Technology and Decision Making
HCS/482 Health Care Informatics
University of Phoenix
November 14, 2011
Technology and Decision Making
The quality of patient care, communication between health care staff, and the safety of patients has greatly improved since the onset of technology. Through the improvement of information technology, the ability to collect data and manage the decisions based on the data collected has enhanced in the clinical setting as well as in the business portion. Health care informatics incorporates theories from informational science, computer science, and cognitive science (Englebardt & Nelson, 2002). This information helps to gather and process it in order to make an informed decision. Important information could be missed if the data is ignored. Some of the most recent technology which includes the internet and cell phones has made it possible to access information quickly in order to make the best decision for the patient in order to provide good quality care. Technology changes every day and it is important to keep up with these changes that will help support clinical decisions made by the caregivers. This paper on informatics will show the systems and information theories, the DIK model, and the role of the expert system in nursing care and medicine. System and information theories
System. “A system is a set of related interacting parts enclosed in a boundary” (Englebardt & Nelson, 2002, p.5). There are many types of systems which include but are not limited to: computer systems, school systems, health care systems, and people. Systems can be living or nonliving, open or closed. Closed systems do not act with the environment whereas open system have the ability to act with the environment. Open systems can be used to understand technology and those individuals associated with its use. This type of system takes input from the environment, processes it, and then returns it back to the environment as output, which serves as feedback. This theory can better help the individual understand the way people work with systems in the health care industry and allow for a visualization of the whole picture. A common term using in computer science is GIGO, “garbage in, garbage out”. This applies in the sense that a system is only as good as its user. If the user is inputting garbage, or poor quality data, the computer is likely to output the same. A system requires an accurate source in order for accurate material to be produced as a result. Open systems have three types of characteristics which include: purpose, functions, and structure (Englebardt & Nelson, 2002). The purpose is the reason for the existence of the system or the program and is most often stated in the organization’s mission statement. This is true for health care organizations, churches, and schools. For example, the mission statement of the local public health department to promote health, prevent illness, and control communicable disease by providing quality services, health education, and environmental services for the community. Computer systems are often classified by their purpose and may have more than one purpose. By selecting a purpose that all individuals agree upon within the organization, a system can be chosen. It is important to take the time to identify the purpose with all those who will be using the system. Functions identify the methods in which the system will achieve its purpose. “Functions are activities that a system carries out to achieve its purpose” (Englebardt & Nelson, 2002, p.6). When a computer system is chosen a list of functional specification must be put in writing to identify each function and how it will be performed. Systems are structured to allow the functions to be carried out. Some examples of structured systems include the nursing department. The nurse in charge will assign patients to the staff nurses with the purpose to provide care....
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