Each and every one of us has visited a hospital either in need of medical attention or just to visit someone admitted in the hospital. One is always given a form to fill that contains personal details like the names and address of the patient seeking for medical care. Most of us do not take the initiative to find out why these details are required to be filled and left at the hospital. On a repeat visit, a patient is asked for their name again and their file is produced to be used by the doctor for continuous treatment. These records are kept in the hospital for years and can be requested for at a later time for reference purposes when one has a medical condition that calls for the patients prior records to be assessed. During a visit to the hospital, one is sees a doctor who then diagnoses the illness if any and the patient is given medicines to make them feel better.
Medicine is described by the United States National Library of Medicine as the complete science used in the diagnosis, following treatment and also prevention of diseases and other damages including mental, that damage the human body. Medicine is therefore a branch of science that deals with the treatment of diseases by the use of drugs and other nonsurgical means. An agent such as any drugs whose purpose is to treat disease is also referred to as medicine. Thus medicine refers to and encompasses both the science and the treatment of diseases.
The world has become a technology hub and everyone today is looking to become technologically savvy to fit into the ever changing and ever evolving modern world. Technology has made a big significant difference in the way that things in all areas are run contributing to making work easier and more accessible due to the onset of computers that are today used in the storage and processing of data. The medical world has not been left behind and it has also embraces the modern trend. The application and incorporation of information technology into the healthcare sector is what in essence is referred to as Medical Informatics. Basically it involves the overall understanding and the use of tools and skills in an effort to use and share information and apply the same in the delivery and promotion of healthcare services to the masses (Pabrai, 9). Medical informatics reflects the substantive contribution of both patients and the medical professionals in the use of healthcare data and other related data. The use of medical informatics has been traced back to have started in the 1950’s influenced by the continued increase in the use of computers as computation devises and was referred to them as medical computing or medical computer science and was widely used for dental projects at the National Bureau of Standards (Tan, 5)
Standards refer to the commonly used guidelines, rules, and conditions that are related to a particular process, in this case medicine, and the relevant management systems practices that regulate them. Data standards in medicine refer to a specified set of the most widely used data elements in the effective collection and storage of patient information and other relevant data to enable ease of access to more consistent and comparable data for use throughout all levels and sectors of medicine necessary to support improved doctor-patient interaction. Standards also include the collection and reporting of financial statements and statistical data from the daily operations of health organizations around the country. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Actwas enacted by the U.S. Congress and signed by the President. The HIPPA seeks to protect health insurance coverage previously accessed by workers and their families when they transition or lose their jobs. The Administrative Simplification of HIPAA’s provisions, requires the establishment of national standards for electronic health care transactions and national identifiers for providers, health insurance plans, and employers (Pabrai, 7)
The Administration Simplification provisions also provided for the security and privacy of healthcare data and set the standards tailored at improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the nation's health care system mainly by encouraging the widespread use of electronic data interchange in the U.S. health care system (Pabrai, 8)