Computers are used in hospitals to keep, maintain and retrieve patient records, to facilitate billing and to maintain an updated inventory of medical supplies. In addition, computers are used to store information about employees, record the admittance of patients, as well as to monitor their condition, administer some treatments and to track their release. This facilitates the efficiency and quality of healthcare, while greatly reducing the time spent in procuring medical services.
According to the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR), the use of technology in hospitals is lagging behind, as compared to other sectors of the economy. The monitoring of patient progress needs keen attention at all times. Unfortunately, doctors and nurses cannot manage this supervision without computers. Therefore, healthcare professionals rely heavily on technology for the day-to-day operation of hospitals. For example, computerized sensors are installed to monitor the pulse rate, breathing rate, temperature, blood pressure and blood oxygen levels of patients.
With the global shortage of medical personnel, computers help professionals to monitor the progress of several patients simultaneously. These sensors are programmed to give accurate yet timely feedback. The computers in turn process the information to effectively detect any challenges that the patient could be undergoing. The computers are fitted with electronic alarms to send distress calls to the personnel manning the equipment. There are even computers that remind patients and doctors to administer doses of medication.