Medical Application of Database Management

by Jennifer R
The article talks about how database management was used to provide a solution for a medical practice seeking to update its technology usage, improve its efficiency and patient care. The author described the medical practice, consisting of 4 physicians and 55 workers, who for three decades did a majority of the communication via faxing and hand-carrying information. He goes on to point out the practice “lacked e-mail and an intranet, and had no system to centrally manage technology, data storage, or security.” A lot of the work  was done on paper and transcribed onto the computer. The solution was implemented by a consulting firm, itSynergy, who “established a Microsoft Windows Small Business Server-based network as a wide area network.” They also installed a server at each of the three offices that runs Microsoft Windows Server 2003 and Microsoft SQL Server 2005. The medical practice now uses gloEMR, a electronic medical records management software, to update and manage patient records. It cut down the cost of transcribing medical records and improved communication within the practice.

I found it surprising that there are still businesses and practices out there that don’t use electronic databases to manage their information. I know it can be costly for businesses to overhaul their old systems, especially if there are compatibility issues. There is also the cost of training personnel and maintenance, like we discussed in class. Despite this, there is a growing list of tasks that, once manually carried out, are now completed through electronic means. It makes me curious about the reasons some businesses are still reluctant to convert an electronic database.

 

 

Source: Cocanower, M. (2010) Going Digital Saves Medical Practice Money, Improves Patient Care. PCWorld. Retrieved May 6, 2012 from   http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/197951/going_digital_saves_medical_practice_money_improves_patient_care.html#tk.mod_stln

2 thoughts on “Medical Application of Database Management

  • May 6, 2012 at 9:56 pm
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    I think that people that haven’t switched to electronic databases is because of the lack of education for owners and managers. Switching costs may seem large at first because of all the hardware and software that is required to be created and managed in a Server Client infrastructure. But if you compare it with the amount of time and resources that you will save by switching, it is incomparable. As shocking as it sounds, I know a lot of medical offices that work manually, and they use the philosophy “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it”. I am sure that sooner or later these people will realize the importance of information technology, and will attempt to upgrade their overall business process.

  • May 12, 2012 at 7:17 pm
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    I think the costs have a lot to do with not upgrading, but the benefits are so much better. Just like the article mentions, it will speed processing of prescriptions and other tasks as well. I think this is something all medical institutions should consider as they will be able to service patients efficiently.

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