Computerization in a Community Health Service Provider
Maccabi Health Services, Beer Sheba
As the second largest health service provider organization in Israel, we have been progressively computerized. The process was begun in 1988, focusing on improving administrative and financial processes.
Today there is a single centralized database for 6,000 users. The system monitors member eligibility, accounting procedures and clinical processes, including diagnoses, laboratory tests, imaging procedures and drug-prescribing. The potential of the computer for physician support is now being realized through integration of clinical guidelines and reminder systems into the computerized clinical record. In addition, the centralized database is used for quality improvement, facilitating cost-effective drug-prescribing and efficient use of technology.
The establishment of a computerized working environment for 2,000 physicians and 4,000 other healthcare workers serving 1.3 million patients is a unique model for the development of community health services. Data regarding demographics, disease patterns, drug-prescribing, use of new technology and costs are now readily available to all, from senior management to the individual physician in independent practice.
The computer revolution has also presented a new set of problems such patient-record confidentiality and the effect of the computer on the physician-patient encounter.