Health IT: The Essential Tool for Care Providers

Topic: Health Tech
Words: 892 Pages: 3

Health care is the whole system consisting of health workers, patients, and electronic devices invented and embedded every year. Like every other structure, it needs to be developed and upgraded to work better with time. The HIMSS Davies Award applicants Robert P. Pierce and Brandi Ross studied the subject of how to redesign user interfaces to improve screening practices. Health care needs to be easy to get, understandable and comfortable for patients, as long as for medical workers.

The health care industry faces many calls, and as medical care providers create plans to develop the quality of care, they should be considered. As it is stated by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (2020), the occasions of “depression and suicide are increasing, and overdoses from opioids and other drugs and alcohol-related deaths continue to rise” (p. 10). That means that health care becomes more valuable with time, and everyone wants to make it more available and more manageable, especially health IT. While the annual cost growth of national health is about five percent a year, life expectancy went down for the first time in many years between 2016 and 2017 (The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, 2020). Many factors affect the need for changes in health care and IT. At the same time, new strategies and goals in the digital health system can create many opportunities. This way, health care can become person-centered, value-based, available, and secure. As it is shown in Figure 1 and Figure 2 depression screening results improved with this new program.

Depression screening
Figure 1. Depression screening and DRG depression screening with follow up (Pierce & Ross, 2021).

Health IT is an essential instrument for developing health care quality. Many different people worked on this project, including nurses, administrators, medical assistants, pharmacists, clinical informaticists, and other medical workers, like integration architects. The goals were to provide consistency, effectiveness, and facility, minimize cognitive load and make it natural and simple. However, the main goal was to enhance the delivery and experience of care. The interviews after implementation showed that “in some cases, medical staff had been completing extra and unnecessary screenings simply because of the uncertainty as to which screens were due” (Pierce & Ross, 2021). In fact, usability testing, in the end, showed a shortening of task time and error rate reduction. The rates of screening achieved improvements in every domain of annual screening. Studies show poor usability leads to a stressful and hostile work environment for nurses (Pierce & Ross, 2021). That is why all of the issues that happen in the medical field should be solved.

Figure 2. Medicare: depression screening with follow up (Pierce & Ross, 2021).

Firstly, every healthcare provider needs to ensure professional and safe care with the usage of IT technologies. They can do it by optimizing care using electronic clinical quality measure data or other different capabilities. As it is stated in an international survey, “nearly one-third of respondents noted problems with system usability” (Pierce & Ross, 2021). That is what Pierce and Ross (2021) used to enhance the quality of care. They redesigned user interface software using dark blue and yellow colors, making it simple and easy to understand. Pushing the button “screen now” medical workers see the menu of screening tools with a date of prior screening on the left. Furthermore, they provided a «smart zone alert» button to track positive screenings and launch intervention documentation. Secondly, healthcare can and should be transparent and affordable for regular customers. That makes the quality of health care even more high-class. Consumers need to be educated about price and quality information to make that possible. However, if medical workers have problems with their workplaces and the systems they use, they will not be able to help people properly.

The paperwork and other formal work can take away medical workers’ attention from patients and burn them out. Healthcare providers can track the health IT innovations to upgrade their systems and relieve medical workers from administrative work. However, scientists say that there is an issue with technology accessibility. Although the United States reached massive accomplishments in this area, there are still people who have problems with access to technology. Moreover, even when patients get access to “health information electronically, they may not understand what that information means” (The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, 2020, p. 12). This is a considerable challenge for the healthcare industry because, over the years, people are expected to take more critical roles in their health lives. Health IT should be used to provide effective administration and control of the workforce and resources. That is what Pierce and Ross suggested and used in their work. They implemented deep accountability but made it look easy for workers’ comfort. That makes every aspect of providing medical care better, faster, and more organized.

Although many people underestimate its power, health care is vital for every society. Health IT should be the primary tool for providers to improve their work and communication, especially in the modern world. The HIMSS Davies Award applicants Robert Pierce and Brandi Ross made a drastic and deep investigation. Health care needs to be redesigned to become more understandable and accessible and make medical workplaces easier. Digital health reimagination is a huge step in providing high-quality service and team building.


The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. (2020). 2020-2025 Federal health IT strategic plan. Health IT. Web.

Pierce, R. P., & Ross, B. (2021). Usability redesign improves annual screening rates in an ambulatory setting case study. HIMSS. Web.

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