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The greatest advantage of a HIS is by using the system for medications and order reconciliation. Moving away from paper charting makes orders easier to read, reducing errors. It also offers a safer, user friendly medication charting system that often times includes another safety check for the medication rights. The system will also provide point of care resources for the nurse. This can decrease wait time for the patient as the nurse can immediately assess IV medication compatibility, reference hold parameters on blood pressure medication, and see what PRN medications are available for the patient. Without a HIS these steps would take time, phone calls to pharmacy, and thorough paper chart review. Finally, a HIS provides one centralized and standardized system for charting assessments and vital signs, and trending those results to better treat the patient. The system may also have a feature to monitor trends among patient groups, looking at outcomes in the facility as a whole, enabling system wide initiatives to improve patient care. Ways QI Data Can Lead to Measurable Improvement Quality Improvement (QI) data can lead to measurable improvement in health care services and the health status of targeted patient groups in a couple different ways. First, QI data can be gathered to demonstrate the areas of health care services that are lacking. Using the data gathered, and knowing that is reliable, accurate, and timely, you can then pinpoint those areas in need of improvement and initiate an improvement project. As you make the changes that are
ADVANCED INFORMATION MANAGEMENT 6 determined to be needed, QI data can then demonstrate whether these changes made the positive improvements they were meant to make. It can also track the health status of certain patient groups, such as CHF patients, and provide measurable data regarding number of hospitalizations or average length of hospital stay. This data can then be used when developing treatment plans or researching new treatment options. One way this data is obtained is called data mining. Data mining is simply using technology to sort through data to find the information that is needed. It “focuses on producing a solution that generates useful forecasting” (Mastrian and McGonigle, p224). Knowledge development is the last stage of data mining, and it is the phase that applies patterns to new data to assess whether the desired outcome is achieved. This is usually done by following a decision tree. HITECH and HIPAA Security Standards and Regulations HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, is a law that provides every patient with the right of privacy regarding health information (Tan and Payton, 2010) . Two components of HIPAA that are most commonly referred to are the Privacy Rule and the Security Rule. The privacy rule allows for patients to place restrictions on the access of their information, the right to access their own records, the right to know who is accessing their records, and allows for them to request amendments to the data contained in the record. The