The development of the Integrated Health System (HIS) has necessitated the movement to install computer networking to the respective health units. This has resulted from the underlying critical situations that cannot be solved effectively unless there is a common and efficient computer network. Due to the fact that through the integrated health system many hospitals and individuals have been merged, there is a need to link communication and data sharing to curb the increased problems. These problems resulted from the need for different hospitals in various locations to access clinical information, facilitate referral, and share expertise and resources across all institutions. Geographical dispersion among the hospitals and facilities as a result of long distances has triggered the need for computer networking. A single patient may be attended to in different sites, and a single service provider could be working in several different settings (Anderson, 2000).
New referral relationships in a case where the new and unfamiliar relations replace old ones require more effort to ensure good and effective communication among the service providers. In the case of ambulatory care focus, there is increased complexity of patient information and documentation requirements, which are required instantly (Anderson, 2000). Clinical data like medications’ side effects for a patient also need to be transferred immediately to the required site. Without a proper link, this would not be possible. Patients on the other hand request information about their progress in the hospitals and after transfers to referral sites. Government regulations and managed care rules have necessitated the installation of computer networks in integrated health systems. The establishment of rules that govern and affect patient care, for instance, drug formularies, dosage, and restrictions on the use of diagnostic studies have necessitated computer networking. Lastly, for decision-making purposes, computer networking would be inevitable (Cruz-Correia et al., 2007).
Anderson, J. G. (2000). Computer-based ambulatory information systems: recent developments. The Journal of ambulatory care management, 23(2), 53-63.
Cruz-Correia, R. J., Vieira-Marques, P. M., Ferreira, A. M., Almeida, F. C., Wyatt, J. C., & Costa-Pereira, A. M. (2007). Reviewing the integration of patient data: how systems are evolving in practice to meet patient needs. BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making, 7(1), 14.