Role of Medical Informatics in Tackling Contemporary Healthcare Issues
Professor Mukhtar AL-Hashimi
College of Business and Finance at Ahlia University – Kingdom of Bahrain
Today healthcare organizations recognize the impact of medical informatics as a driving force in improving the quality, efficiency and cost-effectiveness of healthcare for their delivery model and patients’ outcomes. This paper will elaborate on medical informatics experiences in Bahrain and their influence on medical practice and cost containment, as well as their contribution to national healthcare insurance in Bahrain.
The study highlights the theoretical and practical dimensions of the major medical informatics modules implemented in Bahrain. Amongst these modules are those connected to patient care administration; diagnostic services; logistical and financial; clinical and non-clinical; and physician orders and billing, designed to accommodate different insurance schemes and cost monitoring systems.
The system evolved around a patient centric model, integrating all types of patient data and leading to effective clinical outcomes while monitoring the healthcare cost for a given patient’s clinical episode. At the national level, cost monitoring and the establishment of local international standards of Diagnosis Related Group (DRG) information through the utilization of data mining techniques leads to better understanding of the disease trends, treatment probabilities and best medical practice, helping create a knowledge-based organization. Importantly, the pioneering experience of implementing an integrated medical information system and cost monitoring system has contributed to the reimbursement scheme and cost-effective healthcare delivery system in Bahrain, and become a major element in the formulation of the proposed compulsory healthcare insurance scheme as a strategic national project.
This study will contribute to the understanding of the medical informatics effort in Bahrain as an innovative solution to Bahrain’s contemporary healthcare challenges and issues.
Key words: Healthcare; medical informatics, Bahrain; innovation and technology; healthcare insurance; system.