Health Informatics is the application of Information Technology (e.g. EHR) for communicating, accessing, retrieving, storing and exchanging Health information to enabled quality, efficiency and effectiveness in delivering care in a safely manner (USF, 2016). In the 21st century healthcare systems, information such as patient demographic, lab tests result, scans and images, video training (tele-medicine), audio messages, etc. are being recorded and exchanges between various healthcare providers and carers.
Using different terms, words or code for the same conditions or methods by different healthcare providers, to store, and exchange health information will make it difficult to access and retrieve the information at a later stage. This will lower information consistency and reliability. (Spyrou et al, 2002)
Formats for the transfer of the information needs to be specified. Data security and the avenues of communicating the information are all triggers for the calls of standards. Healthcare is recognise to be efficient and better if providers of healthcare are able to access, retrieve, read and understand the patient health records sent or exchange with other healthcare professionals anywhere. Standards specification are the keys to achieving this heterogeneous operations (Kern, 2009)
Standards in Healthcare are demanded to enhance efficiency and effectiveness in communicating shared and isolated medical or health information systems.(Sunyaev et al, 2008).
Consequences of Standards
Standards in products or systems help reduce errors and make healthcare services safer.
Standards enhance the exchange of Health information.
Standards can be easily amended and upgraded.
Standards reduce cost and expedite competition.
Standards enables the classification of information
Standards encourages universal terminology.
Standards helps specify boundary or constraint to health information that can be described
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Standards in health informatics*