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Discharge Summary System
- The purpose of an electronic discharge summary system is to help clinicians to receive effective discharge summaries of all the information related to the patient. This system helps to organize the information on the patient and provide the summary necessary for inpatient and outpatient health care providers while saving time and guaranteeing reliability and appropriateness of the content (Electronic discharge summary systems, 2014). Hospitals need electronic discharge summary systems in order to improve the flow of discharge procedures. Electronic discharge summary systems contribute to improving the quality of the discharge procedure and security of transmission.
- The electronic discharge summary system generates electronic discharge summaries on the basis of certain implemented software.
- In order to generate summaries, actual data inputs are connected with the details of the patient’s admission and discharge. Physicians and nurses are responsible for entering the patient information in hospitals in order to guarantee the exchange of information between inpatient and outpatient health care providers.
- All the administrative information regarding the patient’s admission is collected and presented in the form of the electronic discharge summary to be transmitted to the community care provider (Electronic discharge summary systems, 2014). The result of the system’s work is an electronic discharge summary.
- The electronic discharge summary system often needs to interface with Electronic Health Records and personal medical devices. In order to guarantee the interoperability of electronic discharge summaries with the mentioned systems and devices, common standards and interfaces are used (Electronic discharge summary systems, 2014). It is important to focus on the alignment of the electronic discharge summary system and electronic prescribing systems, patient administration systems, and different applications for coding document files because of the necessity to provide complete information on the patient during the discharge procedure.
The Issue of Interoperability
- The term ‘interoperability’ means the ability to transfer certain information effectively to different systems and devices as well as the ability to guarantee the efficient use of the information presented in a uniform and standardized mode. From this point, interoperability of systems and devices guarantees the effective origination of the information, the transmission of the data, and the receipt of the information. In this context, it is important to distinguish between functional and semantic interoperability. Functional interoperability is associated with the ability to exchange information between systems because of shared protocols and adopted standards. Much attention is paid to the actual physical ability of the system to exchange the data. In contrast, semantic interoperability is associated with the systems’ abilities to share the ‘common meaning’ and use the exchanged information with the help of the same coding schemes (Hovenga, 2010, p. 157). Thus, the effective exchange of data is possible only if the principle of interoperability is addressed, and both functional and semantic interoperability matter because functional interoperability predicts the efficient share of the common meaning within and between systems.
- Systems can be discussed with references to the idea of ‘interoperability’ when data interfaces and data exchange standards are common because these standards guarantee the exchange and use of data. Data interfaces and data exchange standards and protocols should be compatible in order to provide communication with the help of systems. If the installed data interfaces and data exchange protocols are compatible, they enable the automatic exchange and codification of the data. Difficulties in exchanging the data occur when standards and protocols are different, and there is a case of incompatibility. For instance, while proposing the simultaneous use of Electronic Health Records and personal medical devices, hospitals should guarantee that they use the standard data interface or common data exchange standards in order to promote interoperability and avoid incompatibility. The focus on data standards is crucial for the idea of systems’ interoperability because only common standards can contribute to connecting systems effectively (Nugent, 2005, p. 134). Interoperability should be addressed at all levels, for instance, personal medical devices should have compatible data interfaces and data exchange standards with the Web services in order to code and use the data appropriately.
Such implemented systems as Patient Entertainment Systems and integrated multifunction devices can influence patient safety and patient care directly and significantly because of obvious changes in the performance of tasks by health workers. Patient safety is improved with references to the use of multifunction devices because patients have no need to wait in long queues when there is the necessity to receive the printed copy of records. When the multifunction device is integrated with the patient information system, the process is quick and easy, and it addresses the issue of urgency in hospitals.
From this point, the use of multifunction devices also improves the quality of patient care because physicians and nurses receive the opportunity to pay more attention to patients when their time and costs are saved with the help of the multifunction device (How printers can improve patient care, 2014). Patient Entertainment Systems also improves patient safety because of reducing the possibility of harms and injuries associated with patients’ movements in corridors while seeking for some entertainment.
The quality of the patient care can be improved because the patient’s experience changes, and he is encouraged to contribute to treatment (Hovenga, 2010, p. 24). Furthermore, such systems add to the idea of interactivity in patient care. Such basic patients’ needs as food ordering and interests in test results are addressed with the help of the system.
- “My Health Clinic At Home”: The Telehealth Project in Australia
- “My Health Clinic At Home” is a Telehealth project operated by Feros Care and funded by the Australian government as the pilot Telehealth program (Australia Government Department of Health: Telehealth, 2014). “My Health Clinic At Home” provides services in daily monitoring of the health of elderly and disabled persons as well as the well-being of persons with chronic illnesses. NBN provides the fiber-to-the-premise connection for measuring devices, touch-screen computers, a video camera, and Telehealth technology enabling patients and health care providers to contact with the help of exchanging health data, videoconferences, and telephone calls (Feros Care: Telehealth, 2014). Without leaving the home, patients receive the opportunity to measure their vital signs and transmit the results to the Telehealth Registered Nurses with the help of technologies. The results are discussed with the patient, and the necessary advice is provided.
- “My Health Clinic At Home” improves the access to healthcare because patients can receive adequate and immediate consultation without leaving their homes. Furthermore, patients receive the opportunity to effectively self-manage their health. The daily recording of the health status is important to control the progress of diseases in those persons who suffer from chronic diseases or who are disabled or have no ability to leave homes. Contacts with health care providers are regular and focused on the concrete problem (My Health Clinic At Home, 2012). In addition, “My Health Clinic At Home” provides free access to healthcare for residents of rural territories because they often have no opportunity to contact physicians regularly.
- “My Health Clinic At Home” also improves the clinicians’ healthcare practice because such approaches as video conferencing contribute to saving time and costs. Health care specialists receive daily recordings regarding the patients’ health status and can contact patients directly, without references to the issue of location. Medical workers state that they receive more opportunities to improve health care delivery in relation to aged and disabled persons (My Health Clinic At Home, 2012). Much attention should be paid to the improvement of the rehabilitation services with the help of video conferencing and providing effective instructional materials. Drug management is also improved because doctors can contact patients at any time and provide necessary prescriptions. Health care specialists can improve their coordination of chronic patients because of receiving the opportunity of daily health care management. Furthermore, the ability to use conferences and work in health teams contributes to improving the collaboration of clinicians.
- “My Health Clinic At Home” is based on conveying several types of health information. The first type is the transmission of recordings and the results of measuring the vital signs and the patient’s health status. Patients provide health care specialists with information on their blood pressure, oxygen levels, and levels of sugar in the blood. Focusing on this information, specialists of the project control patients’ diabetes, heart conditions, lung conditions, and hypertension (My Health Clinic At Home, 2012). The other type of information is the health information provided by doctors and nurses during video conferences and phone calls. Health care providers present important information in the form of conferences including several health team members and in the form of consultations. All the professional information is provided by the members of the health team assigned to control the certain patient’s health status.
Australia Government Department of Health: Telehealth. (2014). Web.
Electronic discharge summary systems. (2014). Web.
Feros Care: Telehealth. (2014). Web.
Hovenga, E. (2010). Health informatics: An overview. Melbourne: IOS Press.
How printers can improve patient care. (2014). Web.
My Health Clinic At Home. (2012). Web.
Nugent, C. (2005). Personalised Health Management Systems: The integration of innovative sensing, textile, information and communication technologies. Melbourne: IOS Press.