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The Yakima Regional Medical and Cardiac Center is a 214-bed facility that is found in Central Washington in the USA. The hospital provides a full complement of healthcare services to the residents of Yakima region. It is mainly known for its open-heart surgery, comprehensive robotics, advanced imaging, and neurosurgery services to the inpatients rehabilitation (Rau, 2012). The hospital is a Level I Cardiac and Level II Stroke center with inclusion of Level III trauma designations. It also undertakes pediatric and maternity services among others (Rau, 2012). The staff capacity is above 700 comprising both full and part-time employees.
The people of Yakima County in the USA have been the target of the Yakima Regional Medical Cardiac Center. The facility focuses on alleviating health-related issues including lifestyle diseases such as obesity and cardiac problems. Data provided by the Washington State Department of Health indicates that about 30 percent of the population living in Yakima is said to have lifestyle-related problems. Approximately 22 percent of the residents are below the poverty level (Mokadam et al., 2011).
Lifestyle diseases have been noted in both adults and children in the region. For example, obesity has been a major health problem in this region, especially amongst children. In fact, the Washington Department of Health (2011) reveals that 30 and 35 percent children who fall in the eighth and tenth graders are overweight and obese respectively. Other health facilities that offer services in conjunction with the Yakima Medical Regional Medical and Cardiac center include the Yakima Health District (YHD) among others. These health facilities are striving to provide medical services together with community-based education on healthcare with a view of promoting the prevention of diseases rather than treatment (Washington State Department of Health, 2011).
Emerging Role of Computerization
Technology in the current healthcare programs has laid emphasis on medical information systems to ensure that doctors and nurses are successfully supported to provide quality services whilst reducing expenditures and improving the health statuses of patients. In the case of the Yakima Regional Medical and Cardiac Center, the management has introduced computerized medical systems that are supported by the cloud computing technology (Wan et al., 2013).
The healthcare services are currently performed using programmed equipment such as telemedicine, electronic medical records, medical imaging, and automated patient management. The systems offer an array of Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) to the stakeholders during activities such as registration, billing, scheduling, and reimbursement of various payments (Wan et al., 2013). This state of affairs has been deemed to provide cost-effective and efficient healthcare services to the Yakima residents (Rostrom & Teng, 2010).
IT Security and Patient Privacy
Computerization has led to cloud technology that is highly provisioned for the improvement of security levels in the healthcare facilities. It can be effectively monitored to precise endpoints to ensure accuracy in areas such as billing, storage, and retrieval of patient information (Jacob et al., 2011). Security and patients’ privacy is currently a regulatory compliance issue in the healthcare systems. Matters about data movement across borders and ownership of such information have become critical. About 30 percent of the healthcare system in the USA is implementing various cloud technology models that heavily rely on emails and Microsoft Live Meeting.
The information available in the healthcare systems such as the electronic health records (EHR), diagnostic imaging, and the health analytics and information equipment of the Yakima Regional Medical and Cardiac Center is on the increase. Such storage mechanisms are deemed more secure, especially in ensuring patient privacy based on the sensitivity of the health information (Rostrom & Teng, 2010).
The hospital is striving to prevent the violation of patients’ confidentialities by imposing heavy fines and cost recoveries on the handlers of health information besides notifying the patients of the instances. The hospital has built a private cloud model technology where data resides on the patient’s data center. The organization also allows some degree of managing the patients’ privacy issues guided by the stipulated set of standards that govern the data center (Rostrom & Teng, 2010).
The health facility has significantly benefitted from the use of cloud technology in various ways. For instance, computerization has increased the access to resources that are difficult to be attained. The hospital has also deployed cloud technology security experts that provide the latest patches and software to the center with a view of promoting the protection of patient data (Rostrom & Teng, 2010). The physical access to the facility is also guarded by relevant policies and procedures that are in place to boost the overall security. The hospital computers are secured using encrypted passwords that are known by various trusted personnel to avoid any leakage of data in case the equipment are stolen from the facility. Cloud technology has also provided feasible solutions to the instances of information loss that can occur during the loading of documents and/or physical damages to the equipment (Jacob et al., 2011).
The analysis of the Yakima Regional Medical and Cardiac Center reveals that the embracement of e-healthcare models based on cloud computing is important due to the possibility of storing mass data and increased speed of retrieving patient information. Besides, such systems also enhance the security and sharing of information depending on the available resources. Therefore, the cloud computerization concept is effective in ensuring the security, efficiency, and fast delivery of information that ensures the delivery of quality healthcare services.
Jacob, N., Pillai, V., Nair, S., Harrell, D., Delhommer, R., Chen, B.,…Gopalan, S. (2011). Low-cost remote patient monitoring system based on reduced platform computer technology. Telemedicine and e-Health, 17(7), 536-545. Web.
Mokadam, N., Melford Jr, R., Maynard, C., Goss, J., Stewart, D., Reisman, M.,…Aldea, G. (2011). Prevalence and procedural outcomes of percutaneous coronary intervention and coronary artery bypass grafting in patients with diabetes and multivessel coronary artery disease. Journal of cardiac surgery, 26(1), 1-8. Web.
Rau, J. (2012). Medicare to penalize 2,211 hospitals for excess readmissions. Web.
Rostrom, T., & Teng, C. (2011). Secure communications for PACS in a cloud environment. Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, 2011(1), 8219-22. Web.
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Wan, J., Zou, C., Ullah, S., Lai, C., Zhou, M., & Wang, X. (2013). Cloud-enabled wireless body area networks for pervasive healthcare. Network, IEEE, 27(5), 56-61. Web.
Washington State Department of Health. (2011). Healthy Youth Survey. Web.