The concern of quality arises from the fact that mammoth number of claims has to be paid on account of repetitive procedures, medical and surgical errors and incompatibility between the diagnosed state and the medical procedure performed.This resulted in frequent deaths, disabilities or prolonged stay at hospitals and clinics. In order to improve the quality of healthcare delivery, IT can be used strategically in order to address this issue. With the help of IT, greater information exchange can be simulated as to the effectiveness of medical procedures and deciding upon treatment choices based on diagnosed states. Till date, physicians in the US healthcare delivery system have been using medical procedures on the basis of their own experience and judgment or as suggested by local norms. This leads to ineffective medical treatment resulting in medical errors. The second major challenge is the incompetency of medical professionals which actually arises from the above mentioned shortcoming. Absence of any information regarding latest medical advancements, effective treatment procedures and performance incentives has made professionals unwilling to work at their best. With the use of IT, second benefit which can be achieved is raising the skill set and competency of professionals. Financial and non-financial incentives can be generated through the use of IT to encourage them to adopt better and effective medical treatment and practices. While non-financial incentives could include high ratings and promotional opportunities, financial could involve bonuses and rewards.
Creating databases of professionals’ background, medical expertise and other details could help analyze the performance of individual physicians and better the quality of care by providing them extra and relevant skills. Ans 2. In the perspective of a community hospital, low rates of IT adoption emerge from the absence of a nation-wide health plan and policy which can deliver universal rules and bindings on all kinds of professionals and service providers operating within the US healthcare system. In case of small physician practice, the reasons behind low rates of adoption emerge from the scarcity of registered nurses and professionally incompetent physicians. They provide medical treatment based on local norms and their own judgment. Lack of any incentives also restricts them from going a step ahead and better the healthcare delivery system which finally results in low rates of IT adoption. Ans 3. Labor shortage at Page 5 (Bohmer & Knoop 2007) discusses an interesting characteristic of US healthcare system whereby the biggest economy in the world is facing shortage of healthcare professionals and registered nurses. The idea even speaks about overseas recruitment of nurses from India and other developing nations which actually show how incapable and inadequate the healthcare delivery system at US is. Another stark feature is the replacement of nurses by low-wage technicians by provider organizations in order to cut costs. This adds to the woes of US healthcare system where they are already facing shortage of nurses and this practice adds on pressure and compensation demand from the side of nurses. ‘What other countries have done’ on page 12 (Bohmer & Knoop 2007) further highlights the laggardness of US in adopting information systems for aligning its healthcare entities and making it more robust and advanced. Countries like Japan and Singapore which are so small in terms of size, GDP (Gross Domestic Product) and access to high end technology as compared to US are leapfrogging while US is still in its nascent stages of implementing a nation-wide health coverage. This demonstrates the handicap of US in managing its internal affairs and looking for competent professionals