The implementation of medical information technology in surgeries and other medical facilities is no longer a distant future plan. Increasingly, over the next few years, we can expect to see the implementation of electronic health records and other medical information technology which aims to improve patient care and make the day to day running of medical facilities smoother.
Although doctors and their staff may feel apprehensive at the prospect of getting to grips with new medical information technology solutions, there are potential benefits in doing so. The software could improve patient care as electronic records would be faster to locate than paper ones, something which would be particularly important in the case of a medical emergency. Also, if a patient changes doctors, they could quickly be transferred to the new surgery. Doctors would also be able to share details about patient symptoms with their counterparts in other locations, which could help with the recognition of rare or difficult to diagnose symptoms.
That is not to say that the growing importance of medical information technology is universally welcomed. One of the key benefits of electronic health records, namely the ease of sharing information, is also a cause for concern. Some people, both medical professionals and patients, express fears that electronic health records will not be sufficiently secure and that patient privacy may be compromised. This, it is feared, could lead to such worrying events as identity theft, or even discrimination towards patients on the basis of their medical information.
The rise of medical information technology has led to the creation of a new sector and new jobs and promises to improve the efficiency of medical facilities. If it is possible to ensure that the privacy of patients is carefully safeguarded, the implementation of medical information technology solutions may be something which both medical professionals and patients can welcome.