Schools Training

The Role of Computers in Modern Hospitals

19 FEB 2013
Career Path : IT Training

Modern hospitals make heavy use of computers. From the personal computer at reception to the computers inside many pieces of medical equipment, a modern IT school or any reasonable healthcare courses have to step in to make sure medical professionals know how to correctly operate and maintain the computers that are part of a medical career.


The first computers were being integrated into hospitals starting in the sixties. These computers were in the form of giant machines that had little use other than mathematical calculation and data processing. Nonetheless, American researchers saw their value and they appeared in hospital research labs.


Today, computer use in hospitals has been linked to lower patient mortality rates. There are a number of reasons for that. Firstly, medical monitoring equipment usually features a computer and may be attached to a hospital-wide network, allowing for fast responses to a change in patient condition. Additionally, computers are used as a part of diagnostics, and increases in computational power leads to faster discovery, which means faster treatments. Beyond that, better records mean better follow up.


Despite the need to innovate, not all progress is fast. Because of budgets, well-funded or private hospitals are more likely to have the latest systems. Additionally, national regulations controlling the speed that a new discovery can be put into operation onto patients mean that many medical computers use out-dated operating systems. These have been well tested, and it’s no wonder that an IT school often includes backwards compatibility training, but age has some problems. Keeping medical machines free of viruses and malware is a challenge. Ancient operating systems may be reliable, but they’re often unsupported.


Thankfully, unauthorized software that gets onto machines is seldom targeted at the machines themselves. It’s the usual range of spyware and backdoor access systems targeted at regular users that jump from machine to machine when they are attached to the hospital network. Nonetheless, this is one of the challenges to a fully computer integrated medical facility.


On the other hand, healthcare courses usually make sure to give their students proper computer training, including computer security. For example, these days virtually every medical office assistant is a computer expert, when it comes to scheduling, filing and handling billing on a desktop computer. Hospitals still keep double records, both paper and electric, but electric records are almost always easier to access. Medical archivists also work extensively with both computers and paper hardcopy.


One final thing that has to be included in any healthcare worker’s training is what to do if computers fail. No machine is completely reliable. Doctors, nurses and support workers alike still learn coping techniques if they have to return to things the old fashioned way.



Visit Academy of Learning College for information on healthcare training and Information Technology courses.