Impact of Technology on Healthcare Services Essay (Critical Writing)

Introduction

This is a position paper based on the given topic. It contains the author’s opinion on the impact of technology on healthcare services. The paper also discusses how technology has changed the education and labor requirements for the healthcare sector.

Health care is among the sectors that lack sufficiency pertaining to adoption of technology and its utility. The turbulent healthcare market has been inundated by increased patient demands, declining margins, constant revisions of the current laws and restrictive laws.

The healthcare sector is increasingly viewing IT as a basic asset in the provision of decision support and health related services, as well as managing the increasing costs of health care. Advancement in technology has influenced the manufacture, distribution, and even administration of healthcare equipments and medicine.

The medical world is now full of machines and bioengineered equipments that require a certain degree of technological proficiency to operate. Moreover, technology has also empowered customers to seek and access their healthcare rights and information. Customers can now use current technology to assess the credentials of medical practitioners.

Negligence and errors in medical treatment that were witnessed before the inception of modern technology have reduced. With this hint in mind, there is a need for research on the impact that technological advancement has had on healthcare. Besides, there is a call for further research on how such technological changes have altered healthcare education and labor requirements in the health sector.

The paper therefore provides a framework/plan for a case study final paper on this subject with four chapters each providing a detailed scrutiny of the issue under study. Primary sources such as statistical findings on the subject will be used in the research. Archival documents such as reports, government publications, responses, and reflections on the subject from different stakeholders will also be used.

Technology and the Cost of Health care

Technology has enabled healthcare professionals to treat critical diseases but at the same time the cost of such treatments has increased, making it out of reach for most of the patients. The concerned departments do provide subsidy for the costly technology but that too is for a limited period and only for select technologies.

The first chapter will involve a literature search on the impact of technological changes on the cost of health care. Owing to the adoption of new technological methods of treatment, the cost of healthcare has also risen in the past few years. In this chapter, the impact of technology on the healthcare financing will be evaluated using relevant literature, detailing the same.

Medical technology is expensive and hence today the cost of medicine and medical services has risen. Modern technology has also been credited with the current increased level of accuracy in medical treatment. Cannon (2000), in his literary work, provides details of the various ways that technology has aided in the compliance to medication for mental health patients.

Nagykaldi and Mold (2007) evaluated the role of health information technology on the translation of research into practice, and managed to capture some of the limitations, with cost being a major factor. Teich et al. (2000) also duplicated the findings, with their study showing that cost limits the adoption of basic medical technologies. According to Galas and Hood (2009), medical schools and other health institutions also find it expensive to adapt to new technologies.

Growth and development in the health care sector

This chapter will highlight some of the important milestones in the health sector in relation to health technology. Cannon and Allen (2000) state its usefulness in the medication compliance. However, with the increased medical technology development, the government has to do higher spending in the health sector (Bardhan & Thouin, 2012, 443).

The benefits of the spending will be weighed against the efficacy of the technology in this chapter. Chaudhry et al. (2006) evaluated the benefits over a ten-year period, with benefits being weighed against the costs of technology in healthcare.

The growth in the industry will be evaluated in terms of mechanization and in the solid facilities housing the machines. According to Haddad (2012), these have also seen significant developments. The study by Nagykaldi and Mold (2007) will be important in this chapter to highlight technological developments.

Impacts of the current technology on health education and labor requirements

Information technology can have a great impact on the variety of jobs and their necessity. As is understood, new technology needs appropriate knowledge. The healthcare employees who can adapt to the change will continue and those who can’t will be eliminated. New technology has even changed the approach of the patients. Patients now prefer to contact the doctors via emails.

This has reduced the regular visits by patients to healthcare centers. Obviously, this aspect has reduced the need of more healthcare employees. Cannon and Allen (2000) detail some of the changes in the industry, especially in the dispensing of drugs.

This chapter will deal with the relevance of technological advances in the health sector to the labor requirements and in health education. Modern technology and medical informatics are quickly taking over some of the traditional roles that were played by medical practitioners (Korzep, 2010, p. 354).

Despite the developments in the health technology, the medical practitioners remain the primary healthcare providers. Machines will not replace them any time soon. However, mechanization has led to the reduction in the number of personnel required to perform certain procedures as evidenced in some of the literary works to be reviewed (Nagykaldi & Mold, 2007; Haddad, 2012).

This will be discussed in this chapter in relation to the labor laws. Well-documented health records on computers are quickly replacing the period of bad handwriting of doctors (Dhillon, 2011, 397).

Sustainability of Health technology

There have been ongoing discussions on whether the investment done by healthcare centers on new technology is necessary and whether the new technology will be able to sustain itself. It is understood that initially, such new technologies might receive subsidies from charity organizations or the government. Sustenance in healthcare means that with time any particular machinery becomes self sufficient (doesn’t need any external aid or grant).

In this chapter, an evaluation of the sustainability of the existing health technology will be evaluated. Over time, smaller, better, and more sophisticated machines have always replaced most of the technological innovations in different fields. The health industry is no exception. Researchers are always looking for better interventions (Chaudhry et al., 2006).

In this section, a review of the likely changes will be done. Some of these are available in the recommendations of the researches that will be reviewed (Cannon and Allen, 2000; Haddad, 2012). In their research, Nagykaldi and Mold (2007) state that technology is dynamic and will change in line with the prevailing innovations. The sustainability of such changes and the existing technological milestones will therefore be reviewed in this section.

Counter arguments

It may be argued that while adoption of new technology has improved medical treatment, it has also increased the cost. Another drawback of new technology is the reduction in the job opportunities. The new technology also needs adequate training that again involves cost and time. Specialized personnel are required to handle such technology. A small mistake in handling such technology might be disastrous. So there are both pros and cons of technology.

Reference List

Bardhan, Indranil, and Mark Thouin.”Health information technology and its impact on the quality and cost of healthcare delivery.” Decision Support Systems 55, no. 2 (May 2013): 438-449.

Cannon, Dale and Allen Steveb. “Comparison of the effects of computer and manual reminders on compliance with a mental health clinical practice guideline.” Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association 7, no. 2 (May 2000):196-203.

Chaudhry, Basit, Wang Jerome, Wu Shinyi, Maglione Margaret, Mojica Walter, Roth Elizabeth, Morton Sally, and Shekelle Paul. “Systematic review: impact of health information technology on quality, efficiency and cost of medical care.” Annals of Internal Medicine 12, no.144 (June 2006): 742-753.

Dhillon, Sigh. “Medical Equipment Reliability: a review, analysis methods and improvement strategies.” International Journal of Reliability, Quality & Safety Engineering 18, no. 4 (June 2011): 391-403.

Galas, David, and Leroy Hood. “Systems Biology and Emerging Technologies Will Catalyze the Transition from Reactive Medicine to Predictive, Personalized, Preventive and Participatory (P4) Medicine.” Interdisciplinary Bio Central 1, no. 1 (March 2009): 1-4.

Haddad, Tamer. “The Applicability of Total Productive Maintenance for Healthcare Facilities: an Implementation Methodology.” International Journal of Business, Humanities and Technology 2, no. 2 (March 2012): 148.

Korzep, Karen. “The future of technology and the effect it may have on replacing human jobs.” Technology & Health Care 18, no. 4/5 (August 2010): 353-358.

Nagykaldi, Zsolt, and Mold James. “The role of health information technology in the translation of research into practice: An Oklahoma Physicians Resource/Research Network (OKPRN) study.” Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine 2, no. 2 (June 2007): 188-195.

Teich, Jonathan, Merchia Pankaj, Schmiz Jennifer, Kuperman Gilad, Spurr Cynthia, and Bates, David. “Effect of computerized physician order entry on prescribing practices.” Archives of Internal Medicine 1, no. 160 (June 2000): 2741-2747.

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