakeholders are those who function externally and internally within the hospitals. These are senior staff and trustees that work for the hospital's interests. Internal stakeholders are those who work for the hospital, such as staff members, whereas the external stakeholders are those who provide services and get services from the hospital, such as customers, suppliers, competitors, special interest groups, etc.
While analyzing the use of informatics, it is important to discuss the positive as well as negative sides. Using health informatics in the healthcare centers allows a systematic approach for storing and retrieving data and information of patients and other medication processes. It would improve the safety of patients and provide clear information to doctors about medical history and allergies (Knight and Shea, 2014). In addition to this, health informatics improves the efficiency of various departments irrespective of their importance, such as laboratories, surgery, radiology, accounts, and administrative. Informatics interconnects them and reduces the duplication of efforts, thereby speeding up processes. In the healthcare sector, processes are required to be as fast as possible and informatics can be a major breakthrough for the industry. Furthermore, many researchers and healthcare experts think that it will improve the quality of patient care. The healthcare experts would be able to use informatics as a decision-making tool.
With the help of computerized guidelines, clinicians can be able to decide the type of medication that should be suitable for a patient as per their medical history and symptoms. Moreover, it would reduce the time spent on administering work, thereby increasing the time for patient care for doctors and nurses in hospitals. In addition to this, the hospital would be able to organize a large scale health check-up programme even without making use of high-level technology or equipment. For the staff working for the hospitals, informatics equipped them with enough knowledge of medical science and other relevant data. This would allow them to have a better interaction with their senior and other people. It would also help them in honing their interpersonal skills and teamwork. As using informatics in the healthcare centers would require strong coordination between various professionals, such as clinical staff, information technology experts, and organizational decision-makers. To work effectively and closely with such professionals, one needs to have top-notch interpersonal skills. Therefore, informatics can help with team coordination and team building (British Informatics Society Limited, 2012).
Talking about the senior board members of the hospital, informatics can help them in problem-solving, administration, and decision-making. The health informatics can be brought into use to resolve the clinical challenge, furnishing the overall requirements of the hospitals, sharing the data and information of patients, and resolving the problems of lower level subordinates. Hartley, et.al, (2014) outlined that making use of health informatics in the field of healthcare would result in less trial and errors. It ensures that the right medication is provided to the patient and that does not cause any allergy or ailment to him/her. Physicians can make use of informatics to prescribe the right drug type for a particular illness. Maeder, et.al, (2012) argued that informatics has increased patient participation by providing them access to their own medical records and medication history. In other words, patients have become empowered by making use of health informatics. They are able to interact with the medical experts and share their problem openly. They feel that they are being valued by the hospitals as they get the right treatment effectively. Another transformation that has been brought in the field of healthcare by informatics is the personalization of care. The doctors working at the hospital can be able to provide personalized services to the patients as per their requirement. In addition to this, data gathered from patients can be analyzed and the physicians can be able to opt for the data-driven approach for patient care (Demiris, 2014).
These are all the positive sides of healthcare informatics but there are some downsides to it. The first and foremost disadvantage of using healthcare informatics is that it requires time to learn and adapt. Being technology-driven, not all the medical staff working in the hospital has the right expertise and knowledge to use informatics software. In order to keep up with the rapidly changing technology, the hospital needs to provide training to its staff in order to make them software-savvy. This might be a burden on the staff and hospital as well. Furthermore, increasing dependency on the informatics software would be a costly alternative as software are expensive and purchasing them would increase the operational cost of the hospital. Not every patient can be able to pay the large medication cost and hospitals need to consider this factor prior to zeroing down on any decision (Demiris, 2014). Another concern regarding the use of informatics is that it would result in over-dependence on technology. Any failure in the system might cost a fortune to the hospital, especially at the time of accident or emergency. As various departments are interconnected, a small technical glitch might result in poor coordination between all of them and this would be reflecting on the care quality (Hartley, et.al, 2014). This would result in a major inconvenience to the patients and might impact the reputation of the hospital. The biggest downside of using informatics is the breach of personal data of patients. As this software makes use of the internet for storing data using cloud technology, there are high chances for the data to get stolen by hackers. This might be a major vulnerability of the system and can cause a huge loss to the hospital (Maeder, et.al, 2012). There are many cases that took place in the recent past, wherein hackers hacked the servers of hospitals and stole patient's personal information and use them illicitly. All these must be taken care of by the hospital by making use of the most advanced security system and keep them upgraded regularly.
It has been concluded that the concept of health informatics is very effective for each & every business organization, especially for all the hospitals. The complete assignment reveals the importance of informatics in accordance with all the defined goals & objectives of the Royal Children's Hospital. The effective characteristics & unique features are also been included under it in relation to the informatics. It also helps in enhancing & maintaining the necessary coordination among all the departments of the Royal Children's Hospital.
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