Diagnostic texnologies

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Diagnostic texnologies

Diagnostic texnologies

A wide variety of technologies and tools are involved in the diagnostic process (see Figure 5-1), but the primary focus of the chapter is on health information technology (health IT) tools. Health IT covers a broad range of technologies used in health care, including electronic health records (EHRs), clinical decision support, patient engagement tools, computerized provider order entry, laboratory and medical imaging information systems, health information exchanges, and medical devices. Health IT plays key roles in various aspects of the diagnostic process: capturing information about a patient that informs the diagnostic process, including the clinical history and interview, physical exam, and diagnostic testing results; shaping a clinician's workflow and decision making in the diagnostic process; and facilitating information exchange.
If health IT products do not have these features, it may be difficult for users to effectively interact with the technology, contributing to workarounds (alternate pathways to achieve a particular functionality) or unsafe uses of the technology, as well as errors associated with the correct use of the technology. Although many of these risks apply to health care broadly, the committee concluded that health IT risks are particularly concerning for the diagnostic process. Poor design, poor implementation, and poor use of health IT can impede the diagnostic process at various junctures throughout the process. For instance, a confusing or cluttered user interface could contribute to errors in information integration and interpretation that result in diagnostic errors.
To ensure that health IT supports patients and health care professionals in the diagnostic process, collaboration between the federal government, the health IT industry, and users is warranted. The 2012 IOM report concluded that the safety of health IT is a shared responsibility and described the ways in which health IT vendors, users, governmental agencies, health care organizations, and others can collaborate to improve the safety of health IT. Users include a wide variety of clinicians (such as treating health care professionals, clinicians with diagnostic testing expertise, pharmacists, and others), as well as patients and their families (HIMSS, 2014). For example.
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