Technology has been increasingly been in demand in many businesses and people’s personal use drastically especially mobile technology. According to researchers, in 2009 about two out of three people worldwide owns a mobile phone. in high- income countries, there are more mobile phones than the current population while low-income countries, mobile technology is growing rapidly in demand (Free 2013). Mobile technology has been in use in many institutions especially in hospital administration. Mobile Technology has been increasingly been in use in many hospitals within the last few years. There have been many neat gadgets that are being used such as Mobile Internet Devices that are wireless, portable, and have sensors. There are also hospitals that use personal digital assistants, smart phones, enterprise digital assistants, portable media players, portable computers, and video-game consoles (Free 2013). These new technical devices are designed to make administration of the hospital run smoothly as these devices also help doctors and nurses.
There are many ways hospitals benefits from technology. According to Heron (2010), there is a technological gadget called ecological momentary intervention (EMI) that has helped patients when using the gadget by recovering medical or psychological problems, help patients quit smoking, help find and treat cancer, anxiety disorders, nutrition, and many other physical and mental problems. Mobile technology has been helpful and much more effective in certain areas of treating patients. Blake (2008) states patients who use mobile phone were 3.6 times more likely to quit smoking than patients who have handled the issue other ways. Mobile technology has been changing ways of how health administration handle their patients while helping doctors and nurse give treat to their patients.
This article is going to go over five disadvantages and five benefits that has helped hospitals to improve their services in hospitals in bothe public and private sector hospitals. There is going to be an explanation of the reasons why these five advantages and disadvantages are important to hospitals.
#5 Disadvantage: Digital Divide among Patients
Hospitals need to be accessible to all types of patients regardless of one’s socio-economic status. There are still individuals who do not have a smartphone or even a computer to contact through e-mails on updates on a faster pace. According to research of Hospitals and Health Networks (2009), hospitals with high percentage of poor patients that lag behind in developing digital technology than hospitals with low percentage of poor patients that it is difficult for administrators to change their system to become more digital. This issue of the digital divide could potentially lead to health care disparities.
#4 Disadvantage: Security Issues
On the internet, there is just about anyone who could be reading any documents that is being put on there. It is important for hospitals to respect and reserve their patients’ privacy. Adesina (2011) states that securing data over a mobile network is challenging that the medical information is not stored in a private software drive. Anyone could potentially tap the information of a mobile phone, especially with the Patriot Act, which could potentially turn into potential controversey. The Patriot Act is an act that allows the government to tap phone calls when there is suspicion of terrorism. If an individual accidentially get involved in an issue that could possibly relate to terrorism the government could easily look into your medical records or just about any information that an individual put on the internet. Also, there are certain individuals that could potentially take advantage of individuals who are sick that are technical savvy enough to tap into phone lines.
#3 Disadvantage: Lack of Information Control
There have been many complaints and concerns from hospitals that there are lack of control of how an individual could get access to certain information and who could potentially get a hold of other people’s information. According to Heron (2010), technology have gotten advanced to a point where anyone could possibly collect large amounts of information without people’s knowledge. This issue has lead to many concerns over confidentiality of one’s private information. Heron (2010) has stated that confidentiality information on mobile technology is limited by requiring passwords. Anyone can potentially tap into one’s phone on accident which could potentially lead to many problems.
#2 Disadvantage: Safety
Hospitals have to abide by laws to protect patients from giving their patient’s personal information to the wrong people. There are many ways people could potentially get access to one’s information if anyone in the hospital takes pictures, texting to other people about patient’s information, or any other individual could potentially tap into any hospital employee phone. If everyone has all their information on-line, if a computer system shutdown occurs on a hospital’s computer, it would be difficult for administrators to get a hold of the information needed for their doctors. If a computer system shutdown occurs it would be difficult for individuals to trust technology and to keep track of everything that has occured medically especially if the patient goes to the hospital consistently.
#1 Disadvantage: Privacy
The main issue with mobile technology is that it is challenging for health administrators to use mobile technology taht the hospital requires many privacy laws. Knox (2007) states that about 65% of companies are using software to block sites. However 35% of companies is a lot of companies that are not being strict on medical privacy which could lead to many problems for patients and their families. Patients may want their certain individuals in their lives like their boss to not know about their health conditions which could be a disadvantage on their jobs or family members that could take advantage of the information that the patient does not wish to share with. According to Avancha (2012), hospitals have strong regluations like the Health Insurance Portability Accountability Act (HIPAA) that requires confidentiality between patients and their doctors. HIPAA also emphasizes protecting personal health information from health care providers and requires to protect health information in electronic form ny protecting, monitoring, and controlling organizational access.
#5 Advantage: Increase Availability of Social Networks
Mobile technology helps doctors to have access to other doctors for a second opinion on their patients. Komnakos (2008) states that these gadgets also benefit doctors when working in different offices in different cities that are fairly far from each other. Doctors would use mobile technology to exchange information with patients and co-workers, exchange medical data, use voice/video/chat communication, and can procede with common workspace management. Mobile technology have helped doctors reach out to more people and help more patients in different locations.
#4 Advantage: Increase Independence for Patients
Mobile technology has helped improve patients’ independence by helping them improve their health condition. According to Heron (2010), EMI has helped patients by keeping track of their health conditions on a daily basis. This device has helped patients be accountable and not have to rely on doctors and nurses as much on their health conditions. Heron (2010) states that EMIs have provided patients information about symptoms and what changes patients need to do about their illness that is being diagnosed. the author mentions that EMIs provides information on barriers that keeps patients away from smoking and weight losss by demonstrating progress once the device is used daily. This is an amazing benefit for patients to have a device to keep track of one’s changes needed to be done to attain their personal health goals instead of visiting doctors, nurses, and/or nutritionists.
#3 Advantage: Reduce Costs
Mobile technology has made the cost of seeing a doctor or a nurse cheaper by having the patients’ time and energy to be at the hospital. According to Avancha (2012), patients could save money from driving to the hospital and waiting in line for a few hours when they can talk to their doctor over the phone for a few minutes. The patient could potentially save money on gas and time to complete other needed tasks. The hospital could save money on resources by having fewer patients in the hospital which would give workers more time to accomplish other tasks. The benefit of having paperwork electronically or to put hard copies of paperwork into a hard drive has reduce cost on paper and storage for health administrators.
#2 Advantage: Improve Efficiency of Health Services
Mobile technology has helped patients save money in many ways. Avancha (2012), states that mobile technology has created efficiency by getting patients to spend less time in hospitals or make fewere visits to their doctors. Patients can easily contact their doctors much more easily and efficiently when their doctors provide their personal information instead of going through the hospital’s phone directory. Instead of leaving phone calls to their receptionist, doctors can talk to their patients on the phone for a few minutes to following up if there isn’t a physical necesarily involved.
#1 Advantage: Improve Patients Health Condition
The main reason why mobile technology has been very popular to use in hospitals is because it has improved many patients lives. Avancha (2012) states that mobile technology has enable physicians to frequently keep track of their patients, improve quality of health care, and enable patients to take care of their health easily. Mobile technology has helped doctors to better service their patients in a timely manner. Heron (2010) states that EMI has helped treatment of many disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and social phobia. there are also many other diseases that mobile technology has occurred to improve the lives of individuals.
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Avancha, S., Baxi, A., & Kotz, D. (2012). Privacy in mobile technology for personal healthcare. ACM Computing Surveys, 45(1), 3:1-3:54. doi:10.1145/2379776.2379779
Blake, H. (2008). Innovation in practice: mobile phone technology in patient care. British Journal Of Community Nursing, 13 (4), 160-165.
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Heron, K.E., & Smyth, J.M. (2010). Ecological momentary interventions: incorporating mobile technology into psychosocial and health behaviour treatments. British Journal Of Health Psychology, 15(1), 1-39. doi:10.1348/135910709X466063
Komnakos, D., Vouyioukas, D., Maglogiannis, I., & Constantinou, P. (2008). Performance Evaluation of an Enhanced Uplink 3.5G System for Mobile Healthcare Applications.International Journal Of Telemedicine & Applications, 1-11. doi:10.1155/2008/417870