Posts Tagged ‘Health Care Informatics Standards’

Why Standards?

May 1, 2013

We encounter standards everyday in our lives. From traffic lights, traffic signs, telephone key pads, keyboards, postal envelopes and paper sizes to the many areas of construction such as sizes of appliances, tools, wood, windows, and the list could go on. So, why are standards established? The term standard is defined as an established norm or requirement; it establishes uniform or technical criteria, methods, processes, and practices. Standards enhance the capability to improve production and decrease costs associated with creating the end product. By establishing standards this enables companies to increase workflows and efficiencies. When a customer or end user learns the rules or knows the standards, this allows them to become proficient and knowledgeable in the use of the tool or issue at hand. For instance, when a person drives to another state, the traffic signs and signals are the same or standardized across the nation. One does not need to re-learn traffic signs for every different place they drive. Established standards that are implemented and followed in health care environments increases the quality of care, workflow processes, saves the organization money, and ultimately improving patient safety and patient outcomes. Benefits and improvements affecting the delivery of care will be evident when standards are adopted internally by health care organizations, whether developed for the betterment of the organization or by regulatory agencies. Process improvements will be identified with the implementation of standards. Obtaining high quality data and information and maintaining the integrity of the data comes from using recognized standards. As the implementation of the electronic health record is an initiative and included in strategic plans in many health care organizations today, standards are necessary. Defining standards will assist in improving the extremely complex arena of health care data, information, and information management.

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