ICT is an essential component in today’s healthcare especially since it boosts interoperability among health practitioners by enabling a meaningful and seamless sharing of data across different healthcare functions. In general, interoperability is the ability to execute programs, communicate, and share data among several functional units in a way that does not necessarily require the user to have knowledge of the characteristics of those units. Usability, on the other hand, is the degree to which a product can be utilized by specific users to attain specified goals with satisfaction and effectiveness (Hebda and Czar, 2013). Consequently, usability and interoperability provide healthcare institutions with countless opportunities for developing and improving their Healthcare Information Systems functions and operations.
In my organization, for instance, usability and interoperability have been employed to facilitate transfer of information in re-entry at different points in the system’s emergency department, home care and inpatient. During re-entry at various emergency points, patients are usually handled by different physicians, for instance, from the ambulance to the ER. Through usability, all critical information is entered in to the system at every re-entry point of the patient. This enables the timely access of this data by every interested party at any point of treatment.
On the other hand, the implementation of usability and interoperability for meaningful transfer and sharing of data is also a popular solution to effective inpatient procedures (Hebda and Czar, 2013). It enables different practitioners and departments in the institution to easily access important medical information regarding a particular inpatient patient. By doing this, the chemist or laboratory staff will know the correct drugs or treatment to administer to the patient at any given time.
In addition, usability and interoperability are important for my organization’s homecare unit. Through interoperability, home care practitioners can easily access the patient’s information from the institution’s database. Besides, it is easy to share and immediately update information in case of any developments with the patient’s health. This information can also be accessed by other practitioners.
Conclusively, Interoperability is paramount in facilitating coordinated and connected healthcare, as well as enabling the seamless exchange of information among physicians and patients. Therefore, my organization should utilize these issues to improve the quality of healthcare.
- Hebda, T. & Czar, P. (2013). Handbook of Informatics for Nurses and Healthcare Professionals. Pearson Higher Ed.