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Benchmark – Health Information Technology

Benchmark – Health Information Technology

Benchmark – Health Information Technology

The purpose of this assignment is to reflect on how technology assists with the management of health care data to improve services and outcomes. This is a reflective paper that is intended to be completed after you have successfully completed Tableau VLAB Activity 3.

In a 750–1,000 word reflective essay, discuss how health information technology assists with the management of health data. Include the following in your essay:

Describe the two online databases you worked with in VLab.
Describe how you utilized health information technologies, applications, tools, processes, and structures to manage health data.
Which specific analytics technologies are utilized most often by health care organizations?
Analyze and interpret the data from the Tableau VLab and explain how the data can be used to improve health care services and health-related outcomes and promote wellness among populations?
Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required.

This assignment uses a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.

You are required to submit this assignment to LopesWrite. Refer to the LopesWrite Technical Support articles for assistance.

Benchmark Information

This benchmark assignment assesses the following programmatic competencies:

MS Health Care Informatics

1.3: Apply knowledge of health information technology applications, tools, processes, and structures to manage health data.

2.1: Analyze and interpret health-related data for the purposes of improving health care services and health-related outcomes and promoting wellness among populations.

MS Nursing – Health Informatics

6.3: Apply knowledge of health information technology applications, tools, processes, and structures to manage health data.

6.5: Analyze and interpret health-related data for the purposes of improving health care services and health-related outcomes and promoting wellness among populations.
Benchmark – Health Information Technology


Benchmark – Health Information Technology

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Patient safety is a crucial element in healthcare. Different reports, such as the 1999 IOM’s report “To err is human,” advocate for adopting technologies in healthcare to minimize errors, enhance efficiency, improve clinical outcomes, facilitate care coordination, and transform the healthcare environment for the better. Health information technologies (HITs), which include computer software and hardware, help in the efficient management of healthcare data through storage, sharing, retrieval, tracking of data, and use of information to enhance knowledge and skills and aid in decision making (CDC-NCHS, 2020). There are numerous uses for HIT, which explains the accelerated development and adoption of the technologies in the health care sector due to the quality outcomes in patient care. This paper aims to utilize health data from two online databases, the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) and the Healthcare Cost and utilization project (HCUP), to elaborate on how they work to capitalize on health data and improve care outcomes.
HCUP is a collection of multiple healthcare databases with software and tools developed through a partnership between state data organizations, the federal government, and private data organizations to advance medical practice and outcomes. HCUP has been functional since 1988. HCUP has the most extensive collection of hospital care database in the United States, which is an excellent resource to support research on different elements of health care, including care costs, policy issues, nursing practice, quality health care, public health programs, and outcomes of existing practice in the various clinical settings (HCUP-US, 2020). The federal government funds HCUP through an agency of the U.S department of health, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Researchers at AHRQ’s Center for Delivery Organization and Markets provide technical assistance to the database. The various databases that cumulatively form HCUP include the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS), the State Inpatient Databases (SID), the Kids’ Inpatient Database (KID), and the Nationwide Emergency Department Sample (NEDS), State Emergency Department Databases (SEDD), and the State Ambulatory Surgery Databases (SASD) (HCUP-US, 2020). HCUP also has Tools and Software used in various contexts to manage health data; some include HCUPnet, the AHRQ Quality Indicators, and HCUP Fast Stats.
On the other hand, the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) is another Agency that uses statistical information to guide healthcare policies and actions. NCHS is also part of the U.S Department of Health and Human Services but under the jurisdiction of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) since 1987 (CDC-NCHS, 2020). NCHS uses data from different patient sources such as birth certificates, medical records, diet, physical health, interviews, and testing. The various data collection systems can broadly be categorized as vital records, population surveys, provider surveys, and historical surveys. Multiple sources provide crucial information about public health and factors that impact health. NCHS plays a significant role in identifying, monitoring, and addressing various health problems in the community.
NCHS and HCUP use data to inform research, which can be used for decision making and improving healthcare delivery. However, the platforms do not readily offer any data to the public as most of the data are intended for intramural use; hence only authorized personnel can access such data (CDC-NCHS, 2020). Data is only available to the public in terms of reports or restricted access to public release files. The data provided to the public is informative as it provides an overview of the collection activities, data findings and provides interpretations of the data and how it can improve health care. The platforms are resourceful since they also provide reference and additional information on where to find extra statistical information. With the current advancement in technology, one only requires a computerized device with access to the internet, such as a Smartphone or a tablet, to access statistical information from NCHS and HCUP. Such resources represent HITs, a broad term used to define applications, tools, processes, and structures inherent to recording, analyzing, and sharing patient health data.
Numerous analytics technologies are applied in health care settings and are essential in informing practice and streamlining health care. One of the most common systems that amass volumes of information in clinical settings is EHRs, which provide new avenues to enhance patient care through data analysis. Other technologies worth mentioning include real-time trackers/ alerts, cloud computing, machine learning, data visualization, predictive analytics, and telemedicine. Advancement in research and technology continue to discover new uses and technologies that can be applied in healthcare.
Using data from the Tableau VLab, I managed to collect from NCHS a tabular representation of an estimated number of fatal emergency department visits, and average and total lifetime costs, in the U.S, 2010. Data from the table can be used to inform healthcare in different ways, such as assessing which areas healthcare spends most and what resources can be saved. The data can also be used to assess the effectiveness of the treatment practices implemented. The last aspect is that policies and strategies can be developed to create awareness and education on self-care in treating open would care to avoid overstretching health care resources. Using the free HCUPnet online query system, I also managed to collect data inform of a tabular representation for hypertension with complications and secondary hypertension against payer methods for treatment services. Such data provides an insight into the people’s cardiovascular well-being and financial capabilities to access healthcare services for their problems. For example, from the table, one can note the number of uninsured persons is very high, despite being discharged, and considering how demanding cardiovascular illnesses can be, it is best to encourage victims to take cover and engage in healthy lifestyles to improve their quality of life and save on health care expenditure. Therefore from the above examples, it is easier to see how collected data can improve healthcare services, outcomes, and wellness among populations.

CDC-NCHS, 2020. CDC – NCHS – National Center For Health Statistics. [online] Available at: [Accessed 29 October 2020].
HCUP-US, 2020. HCUP-US Overview. [online] Available at: [Accessed 29 October 2020].

Benchmark – Health Information Technology

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