Formal Versus Informal Standards
Change is a constant in the field of health care, and this continual evolution necessitates various means of classifying and representing the vast amount of health information that is being generated on a daily basis by and for providers and patients.
To prepare for this Application Assignment, reflect on the distinctions between ad hoc versus standard representations of health information and between formal versus informal standards that were discussed by the presenters in this week's course video: "An Overview of the Classification and Representation of Health Information". Then consider the following scenarios involving the classification and representation of health information:
A significant portion of the U.S. population receives health care coverage under the federal government's Medicare and Medicaid programs. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services dictates that health care providers and medical suppliers must use a predefined set of codes for reporting their provision of professional services, procedure, and supplies and for submitting their claims for reimbursement.
As part of an initiative to improve outcomes, a small community hospital wants to determine the typical allergic reactions to drugs that its patients are experiencing. It assigns a task force to review patient records from the past five years to identify instances of prior allergic reactions and to classify these instances.
At the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society's Annual Conference, which is heavily attended by health information professionals from provider organizations across the nation, a number of information technology vendors exhibit their latest electronic health record (EHR) applications. Subsequently, a majority of the health care provider organizations within a certain geographical area choose the same EHR system for the documentation and exchange of patient information.
A large regional health care delivery system consisting of five hospitals and 43 clinics is implementing a new computerized physician/provider order entry (CPOE) system mandated for use at all of its provider locations. The project team charged with overseeing the implementation creates a master list of drugs using their own numbering system; this proprietarily structured master list will be used by providers across the enterprise to enter drug orders into the CPOE system.
For each of the four scenarios, distinguish whether it is an ad hoc representation, a standard representation, an informal standard, or a formal standard.
To complete this Application Assignment, write a 2- to 3-page paper that identifies which distinction you believe each scenario to be an example of and that explains for each why you believe that to be the case.
In support of your reasoning for each of the four scenarios, provide at least one additional example of that type of distinction (ad hoc representation, standard representation, informal standard, or formal standard) that you have identified through a targeted literature review of this aspect of the classification and representation of health information.
Conclude your paper by explaining the purpose of standardized representations of health information and why this standardization is important to health information technology.