The high demand for healthcare services coupled with staff shortages has made it necessary for healthcare systems to be integrated. The scarce resources in the healthcare sector mean that the available resources should be utilized in the most efficient way (Smith, 2007). Integrated healthcare systems are supposed to enhance the performance of healthcare systems and at the same time improve the quality of healthcare delivery. Integrated healthcare delivery promotes effective communication and information safety which are very critical in healthcare delivery (Smith, 2007). The need to manage the needs of a patient across different settings and healthcare providers requires an integrated system that can only be facilitated by a computer network (Carter, 2008). Integrated healthcare systems prevent duplication of roles and errors among the healthcare team and in the process enhance optimal care (Carter, 2008). This paper will highlight how the integration of healthcare systems has created an impetus for installing computer networks.
Integrated healthcare systems require an effective information management system that can only be facilitated by a computer network (Carter, 2008). Information exchange is a very critical aspect of an integrated healthcare system that has given rise to the installation of computer networks in healthcare facilities. It is also necessary to create a data network within the facility or at the regional level to simplify the process of accessing electronic records (Carter, 2008). Network interconnectivity is very important because it ensures cost-effective and quality healthcare delivery. Computer communication networks help in the improvement of clinical administrative services. Health information is very useful for those patients who can not access specialized personnel (Hammaker, 2010). Integrated healthcare systems require health-information services for consumers and general healthcare units which can only be facilitated by the installation of a computer network.
The computer networks in integrated healthcare systems require a technical support mechanism that can ensure that all sensitive healthcare information is protected (Hammaker, 2010). The data network infrastructure is an important element of an effective integrated healthcare system. Functional interconnection of health care is enhanced through computer networks that are installed within the facility. Functional interconnection of health care services ensures that all patients are attended to despite a shortage of healthcare specialists (Smith, 2007). The exchange of administrative and medical information without a computer network becomes very tedious and demanding without the required privacy. Integrated healthcare systems are meant to solve this problem by advocating for the installation of computer networks that ensure that the transfer and sharing of administrative and medical information are done in an efficient manner (Smith, 2007). Integrated healthcare systems have brought positive outcomes that are necessary for the required information flow. It is important to note that the implementation of healthcare systems can not be possible without the installation of computer networks (Carter, 2008).
In conclusion, integrated healthcare systems can not be fully implemented without the installation of computer networks. Many healthcare facilities around the world are adopting integrated healthcare systems because of the increasing need for efficient healthcare services by consumers (Carter, 2008). Computer networks facilitate the sharing of administrative and medical information by healthcare providers. Patients can access important medical information from the computer network within a healthcare facility without the help of nurses and other healthcare practitioners. Integrated healthcare systems ensure that there is no duplication of roles in healthcare facilities (Smith, 2007). A computer network infrastructure is very important when it comes to the effective implementation of an integrated healthcare system.
Carter, J. (2008). Electronic health records: A guide for clinicians and administrators. New York, NY: ACP Press.
Hammaker, D. (2010). Healthcare management and the law: Principles and applications. New York, NY: Cengage Learning.
Smith, A. (2007). Integrated healthcare information systems: Physician-based information systems. London: Lulu.com.