The health services that are provided to the society are extremely important for a number of reasons. All the individuals and families living in that society depend on these services to a great deal. The services provided in this category all vary in nature and size. However each one is very important to the society and all the possible barriers which could slow down or make the services less efficient should be eliminated from the pictures (Microsoft,2006). For this, we need to be aware of the possible barriers that hinder effective health care services. This paper will outline the 3 possible barriers to services, planning, funding, or empowerment in the health care sector. Towards the end, it will outline certain applications of technology that may be helpful for organizations in the health service sector.
The first barrier which causes problems for any organization is poor information sharing. This will affect any group that has more than 2 people. Information is very valuable, especially the critical information within a hospital. People do not realize the importance of it because there is so much of it. In reality, having so much information is the problem because people fail to identify information that they should be aware of. As a result, the information does not reach the right people at the right time and this affects decision making, planning, funding, empowerment and every other aspects of the human service sector. In order to emphasize on the need for effective information sharing, fields like information management are coming up which help the people make better use of information. In our case of health care service sector, information systems can be made use of. Imagine a situation where a life and death decision has to be made by doctors but because the information was not available at the right time, the situation can turn out to be pretty ugly. These systems are basically softwares developed by companies like Microsoft that help organize the information better. The information does not get lost and can be retrieved at any time quickly. This will enable the information to be with the person who needs it at the right time. Imagine how much necessary information that the doctors and other health care officials have with them. This includes the patient’s records, vaccination and immunization etc. (Microsoft,2006). Microsoft and other software companies have developed various information systems that help manage hospital information better. These include databases like Microsoft Access or Oracle.
Another barrier that I will be discussing is providing good quality service at lower cost. This has been a problem for countries all over the world. The health care services are too expensive and if they are not, they quality only makes the patient worse. This is not just it. The more pressing problem is that the cost of medicine and services is constantly increasing which is worrying the general public and other institutions related to it. Newer technologies and contents that can be used while making medicine by pharmaceutical companies will help make the prices of medicine cheaper. The outdated methods of producing medicines and giving medical services should be changed to the latest technology. One solution for this problem is streamlining various health related process in order to make them all more efficient (Topline Tech,2008). Another way that technology can be used to make the services more efficient is by using a variety of softwares which make the doctor’s work more easy and efficient. An example of such software is the disease tracking softwares that help track a certain disease when the symptoms are inputted. Microsoft and various other software houses have developed such softwares in order to make the doctor’s work more easy and their predictions more accurate.
The third problem that occurs in health service sectors is fraud and illicit intervention in the hospital information records (Topline Tech, 2008). This can be done for a variety of reasons. Maybe the person intervening was paid to obtain the information or it could also be done for personal reasons. This practice results in lost, altered, or shared information that was supposed to be private. Hence it becomes a barrier to services in health care. Now the question remains, what can be done about this? There must be some kind of measure that is taken by hospital officials which will help avoid such a situation. Again, technology comes in and alleviates this problem. Different companies have developed firewalls and network security systems which allows only restricted people to access the information that is supposed to be private. The network is designed in such a way that the information cycle is as safe and protected as possible. Also this network will help in efficient transfer of information from one place to the other. The rest of the information which can be shared with the whole staff does not need to be protected by this firewall or network security.
In conclusion I would kike to emphasize on the point that technology has influenced all fields. Health care service sector is no different. There are many companies that develop softwares and equipment that ensures that good quality information is provided at low cost, information management and security of information. Hospitals must make sure that such technology is made use of so that all the possible barriers can be overcome. The 3 barriers mentioned above are just a few of the many possible ones. Hospital management staff must have knowledge about the latest technology that is being developed. This may be costly to obtain, but it will surely alleviate and overcome all the potential barriers. The hospital staff can use technology to predict all possible barriers that would come in the way and develop contingency plans accordingly. This will improve the service, planning, funding or empowerment of health care services.
Microsoft (2006) Health and Human Services technology solutions from Microsoft partners. Retrieved 15th September 2008 from Microsoft. Web site: http://www.microsoft.com/industry/government/solutions/hhspartners.mspx
Topline Tech (2008) Technology Solutions for Health and Human Services. Retrieved 15th September 2008 from Topline Tech. Web site: http://www.toplinetech.com/infosheets/human_services_solutions.pdf