Institute of Medicine: Health Information Technology

Knowledge Gap and Barriers

The committee observed the existence of a gap between the information technology (IT) and the level of operations that it can conduct. The major limits facing IT in healthcare provision is the skills in health officers to use the technology, the efficiency, and effectiveness of any IT software used in a health facility. The main factor to be considered in all these instances is the probability of committing an error, which will be hazardous to the patients and the hospital facility (Institute of Medicine, 2011).

Besides the ease of use, accuracy, efficiency, and effectiveness of the system, the system should be designed to be secure so as to prevent data theft by a person intending to use it for money laundering and so on (Bezuidenhout, Muller & Jooste, 2011). Some of the recommendations suggested by the Institute of Medicine are discussed hereafter.

Integration of Users and the Technology

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) proposes that for a system to be effective with minimal chances of error, the system should be integrated into such as a way that the system and the staff are in a corporation (Institute of Medicine, 2011). That is, the staff approves the systems results before they are implemented. The system should be taken through a series of test to determine its level of accuracy. Even after such tests, the system cannot be proved 100% error free but its results must be discussed first (Coiera, Westbrook & Callen, 2007).

Safety and liability in sharing information

IOM proposes that an effective healthcare IT product should be able to allow a free sharing of health information between trusted parties in a safe way and protect the users from bearing the burden of liabilities in case anything goes wrong with the system. Health data theft is a phenomenon witnessed in the health sector especially with the use of IT. The patient information must be protected through data encryption and other methods (Linnhoff-Popien, Schneider & Zaddach, 2017).

Safety in gathering and analyzing health information

According to IOM, a body should be formed that reviews the safe use of IT and the use of IT in health to enhance safety. These are two components addressed herein; safe use and achievement of safety (Institute of Medicine, 2011). This proposition lays emphasis on the security of the client’s information as they use the IT interface and the use of the IT interface to ensure that the user’s health information is safe. These can be achieved through education of the users and the enhancement of security level within the IT interface. This will guarantee proper information use and protection (McDaniel, 2009)

Comparative User Experiences

This proposition recommends that users be given a platform to share their experience with a particular health IT system (Institute of Medicine, 2011). Such an arrangement will enable the users to share their experience with the system, improve their ability as they learn from others.

Transparency and Accountability

An efficient system should be transparent and accountable. The IT software or interface that is used cannot achieve this except by human instrumentalities. The users, therefore, should exercise integrity in the use of the system (Institute of Medicine, 2011).

Reporting of Patient Safety Incidence

MOI recommends that patient safety incidences be reported accurately and in time (Institute of Medicine, 2011). The details must be accurate in term of safety, deaths, and injuries and so on that arise from the use of a health IT system used in diagnosis and prescription (Institute of Medicine, 2011). Such information will be beneficial in judging the effectiveness of the system.

Congress Team

IOM recommends the establishment of a separate body by the Congress that will pursue the duty of reviewing the health care systems IT to ensure that operations are conducted in a transparent manner (Institute of Medicine, 2011). This external audit will be more beneficial more so by ensuring that the operators of the IT do not use it carelessly or for their personal gain and unearth new suggestions on how to improve the system (Diggs-Brown, 2011).

Cooperation with the Private Sector

There are also healthcare service providers in the private sector engaging in the collection of useful healthcare information in their databases. A sharing of this information among the private and private sectors will improve the quality of health care services and freedom of the patients in choosing where to access their health service. This arrangement will be in accordance with the 1997 white paper, which requires health care providers to publicly declare what they are doing in providing health services to minimize disparities in health services (Ingleby & Oliver, 2008).

Annual IT Report

The committee recommends that serious steps be taken against the private sector in their loose treatment of patients’ health information and a lack of substantive action on the same. The committee further requests FDA to conduct a follow up on health service providers to ensure that they submit a yearly report of their IT systems (Institute of Medicine, 2011). This kind of follow up and the requirement for an annual report will enhance accountability and responsibility on the part of service providers.

Reporting by Users

Users of any IT related healthcare service are required to report on their experience with the respective IT system they are using although it is not mandatory (Institute of Medicine, 2011). This will enable the review of the system and the necessary modifications.


Bezuidenhout, M. C., Muller, M. E., & Jooste, K. (2011). Healthcare service management. Juta and Company Ltd.

Coiera, E., Westbrook, J. I., & Callen, J. L. (2007). Information Technology in Health Care 2007: Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Information Technology in Health Care–Socio-technical Approaches. IOS Press.

Diggs-Brown, B. (2011). Cengage advantage books: Strategic public relations: An audience-focused approach. Cengage Learning.

Ingleby, E., & Oliver, G. (2008). Applied social science for early years. Learning Matters.

Institute of medicine. (2011). Health IT and Patient Safety Building Safer Systems for Better Care. Retrieved from

Linnhoff-Popien, C., Schneider, R., & Zaddach, M. (Eds.). (2017). Digital Marketplaces Unleashed. Springer.

McDaniel, J. G. (Ed.). (2009). Advances in information technology and communication in health (Vol. 143). IoS Press.

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