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For this case assignment, you will be supposing the role of lead person on technology review committee at a multi-facility regional hospital. Your committee has been tasked with evaluating the plausibility and possible selection of a new health information system that will enable the hospital to electronically collect and share patient medical history information among its various hospital centers and departments.

Currently, each hospital center maintains paper copies and files of patient records, which are separately managed and stored at each facility. Very few of the electronically based information system are integrated between the various centers and locations.

To add to the challenge, the CIO informs you that most of the members on the committee have very limited experience with information systems and databases. However, the CIO is aware that you are studying health informatics, so she has asked you to help familiarize the committee with fundamental concepts related to databases systems and relevant health information standards. Specifically, the CIO (and your professor) request that you prepare a two (full) page paper for presentation to the committee that provides a good overview of the following:

  • Fundamentals of database characteristics and structure.
  • Various types of medical data and information records relevant to this project.
  • The importance of uniform terminology, coding and standardization of the data.
  • Various information standards and organizations that may be applicable, and possibly required, for this project.
  • Remember, your committee is mostly comprised of clinicians and other healthcare practitioners. Accordingly, they don't have a great deal of technical knowledge related to information systems.

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