by Tyler K
This article takes on the rather daunting task of restructuring a hospital’s information management systems – the current system for the majority of American hospitals involves utilizing a clerk-based system, where medical history and health information has to be stored in a rather unstructured manner, with varying degrees of specificity in detail on each medical instance, differing even more on a patient-by patient basis. For instance, one patient might have a note attached to his medical history stating “smokes 2 cigarettes per day,” whereas another might have “smokes habitually,” each has a similar meaning, but what detail is stored? In addition, a hospital involves a few staff members dealing with multitudes of patients frequently, with very archaic means of storing information (think of any medical show, patient information is often still stored on a clipboard in the patient’s room), and very confusing structures for staff (since doctors are continually dealing with changing patient rosters). The article suggests using wearable RFID tags as well as photo-based technology to track patients and store information, and also introduces a method of storing patient-staff interactions better – where location-based interactions are logged (thus a doctor can just start working with patients instead of logging in and waiting to receive patient information) and instantly create new patients where necessary.
This topic is relevant to the material learned over the course of the week in that there are several segments on both Physical Design as well as implementation – possibly an implementation that could be facilitated via SQL. The article mentions how location-based interactions with a patient could automatically query the Hospital’s patient database and bring up all relevant information, formatting it into a useful context (all tasks that would require some sort of Structured Query). In addition, there is a segment discussing a topical overview/physical structure of the usage of the system, as well as an infrastructure overview – both topics with a degree of relevancy both to what we have already learned as well as what we might learn in the future.
Since several other students have written about the future of Information Systems and America’s medical system, it is clear that the ideas expressed in this article are certain to be utilized in the near future. As such, it may be prudent to read and learn about such implementation structures – as it is quite possible that we shall be translating theory into application in the near future.
Vecchia, G., Gallo, L., Eposito, M., & Coronato, A. (2011). An infrastructure for smart hospitals.Springer Science & Business Media, Retrieved from