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Health Care Information Technologies have faced many challenges.  There are barriers that have contributed to the underlying causes of why our healthcare system exists as an unorganized stack of fragmented puzzle pieces today (Wolper, 2006).  The challenges are from not being able to afford the upgrades to having staff that is not willing to learn and adapt to these changes.  It is difficult to go from a legacy system like paper charts to a more advanced method like EHRs.  The challenge is that there is not just one operating system that all medical organizations must use.  They have a variety of choices and will choose the one that best fits them and that could be difficult.  This could cause compatibility issues when trying to work with other organizations not using the same program.  Other common challenges could be in a rural setting, technical assistance could be very difficult to access.  The Clinic I work for has one main IT guy that is certified in many technical fields.  What happens when he goes on vacation and there are technical issues because we all know that is when these issues seem to arise?  We either call him or call the technical support number for the software.  Calling for technical support costs us about $75+ depending on the complexity of the issue.  That can add up really quick when you have staff that is not computer literate.  One way we have been able to manage this situation is by training section leaders as “super-users”.  These users have been trained to troubleshoot issues ranging from a simple password reset to creating templates for the staff.  This has alleviated our only certified IT guy


*- The advent of the health care information technology (HCIT) is one of the major components of healthcare reform, aimed at improving quality and increasing accessibility (Wolper, 2006).  The move to an electronic medical record (EMR) was divided into four phases or goals.  The first goal was inform clinical practice with the use of electronic health records (EHR) with strategies consisting of incentivizing EHR adoption,  reducing the risk of EHR investment, and promoting the spread of EHR in rural and underserved areas (Wolper, 2006).  Some of the challenges that have risen from this phase include addressing the barriers to changing to an EHR and helping all healthcare providers and workers adapt to how their charting and work would change.  Facilities were given assistance to help implement their systems and they do receive incentives for reaching a desired compliance goal.  Standardizing the HCIT across communities and states is another challenge (Wolper, 2006).  Standardization needs to include common languages as well as common charting procedures.  The standardization is aimed at improving the quality of healthcare that patients receive.  The improved quality will then lead to decrease costs and increased patient satisfaction.  The EHR improves patient accessibility to their medical record, leading them to be more participative in their care.  Other aspects of standardization includes the products for HCIT.  The EHR products that support and standards promoted within healthcare reform are eligible to receive federal funding if they have been certified by the specified agencies (Wolper, 2006).  This will help ensure consistent standards, regardless of the HCIT system being used.



*- The future of HCIT for software will continue to have to be updated to keep up with the fast pace of technology. Electronic processes become outdated quickly with the need to reach global healthcare services, e-health epitomizes not just a technical development, but also a state of mind, a way of thinking, an attitude, and a commitment toward networked, global healthcare services via the use of the Internet, intranets, extranets, community networks, and virtual private networks (VPNs). (Wolper, 2011) With these different HCIT’s issues of service reliability and capacity, access to technical assistance and quality of services can be future barriers. According to Wolper, 2011,  “E-health, telemedicine, and interoperable HCITs cannot be successfully adopted, used, and diffused until a national vision of health IT strategy can be clearly articulated and funded”. (p. 384). Having competent leadership is very important for the IT strategic plan to be successful. According to Glaser, & Hess, 2011, “ Today's health systems need a strategy that enables them to improve the productivity of their resources, increase throughput across the organization, and optimize processes to enhance the patient experience”


*- The future of HCIT will follow future trends in technology and security overall. Since technology is now the way of the world everyone has to be careful when they are using computers.In the realm of software development, greater security protocols, more specific access and functionality to tailor to the needs of certain sectors and an increasing focus on cross-compatibility for other information systems as well as operating systems will become paramount. The security measures to make sure that information is correct and safe depends on the organization and how important it is to them when purchasing the right software to make sure the information is protected. No one wants their information leaked out so as an individual we have faith in the companies that have our personal information that it will get hacked and leaked out into the world. Organizations need to educate their staff to make sure that when they are using computers to not walk off with patient information open for anyone to have access to it who does not have permission to see it. The more accessible a system is to it's users, and the more widely used, the more likely it is that there are vulnerabilities and flaws which allow security breaches. No software is perfect so there will always be some glitch somewhere but this is when education comes in and make sure everyone is on the same page.

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