Saturday, November 27, 2010

How to Use Health Information to Improve the Quality of Care

This is a guest post by Rachel Davis.

How to Use Health Information to Improve the Quality of Care

It’s not something to be taken for granted, because when we lose our health, we pretty much lose our whole lives. No amount of money is enough to comfort you or even cure you if you’re affected by a chronic condition – you end up spending most of it trying to find a cure even as you’re prevented by enjoying it because of your condition. So you see how important health is to every individual, and unless we take active measures to safeguard the good health we’re blessed with, there is a high probability that you’re going to end up losing it soon.

If prevention doesn’t work, then the next step is cure, and for cure to be effective, it has to be of the highest quality. There are many ways to improve the quality of healthcare, but the best and most effective way is to use information that is available to push for reforms that will make a positive difference. Information is a powerful weapon when wielded the right way, and in the realm of healthcare, it promises much improvement because:

• It helps identify the mistakes and shortcomings in present methods of providing care – doctors can stop prescribing drugs that have proved through research and studies to cause side effects; errors can be prevented if it is known that healthcare professionals are overworked and more can be recruited; and analyses of patient inflow can help doctors treat patients quicker and more effectively.

• It provides an avenue to come up with innovative and more effective forms of caring for patients in the best way – when information is readily available, it can be used to hasten recovery, prevent further mishaps and illnesses, and even assist in medical procedures based on the medical history and physiological disposition of the patient.

• It gives healthcare facilities an opportunity to reduce costs even as they improve the quality of care they provide to their patients – by analyzing patient records and their histories, it is easy to customize the kind of care provided to patients and prevent hospitalization on a recurring basis, thereby saving both the patient and the hospital in terms of cost. For example, if doctors and healthcare professionals are aware that a patient is allergic to a certain kind of food-drug interaction, they can avoid prescribing the drug and prevent the patient from being admitted back to the hospital and incurring additional pain and costs.

Today, the problem we face in the healthcare industry is not that information is not available; it is, just that it’s not being used in the right way to target the ills and augment the advantages in the way care is being provided.

This guest post is contributed by Rachel Davis, she writes on the topic of Radiology Degrees. She welcomes your comments at her email id: racheldavis65[@]gmail[.]com.

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