The Effects of Technology on Decision Making

Computer systems are one way that health care providers have integrated technology into the medical field. Each computer system is unique, yet all have a purpose, function and structure. Deciding what computer system to choose, what software programs to incorporate and what the computer is needed to do are just a few burdens that have to be weighed when deciding which is best suited for the health care organization. Many health care organizations elect to incorporate decision support systems.

Decision support systems have been in increasing patient quality of care, increasing positive patient outcomes and decreasing the potential of medical errors. Bar coding, robotics, interactive websites, electronic medical records, and e-scribing are just a few advances in technology. “Advances in software, hardware, and networking all share common impact attributes in their ability to improve cost-effectiveness of care, quality of care, and access to care” (Nobel & Norman, 2003). With these attributes, the benefits are numerous in assisting with decision making in all aspects of health care.

A discussion on the DIK Mode The key to the complex relationship between data, information, and knowledge lies at the source of data and information. The source of data and information is dual: activities, and situations. Both activities and situations produce information (e. g. , ‘relevant meaning’ to someone) that is captured, thus becoming data, or becomes unaware. The key to understanding the relationship between information and knowledge is to know where the information resides. Recollect that information is at its soul message that is generated from activities and situations.

However, information resides in storage media (e. g. , database, print, video tapes, etc. ) in the form of data, or in the human mind as knowledge (in its simplest form of know-what or the higher forms of know-how and know-why). If this is the case, then extend between data and information in association with information and knowledge becomes evident, e. g. , they occupy different space at the same time. This also explains why many distinguish data and information, as well as information and knowledge as well suited. …one man’s data can be another man’s knowledge, and vice versa, depending on context” (Stewart, 2002, p. 6).

However, they are not exchangeable in terms of their accepted distinct definitions. So, what is a book; knowledge, information or data? It is all the above in various context. A book is knowledge from the author’s perspective, information for the impending reader, and data as well which is contained in a storage media (called ‘book’). A discussion of systems and informatics theories Direct communication represents an information processing world of systems.

Systems have been designed to provide access to data, information, and knowledge for use by nurses in a multifaceted and culturally diverse world. “A system is defined as a series of well designed mechanism connected by communication links exhibiting resolute, goal directed behavior” (King, 1996 p. 61). A common language among nurses worldwide would describe the categories of various systems wherever they occur. Nurses are becoming more knowledgeable of the technologies offered as health care organizations across the world incorporate technology into their practices.

Considering the nurse has the responsibility of the majority of the documentation, it is important to incorporate aspects of nursing classification systems to help with decision making. The transaction Process in King’s theory when used in interdisciplinary teams facilitates mutual goal-setting with patients based on each member of the team’s specific knowledge and functions. This often facilitates role similarity and respect for the knowledge, skills, and values each member brings to the situation.

An example of the usefulness of the nursing process, as process in technology use is the documentation of the nursing process in the computerized healthcare record. Information technology has enabled healthcare organizations to function as incorporated healthcare delivery networks, improve quality, and become socially and environmentally responsive (Davenport, Jarvenpaa, & Beers, 1996; Tapscott & Caston, 1993). Nursing data must be included in computerized information systems in organizations or the nurse’s documentation becomes invisible.

The nursing process is much broader than “steps,” the nursing process is an international method to use the discipline’s body of knowledge organized in the structure of theory and nursing and nursing classifications. With emerging technology, and the integration of software applications, the ability to incorporate the nursing process and other health care information into a digital system has become a reality. As technology advances, incorporation of decision support systems also advances. The use of expert systems and decision support systems further the ability for technology to engage in decision making.

The role of expert system in nursing care and medicine Expert systems in medicine are computer programs that make human based decisions by copying the judgments and behavior of humans, based on knowledge and experience from previous diagnosis and investigation derived from treatment and long-term care of patients with similar conditions as the present. That is why expert system is referred to as knowledge- base information system. The expert system is an artificial intelligent branch of computer generated thought with a very narrow focus.

It is used in health care because the system functions very well with specific activities or problems and a discrete database of digitalized facts, rules, cases and models. Using patient data, its incorporated knowledge base, its inference engine, and the expert system can derive specific advice related to the case being treated. Expert systems basically act as if a Doctor or Nurse would, when they make a decision on courses of treatment. Diagnosing, predicting, interpreting and instructing are four interactive roles that form the activities of the expert system. The use of decision aids and decision support systems

Decision support systems usually have numerous functions when used in hospital or healthcare settings. They are mostly used in specific decision-making activities. Decision support system relies on computer hardware, software and information for effective function. They can be used as knowledge-based and also as non- knowledge -base. One of its functions is administrative, in which they help in documentation of clinical information, decide whether a procedure is appropriate for treating a certain condition, and decide if a referral is necessary, to whom or where, and make follow-ups on the referrals.

They help in keeping patients on protocol in situations like chemotherapy treatment or just research. Decision support systems also help in tracking orders whether medical or external shipments. They are very efficient in avoiding mistakes such as scheduling unnecessary tests. Most importantly, Decision support systems help in making the right diagnosis, providing different treatment options and suggesting the better option, and help look after the patients and hospital population as a whole.

Decision aids are mostly used in helping the patient or care-giver decide which treatment is best for the condition being considered. Decision aids can also be used in referrals of patient to nurse call-centers or patient education services available. In the future decision support system will incorporate four criteria; robustness, ease of control, simplicity, and completeness of relevant detail. Reusability will be proficient through some type of software or hardware framework in compliance to Alter’s model, enabling companies to take benefit of basic, generalized models common to a range of scenarios.

The history of Decision Support Systems is a short one, making it easy to map out the steps and growth of this relatively new concept. Even small improvements to current systems will enable all companies to make improved decisions about the marketing of products, which will in the long run aid the economy as a whole by placing in it only the most desirable and successful products. A framework that represents the backbone of decision support system will enable companies that would not normally work together on marketing concepts to bring together their efforts.

The core system will progress to one that will in real meaning constantly learn from past practice. The uses of technology for patient and client management Technology for patient and client management is changing the health care system daily. Informatics is a specialized computer science used to manage information technology. Most healthcare settings have IT departments, yet nurses need to be able to use and retrieve valuable patient information to give patient care. Electronic medical records, also known as EMR, are the most recent and largest application of technology in the health care field.

The use of EMR allows for documentation and a more cohesive interdisciplinary care plan for the patient. Another popular trend in healthcare is to have an integrated EMR with other aspects of patient care including patient appointments, assessments, billing and personal information, and other outpatient tests. Within this integrated patient record, a computer can keep documentation of many areas of a patients care; can provide easy access to the records from any place to any medical personnel.

Technology such as this decreases the gaps in medical care; the time spent on documentation, and reduces medical errors. This in turn saves money for health care providers. Another form of technology that is used in patient care is the internet. It can be used for retrieval of data for patient education. The internet can be used to search multiple sources of information with efficiency. The biggest concern with the use of the internet is that the electronic source must be evaluated for credibility and reliability.

The internet is allows for quick communication amount healthcare professionals to enhance collaboration and coordination of care (Englebardt & Nelson, 2002). An analysis of the effect of technology on health care and health status The medical care field is allowing expanding technology of the twenty-first century to be integrated into patient care. Technology has allowed surgical procedures to be simplified, patients recover quicker, and fewer complications occur. This also decreases the length of stay for a patient and therefore decreases medical costs.

Technology has also made it possible for a patient’s medical history to be all in one spot, accessible for all members of the health care team, and from any area of the world. The use of technology advances have resulted in better health care delivery and patient outcomes. As health care organizations integrate ethnology into their daily practices, they are faced with many complexities. DIK models, health informatics systems, and decision support systems must be created to improve patient care, increase efficiency among health care staff, decrease costs or be cost-effective, and increase positive patient outcomes.

Decision making technology, such as decision support systems, must meet timelines, objectivity, have the ability to integrate with other software applications, have boundaries, and be able to prioritize information and gathered data. “The quantity and complexity of decisions faced by the health care executive demand standardized decision processes” (Englebardt & Nelson, 2002). Efforts to improve the quality and value of health care are increasingly emphasizing a critical role for the meaningful use of clinical decision support systems.

The use of health information technology (HIT), health information systems (HIS), electronic medical records (EMR), electronic health records (EHR), and Pyxsis systems are just a few computer software programs that integrate DSS to provide supportive tools to assist health care providers in clinical decisions. Conclusion Technology will continue to change. It is important for health care organizations to embrace these changes to better the delivery of medical care. As technology advances, the ability for health care consumers to gain a better understanding of their diagnosis and treatment options, such as the internet, also advances.

Patients are expecting faster service, use of the best technology, and are choosing health care facilities based on how advanced technologically the facility is. The decision support technologies will assist the physician’s and other medical staff to be able to provide faster responses and increase patient satisfaction.