As of today, technology plays a vital role in almost every aspect of human existence. In the same way, this research paper treats technology as a vital part of the full swing implementation of health information systems as the new way of addressing and managing health issues. Information systems by elementary definition is the integration of technology based components that is used for the collection, storage, processing and communication (transmission) of information (Britannica, 2010, p. n.pag.). This research paper integrates the same meaning in its discussions regarding the policy planning and implementation of information systems in the field of health. More particularly, this research paper strives to explain the Public Health Informatics Institute policy issues through its extensive discussions of information systems.
The World Health Organization (WHO) stresses that the integration of information systems in health care profits many individuals. Even if the full swing use of information systems in health care is still far from being realized, most health institutions such as the WHO deem that the creation of health information systems will make the identification, addressing and implementation of health policies comparatively easier. Addressing endemic health problems can be more efficient, even before an outbreak is declared due to the simultaneous monitoring capabilities of health information systems (Eldis.org, 2010, p. n.pag.).
Information systems allow performance data to be easily disseminated to communities and individuals allowing the creation of a more timely consciousness regarding health issues (Eldis.org, 2010, p. 1). The data from the information systems can be treated as the evidence base of health policy making; the precision of data in information systems allows policymakers to determine the issues needed to be addressed (Eldis.org, 2010, p. 1). Finally, information systems empower health institutions’ customers with the accountability of their health institutions by making their transactions recorded and managed (Eldis.org, 2010, p. 1).
The advantages projected with the blooming of health information systems can easily move health institutions to integrate their operations to information systems. However, such decisions cannot be easily made without a preliminary assessment of the current health industry’s policies and structures. The technological bias of health information systems creates a completely new dimension for the health care industry. Due to this, health institutions such as PHII oblige themselves to assess not only the practicability of such systems but also its feasibility to start with.
PHII pushes for the issue of integrating information systems to the health industry by integrating it on existing health structures such as immunization registries. The integration of immunization registries to information systems insures that the registry will be efficiently managed without compromising the needed confidentiality of the population-based data of the registry (Saarlas, Edwards, Wild, & Richmond, 2003, p. 47).
The policies of many health institutions toward health information systems are founded in the premises set by population based data such as immunization registries. The massive information needed to address even the smallest health problems can be found in population based health information (Hinman & Ross, 2010, p. n.pag.). In line with this, PHII pushes forth the integration of information systems in the health structure of immunization registries to insure that the structure can function at its optimum level. The new features of information systems are seen by PHII as the needed essentials to take the health care industry into a more efficient and accountable state. Conclusively, the integration of immunization registries is a start but not the end of the bloom of health information systems.
Britannica. (2010). Science and Technology: Information Systems. Retrieved August 4, 2010, from www.britannica.com: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/287895/information-system
Eldis.org. (2010). Health management information systems. Retrieved August 4, 2010, from www.eldis.org: www.eldis.org/healthsystems/hmis/index.htm
Hinman, A. R., & Ross, D. A. (2010). Immunization Registries Can Be the Building Blocks for National Health Information Systems. Retrieved August 3, 2010, from www.phii.org: http://content.healthaffairs.org/cgi/content/full/29/4/676?ijkey=GH9RmlBCqfpKA&keytype=ref&siteid=healthaff
Saarlas, K. N., Edwards, K., Wild, E., & Richmond, P. (2003). Developing Performance Measures for Immunization Registries. Public Health Management Practice , 47-57.