ICU is the abbreviation of intensive care units, which can stabilize patients’ vital functions and set the stage for healing and allow them to improve. The eICU is a program that provides remote surveillance monitoring of patients in the ICUs at different hospitals. eICU utilizes cameras, monitors, and mics, and speakers in each patient room that allows the healthcare team to have a bidirectional communication with the staff, the family, and the patient who are in the ICUs. Both ICU and eICU are designed to improve the quality of health care services, while ICU is used to directly affect the patients’ conditions, eICU affect the patients indirectly by providing more communications between health care staffs and patients.7
2. What is the historical relationship between HL7 and FHIR? (~200 words, 0.2 points)
HL7 standard is the international standards for healthcare messaging, which was created in 1987.2 Medical personnels use that standard in their communications with the hospitals they serve to automate healthcare data sharing and improve patient care.1 Due to the complexity of HL7, there is a need to build a new standard to automate healthcare data sharing and improve patient care. The new standard is FHIR, Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources. It can leverage existing logical and theoretical models to provide a consistent, easy to implement, and rigorous mechanism for exchanging data between healthcare applications. FHIR was built on previous data format standards from HL7.1 It can satisfy the needs covered by all of the previous primary HL7 interoperability standards. In many cases, it also provide additional benefits in terms of ease of interoperability. Therefore, the possibility exists that FHIR could gradually replace some or all of these standards. However, it is unclear how rapidly the market will make such a migration.3 It is more possible that most of these standards will exist in parallel for a long time. HL7 has committed to ongoing maintenance of existing standards for as long as the HL7 membership requires.3
3. How does the uninsured impact healthcare costs? What are 3 chronic diseases that contribute to driving those costs? (~250 words, 0.3 points)
Since insured and uninsured people who are injured or newly diagnosed with a chronic condition receive similar plans for follow-up care from their physician. People without health coverage are less likely to get all the recommended services when compared to those insured people. Finally, because the uninsured people are less likely to have regular medical treatment, they are more likely to end up with bad health for avoidable health problems and have to pay more for hospitalization. When hospitalized, uninsured people receive fewer services and have higher mortality rates than those with insurance. Therefore, the uninsured people is costly in a long term view.
In 2008, centers for disease control and prevention made a software called chronic disease calculator, which calculates the financial loss caused by different chronic diseases. In 2015, the third version is published. 5 According to the third version calculator, we can find Cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes are the three major chronic diseases for the financial loss. These chronic disease cause trillions dollars loss to United States each year. The other three major chronic diseases in US are asthma, depression and arthritis.
4. What is the role of health informatics and how can health information technology be utilized to lower costs and provide better care for patients? (~350 words, 0.4 points)
Health informatics are primarily to support new care and payment models. For the real applications of health informatics. First, the utilization of EHR, electronic health record, makes information available to authorized users. Therefore, the patients’ information can be shared by different health care providers. According to a national survey, 79% of providers report that with an EHR, their practice functions more efficiently, 82% report that sending prescriptions electronically (e-prescribing) saves time, 68% of providers see their EHR as an asset with recruiting physicians, 75% receive lab results faster, 70% report enhances in data confidentiality.5 Based on the statistics above, we can say EHR improve the performance a lot.
In addition, health informatics technology also bring some applications to provide better care for patients, such as opennotes. Opennotes is an app which can recorded all the interactions between doctors/nurses and patients. This app is quite useful because patients will not need to worry about missing some important guidances provided by doctors. There is another app called CareEvolution which can synchronize the data from different providers, which makes every medical person for the patients has a complete understanding of all medications take by the patients. More medical information for the patients will leads to more accurate treatment and less accident.
Health Information Exchange (HIE) is another important aspect to provide care for patients. Some possible applications include voice recognition for medical documentation, NLP to properly place voice narration into the traditional sections of a medical note and even the proper body system area of the review of systems, a key part of a medical note, Automatic encoding of free text notes into complex data standards such as SNOMED and ICD-10 and The further use of NLP to properly map voice narrative to the clinical concept graphs thus creating a basis for semantic interoperability. These applications can also improve patients’ diagnosing experience a lot.