Overview of Healthcare
Healthcare encompasses a great deal of sub-sectors including pharmaceuticals, homecare, scientific research, and hospitals. However, whenever the word 'healthcare' is mentioned, the most notable images that jump to anyone's mind are hospitals. Hospitals are essentially microcosms of the healthcare system. Inside a typical hospital there are: pharmacies, patient care wards, emergency rooms, administrative services, laboratories, imaging services, geriatric wards, and many more. Thus, hospitals are an excellent representation of the healthcare system.
Healthcare is an essential service which none of us can live without. Therefore, it is imperative that the system remains healthy and efficient. Over the past decade, information systems have played a vital role in upgrading healthcare systems across the globe. What once was a primitive and tedious paper and blackboard system has slowly transformed into a digitalized system where paper and blackboards are merely a distant memory. Unfortunately, the healthcare systems across the globe are all different.
In the United States, the healthcare system is privately run whereas the Canadian system is publicly run, a fact which Canadians are extremely proud of. Because this system is publicly funded, the system is slowly deteriorating under three ballooning costs: hospitals, drugs, and physician services (Canadian Institute for Health Information, 2005). Both drugs and physicians are found within the confines of hospitals. This is where IT comes into play. Implementation of a variety of IT systems across a variety of departments and services within a hospital can help address and control these costs.
Our SWOT analysis of the Canadian Healthcare System indicates that the strength of the system is immense. It is a universal healthcare system which anyone can access. It also doesn't discriminate based on race or income level. Anyone that is a citizen is eligible for treatment. However, our system is...