Health Information And Technology
Discussion Board V
There seems to be quite a number of factors affecting our health care system right now. When it comes to behavioral health I think that all this news is positive news. With DSM-5 many mental disorders are now receiving more attention than they did before and patients in the civilian, active duty, and veteran systems are starting to receive better treatment. The onset of more advanced electronic record systems can be a huge boon to this changing environment. Patients can be flagged for potential intervention before a problem gets out of hand. This can be accomplished by EHR algorithms screening patients for certain health factors and alerting their primary care doctors via clinical reminders or alerts. We are already seeing improved care for drug and alcohol addiction and rehabilitation through improved data collection. Still, there is the main problem that most behavioral health data collection is free text and willingly provided by the patient. A health care provider cannot force a patient to answer these questions nor prove whether a patient is addicted to a certain substance or not and needs help. Despite these facts I feel that both healthcare providers and HIM staff will play key roles in this forward progress. As we see improved methods for data collection, analysis, and early detection of problems we will see a push for more of the same technology. Health care providers will become more personally involved and attempt to treat issues from the perspective of the patient instead of just checking the appropriate boxes. While workload and job opportunities will increase for medical professionals, patients will be the ones who ultimately benefit from these positive changes.