Advanced Healthcare Information Management System


health information system (HIS) refers to a system designed to manage healthcare data. This includes systems that collect, store, manage and transmit a patient’s electronic medical record (EMR), a hospital’s operational management or a system supporting healthcare policy decisions

Health information systems are available to and accessed by healthcare professionals. These include those who deal directly with patients, clinicians, and public health officials. Healthcare professionals collect data and compile it to make health care decisions for individual patients, client groups, and the general public.

Healthcare facilities are continually searching for new ways to improve patient outcomes and create an efficient facility. Electronic records are transforming the way healthcare facilities operate by storing all patient records and tests centrally providing instant access for medical staff and improving doctor-patient interactions.

Health information systems include:

1. Electronic Medical Record (EMR) and Electronic Health Record (EHR)

EMR and EHR systems replace paper patient records. The medical information on each patient is collected and stored electronically. These records include patient health information, test results, doctor and specialist visits, healthcare treatments.

Many healthcare facilities use cloud-based storage for sensitive data for increased security. However, this may not be an option for Critical Access Hospitals who struggle with basic EHR systems.

2. Practice Management Software

Information systems assist healthcare facilities and personnel with the management of daily operations of the facility. This includes scheduling of patients and medical services billing. Regardless of their size from single practice doctors to huge multi-center hospitals, all healthcare providers utilize practice management systems. The goal is to automate administrative tasks carried out as part of doing business in the facility.

3. Master Patient Index (MPI)

The software of this healthcare information system connects patient records to more than one database. The MPI contains records for any patient registered at a healthcare organization. MPI creates an index on all the records for that patient. MPIs reduce duplicate patient records and avoid inaccurate patient information that could result in patient claim denials.

4. Patient Portals

This information system enables patients to peruse their health data. They can access appointment information, medications they may be receiving, and their lab results via the internet. Some patient portals also facilitate active communication with healthcare professionals, including physicians, pharmacists regarding their prescription refill requests, and scheduling of appointments.

5. Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM)

Also known as telehealth, RPM provides medical sensors that can transmit patient data to healthcare professionals.

RPM can monitor blood glucose levels and blood pressure. It is particularly helpful for patients with chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, or cardiac disease. Data collected and transmitted via RPM can be used by a healthcare professional or a healthcare team to detect medical events such as stroke or heart attack that require immediate and aggressive medical intervention. Data collected may be used as part of a research project or a health study.

RPM is a life-saving system for patients in remote areas who cannot access face-to-face health care.

6. Clinical Decision Support (CDS)

CDS analyzes data from clinical and administrative systems. The aim is to assist healthcare providers in making informed clinical decisions. Data available can provide information to medical professions who are preparing diagnoses or predicting medical conditions like drug interactions and reactions.

CDS tools filter information to assist healthcare professionals in caring for individual clients.

7. Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS)

LIMS software allows doctors and lab technicians to coordinate inpatient and outpatient tests for microbiology, hematology, chemistry, and immunology to obtain clinical data. A standard information system for a lab manages patient demographics, check-in information, specimen entry and processing, and results.

Characteristics of Healthcare Information Systems

A health information system (HIS) is designed to manage the data collected and stored in a healthcare facility. This includes physician practices, private and public clinics, as well as hospitals. These facilities collect, store, manage, and send patients’ electronic medical records.

Digital health systems improve patient treatment by having the most current patient data available. Patient data is highly sensitive, so any health information system used must ensure the accuracy of data collected and patient confidentiality.

Other uses of patient data besides individual client treatment include medical research, policy-making data, analyzing the revenue cycle, and decision-making information. Health information systems routinely access, process, or store large volumes of sensitive patient data. As a result, computer systems’ security is crucial.