When speaking of healthcare systems one envisages an information intensive industry within which reliable and timely information is essentially used in order to plan and monitor service provision. Health Information Systems represents a useful resource to make the process of delivering healthcare more effective and efficient.
Therefore, the article intends to provide a clearer image on the contents of a HIS.
As a part of the patient care process, a HIS collects data relevant to the parties involved. The data centralized by means of a health information system are used within many other systems for achieving numerous various purposes. Confidentiality and security safeguards have to be available principles when handling this information. Patient data and data from other facilities have to be combined and integrated into a whole, the result being used by several professional groups. Health information systems work on the basis of certain applications that process all this information so that many different organizations and professional groups can have access to it.
Here are the major concepts related to the system of health information. The first one is represented by health/medical informatics and telematics. The respective defines the field that deals with:
* the cognitive, information processing;
* communication tasks of medical practice, education;
* research including the information science and technology to sustain the respective tasks.
Medical informatics concerns itself with resources, devices and methods necessary for the optimization of acquisition, storage and retrieval. The tools used within this field are represented by computers, formal medical terminologies, clinical guidelines and systems of information and communication. Clinical and biomedical applications constitute the areas of the highest interest, the specialists seeking to integrate them among themselves or to more administrative-type health information system.
A second important aspect to be treated when discussing about a HIS is health information technology (HIT). It refers to the application of the information processing by means of both computer hardware and software in order to store, retrieve, share and make use of health care information, data and knowledge for communication and decision making.
Electronic medical record (EMR), electronic health record (EHR) and electronic patient record (EPR) are other three notions with tremendous importance relative to a health information system. The first one is a digital- format medical record used as a standard. The electronic health record denominates the medical record in digital format of an individual patient. The totality of electronic health records are coordinated, stored and retrieved within the EHR system with the help of computers.
The degree of personalization goes further with the electronic patient record that electronically stores health information about one individual uniquely identified by an identifier. ERP technology involves capturing, retrieving, transmitting and handling data specific to a patient, related to healthcare, which include clinical, administrative and biographical information.