Computers and the Internet Play an Increasing Role in Hsc. Why?

Computers and the internet play an increasing role in health and social care.   In what ways can they help make care safer and better?   What problems can their use create?

Today’s society relies heavily on computer and internet use. Most major businesses and organisations such as hospitals, the government, the police force and airports use computers and the internet to assure an efficient, smooth running system. Within the role of health and social care the majority of care providers use computers and the internet.   Although the use of computers and the internet are widespread and generally make care safer and better, their usage it is not without problems.   This essay will explore some of the ways computers and the internet make care better and safer and the problems their use can create.  
Most care providers such as hospitals and GP surgeries use computers to store patient information and these are often linked by internet to other surgeries, laboratories and specialist units.   This facilitates increased efficiency and quicker referrals as well as sharing patient information with other care professionals. (Pyper et al, DATE (reader chapter 22) With unexpected hospital admissions, the hospital can access patient quickly as well as the full medical history.   Prior to the computer ‘boom’, hospitals relied on phone conversations, faxes or couriers, with the potential for important information to be missed, lost or forgotten.   The NHS Norfolk is now creating “Summary Care Records” which are electronic records to give health care staff faster and easier access to essential information to provide safe treatment in case of emergencies.   (NHS Leaflet) This is an example of how computers are used to help make care safer.   Technology allows information to be more complete and facilitates easy long term storage for a patient’s lifespan.   However, computers cannot prioritise.   A system relies on a person to think for it and to constantly update and prioritise records....