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Health IT Overview

written by: MandaSpring • edited by: Anurag Ghosh • updated: 12/9/2008

Health IT is another way technology is making health care better for both patients and doctors. Learn more about what IT is and how it can benefit you.

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    This is the Information Age. The Internet has made the distribution of all sorts of information an everyday thing. On a personal computer, you can learn about anything that interests you with the click of a mouse. Medical technology is being incorporated into the Information Age. It’s called Health IT (Information Technology) Personal Health Records (PHRs), and are becoming very popular with people who want to have an input into the management of their medical needs. Doctors and health care providers have access to Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) which can provide them with instant information when a patient needs their help.

    How Health IT Can Save Lives

    For most illnesses there can be a variety of possible treatments. Chemo therapy and radiation as well as surgery are the most common treatments for cancer patients, for example. Since some patients have allergies or bad reactions to different medications, Health IT can provide the necessary information for the patient to discuss other options with their doctor. Having access to your own information via PHRs can enable the patient to know what questions to ask and to understand the possibilities of success or failure with any given treatment. The EMRs can help a doctor to get information quickly so that the right treatment or emergency measures can begin.

    How Health IT Works

    Patients have access to their PHRs as easily as checking a weather report on their computer. When a question arises about their symptoms, they can look and see if it is related to any previous illnesses or conditions. Thus, allowing them to contact their doctor at the first sign of a recurrence. With the EMRs, the physicians can go through a patient’s medical history and make treatment decisions more quickly. Health IT can also assist with diagnosing a recurring problem or identifying a new one.

    Health IT Overview

    Modern technology and medicine are combining to create a data base in Health IT that makes it easier for both patients and doctors to manage the treatments, medications and options for all sorts of illnesses and conditions. Immediate access to all the pertinent information on a patient can mean the difference between life and death. For example, the EMRs can show the attending doctor in an emergency room what the patient is allergic to or what surgeries have been done in the past. Health IT can let a doctor know, for example, that the patient as already had their appendix removed, eliminating surgical mistakes!

    resource:

    http://www.kaiseredu.org/topics_im.asp?id=655&imID=1&parentID=70