Following the brief discussion on telehealth and related activities, this lesson turns to preparation for telehealth engagements. Technology is the mode used for patient appointments, healthcare administration, and management of cases in the electronic health record (EHR)/clinical decision support systems (CDSS).
According to Merriam Webster Dictionary (2020), information technology (IT) is “the technology involving the development, maintenance, and use of computer systems, software, and networks for the processing and distribution of data.”
In the context of healthcare, this includes maintenance of electronic health records (EHR) and clinical decision support systems (CDSS), and technology used to communicate data. This communication medium includes mobile devices (tablets, smart phones, laptops), desktop computer systems, servers, applications, and networks (ONC).
Through innovation, healthcare can be facilitated in more ways than traditional methods. These innovative methods include e-prescribing, telemedicine visits, creating electronic records, and the use of radiologic images for diagnosis and treatment (ONC). Benefits of IT include the following:
For the initial set up, both the HCP and patient need a reliable Internet connection and a computer system (tablet, laptop, phone) with webcam/video card/speaker/microphone. For privacy, the patient should be in an area where they cannot be disturbed for the duration of the appointment. The HCP is required to ensure a secure Internet connection (encrypted), a software application approved for storing and revising personal health information (PHI), and an acceptable videoconferencing application. Other interfaces include electronic messaging through the EHR system and corporate email.
Authored by Cindy Ebner, MSN, RN, CPHRM, FASHRM and Tamika K. Williams, MSIT.CS, CISM, CISSP, CAP, SSCP, HCISPP, COBIT 5 Foundation/Implementation