Important technology terms to understand before implementing health IT

No matter what type of industry your work falls within, every successful business begins with a knowledgeable foundation. That being said, the health information technology industry has a technology-heavy foundation that allowed it to blossom into a successful alternative to paper in the medical world. For some medical professionals who have been in the business for a while, technology terms that come along with implementing electronic health records may seem like a new language. Before you decide to dive into the world of health information technology, it is important to understand the basic terminology to help you get a grasp on health information technology as a whole.

Here are a few basic health IT terms you should understand in the world of EHR implementation:

This term, according to the Texas Medical Association, defines the summarization of important points to document into an electronic health record.

Integration defines the process in which all elements in an information system can communicate and act as one, bringing all information together and providing easier and more efficient access.

Architecture in health IT defines the design of the outlets in which information will be transferred and distributed. According to the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy, architecture that is associated with computer technology comes up in three different areas. This includes:

  • Network architecture – The design of the communication system that allows your practice to access information with the help of the routers, wireless access points and more.
  • Computer architecture – The design of the computer system that sets the foundation for all systems for successful connection.
  • Software architecture – The design of the application system that provides interaction between programs for successful communication.

Coding classifies the categorizing between information in regard to medical diagnoses, procedures and miscellaneous information belonging to the patients within the practice.

Data and information are commonly used synonymously. It is the term used to define any type of information that is stored within your system, such as orders, payments and more. According to the source, everything written and read by a computer is considered data besides instructions in software programs.

Electronic Data Interchange
EDI is the term used to refer to the transfer of data from one computer to another.

This term is defined as the method that secures the computer from outside intruders looking to steal information. This lets the practice ensure absolute security when gathering information and loading into the database.

Health Information Exchange
HIE is the electronic movement of information from one organization to another, but only if it meets the national guidelines and operational standards, according to the American Medical Informatics Association.

Patient Portal
The patient portal is a secure website on the internet that allows patients 24-hour access to personal health information, as long as they have internet access.

This term defines the potential representation of how positive and steady the flow of business should go in your practice after implementing the use of health information technology.

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