For this Module you are required to complete the following tasks:
1. Describe what health informatics is. In this section be sure discuss: a. Who benefits from the use of health informatics?
b. How did it come into being?
c. How is it being used?
2. Identify the healthcare organization that will be the focus of the SLP.
3. Describe the current applications in use. In this area be sure to discuss: a. How old the current system is?
b. The organization’s subject matter expert
4. Discuss the patient demographics.
History of Health Informatics
What is health informatics? Health informatics is the use of computer technologies in healthcare to store, share, transmit and analyze clinical knowledge and data. With the modernization and advancement towards improving healthcare services, distribution, and development, health informatics is really about how we manage information in healthcare. Health Informatics Health Informatics is “the interdisciplinary study of the design, development, adoption and application of IT-based innovations in healthcare services delivery, management and planning.” (Procter, R. Dr. Editor, Health Informatics Journal, Edinburgh, United Kingdom). The advancement of computer technology in the 20th century greatly impacted the United States in the 1950’s and it was the breakthrough for modern medicine. With the advance in computer technology, physicians, graduate students, and computer specialists began working at several different locations to create diagnostic systems and other medical computer programs (Benefits of Health Information, 2011). With the use of computer technology, communication systems, and information and communication systems, healthcare organizations are now able to use this to provide innovative healthcare to the population.
Many organizations benefit from health informatics. Healthcare providers, physicians, nurses, and many other healthcare professionals can better understand and treat patients in a more efficient manner using computers and electronic media bases. There are advantages of using health informatics to include a more efficient delivery, cost and quality of healthcare, accurate treatment, the avoidance of duplicity of care, and the emergence of the electronic health record (EHR). Also, healthcare professionals can easily access and track a patient’s medical history that is then able to provide expedient, efficient healthcare. This could provide pertinent information to medical providers to accurately diagnose their patients and effectively provide proper treatment (Benefits of Health Information, 2011).
Being an active duty Navy Hospital Corpsman Chief Petty Officer, I’ve dealt with a healthcare delivery system called AHLTA (Armed Forces Health Longitudinal Technology Application) a few times in my career. AHLTA is the Department of Defense EHR. This application is used by physicians, nurses, medical clerks, to write patient notes, place orders, document any procedures, and patient results. AHLTA is the healthcare delivery system I will be focusing on for my SLP.
AHLTA is the healthcare delivery system that was designed to be used by military treatment facilities worldwide. This system is used by medical providers for any patient encounters. It is used for placing orders, treatment monitoring, access to results, access to patients chronological encounters, prescribing medications, as well as ordering consultations. This system standardizes medical and dental information and provides immediate availability to military healthcare providers worldwide.
AHLTA was initially referred to as CHCS II (Composite Health Care System) which was later changed to AHLTA in 2005. It was primarily developed because of the Presidential Directive issued in 1997 reinforcing the need for a centralized, longitudinal patient record for military personnel accessible across the DOD. This system has the ability to service worldwide medical and dental information across the DOD’s entire health care system. AHTLA is managed by the Defense Health Information System (DHIMS) which is a component of the Military Health System, Officer of the Chief Information Office.
AHLTA services over 9.2 million beneficiaries worldwide. The beneficiaries include active duty personnel, retirees, family members, DOD civilians, and veterans. In any given week, AHLTA supports 2.2 million prescriptions, 642,400 outpatient encounters, 102,900 dental procedures, 19,600 impatient admissions and 2,100 births (Hamilton, 2006). This system links the U.S. military’s 481 medical treatment facilities to include those forward deployed.
In conclusion, the field of informatics deals with the study of information; how it is collected, organized, stored, retrieved, transmitted and secured. Any system can provide insight into these areas including the human brain, manual filing methods, and computers. Health care institutions are beginning to make large-scale commitments to information systems and to services that will affect every aspect of their organization’s function. AHLTA is the DOD’s choice for a health care delivery system, the clinical documentation engine for military healthcare providers. There are many benefits of having healthcare informatics and the years ahead will only tell us what those benefits are.
Analysis of the Impact of AHLTA on Ambulatory Data Module. Hamilton, Cerise, 2006 Retrieved from
Benefits of Health Informatics for Patients. University of Illinois at Chicago. Retrieved from http:/www.healthinformatics.uic.edu/benefits-of-health-informatics-for-patients