It is evident that every time a healthcare attendant treats a patient, he/she must record information relating to the patient. The health care personnel records the information provided by the patient about the symptoms, as well as, information relating to the treatment of the customer. This information also comprises the patient’s history, as well as, the examination results. While this information may be easily collected, its management has proofed to be a challenge. The information collected must be analyzed, protected and stored either in manual health records, or in electronic health records. Health information management professionals are tasked with the responsibility of maintaining the privacy of patients’ information, as well as, availing it when needed. Patients’ health information is critical since it is used to provide quality health care.
Health information management can be viewed as the maintenance of and storage of health records by either traditional paper method, or by modern electronic means. Hospitals, clinics, health departments, and health insurance companies are all faced with the challenge of the management of health information. Health information management is a procedure, which takes a number of steps. It involves the collection of health information, analysis, storage and retrieval. The rising healthcare costs and the security requirements when exchanging health information has complicated the process of health information management.
Health information management professionals are critical in the delivery of healthcare services, in the United States. They are, together with health care providers tasked with the responsibility of ensuring accuracy, privacy, and accessible and secure (Kuehn 68). The dynamic nature of health information management has seen the managers engage in roles of managing patients’ information in all health related organizations. The dynamic nature of health information management is a reflection of the changing healthcare industry. The issue of health information management has been a top line issue in the United States in recent, past few years.
Every health organization; be it a hospital, clinic, or a health insurance company, has a health information management department. The department collects, analyzes, and stores health information, guided by the stringent rules set by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). With the advent of technology, majority of health organization are transforming patient information into electronic form. This is meant to enhance security, storage, and easy retrieval. Technology has made health information management efficient, as well as, cheap, both on time and cost (Skurka 42). Technology in the healthcare sector has also enhanced the sharing of patient’s information amongst accredited health providers. However, it is worth noting that such exchanges of health information are done with the rules set by HIPAA.
Amongst the top line health issues in America, health information exchange between healthcare providers has been critical. Health institutions have adopted technology and patient information is being recorded electronically. Electronic health records (EHRs) have been on the rise. This has ensured security of the information. Electronic health records have ensured that health information is shared amongst the healthcare givers effectively (Skurka 45). More often than not, a patient’s health information circulates amongst various healthcare givers. For instance, the health insurance company may need a patient’s health records from the hospital. While this information is being exchanged freely, the involved entities must observe the privacy measures and rules set by HIPAA.
The management of health information puts into consideration security and privacy of a patient’s information. Health information comprises of a patient’s personal information, which he/she might not be willing to share with everyone. There are various federal and state regulations, which govern the privacy of patient’s information. In the management of patient information, it is imperative to the uphold integrity by preventing and managing any data breaches (Kuehn 49). Health information management requires the practitioners to seek relevant consent, before sharing a patient’s health information.
The information collected by the health information management practitioners should be protected from unauthorized access. Health information managers should ensure that they have put systems in place, which guarantee the safety of patient’s information. The information should be protected from manipulation, and it should be accurate. In addition, health information management professionals should maintain quality of patient’s information. Any data exchange between care givers should be accurate, internally consistent and meaningful.
Additionally, the management of health information should ensure compliance with the federal and state regulations in handling patient’s health information. There are several laws and rules, set by the federal and state governments. Such rules should be adhered to in order to ensure patient’s information integrity is not compromised.
Health information management is a crucial sector in the healthcare sector. The information collected, analyzed and availed by the HIM departments is critical in the delivery of quality health care. Ensuring accuracy and privacy of the health information is vital. This is because this data is used, by healthcare givers, to decide the form of care a certain patient requires. It is, however, imperative to note that health information is private, and its integrity should be upheld. It should be noted that proper collection, analysis, management and use of health information determines the effectiveness of healthcare systems. It assists the healthcare system to detect health problems, set priorities and allocate resources appropriately in order to improve health care provision.