Input processing or throughput and output are interrelated terms used to describe the process of converting data into information in an informatics system. There are several sources of input data in informatics systems. The first source is direct information collected by technological tools from the patient bodies. Information can also be fed into the informatics systems based on the doctor’s observation of the patient. Patients themselves give narration about their health status which are captured in health systems (Yusof, et al., 2008). External data source such as reports from other doctors and insurance company reports are also sources of input data. Input data in informatics systems can be like patient data being collected directly from them. The use of tools that are connected to the heart shows the heartbeat of the patient which is input data. Another source of input data for the patient is from the scanning devices. X-rays, ultrasound among other scanning devices capture patient details directly into the systems. Doctors are also other sources of input data; they give their expert observation about the patient after examination such details are stored in the electronic health records. Patients give their side of the story about their illness. Their details are also fed into informatics systems for processing. Insurance details are also part of patient record data such information is provided by the insurance agencies hence they are a source of information. There is sharing of data by physicians that the patient has consulted. Electronic file transfer of patient records from one physician to another makes it an input source.
This is the process where data are converted into a meaningful piece called information. It is from the information that physicians can be able to make a sound judgement and administer right treatment. Heartbeat pulse recorded in an informatics system is not meaningful until the patterns have been established. The body temperature of a patient is observed for a period of time in intervals and graphed to be able to understand how the patient’s body temperature is working. Data manipulation is done within the informatics systems under the instructions physicians or data analysts. There are health informatics officers who also offer support to physicians and other health officers in data processing. There are different levels of data processing. There is a processing of a single patient data and that of a group of patients to establish a given trend in medical diagnosis and treatment.
This is the end product of processor throughput where data and instructions were the main ingredients. Informatics systems can present information in different formats such as tables, graphical representation or text. It is also possible to output audio and video recordings.
Storage of data
There are many storage facilities for data between healthcare systems. The main storage facility of data is database systems which are either on the local hard drives within the local informatics systems or on servers connected to each device through an internal network called an intranet. Storage facilities can store raw data and processed data which is information. Data is entered into the informatics systems by the health officers. Data entry starts at the reception, to the physicians and other officers in different department such as finance. Some health facilities have specialized data entry tasks to data entry clerks.
Data integrity is where the value or status of information in the systems is not compromised. The information entered should present a true value or meaning of the current status of the patient (Hebda, Czar, & Mascara, 2006). Data entry and data manipulation can result in loss of data integrity. Field validation and autonomous processing are applied to ensure that there is integrity of data in informatics. Autonomous processing means that only one update and manipulation can be done on a given file and it must either complete or taken back to the initial status. Field validation ensures that what is supposed to be input in a given field is checked before submission. If the field is to hold a numeric character and the clerk inputs a symbol the system should be able to detect this as an error.
Hebda, T. L., Czar, P., & Mascara, C. M. (2006). Handbook of informatics for nurses & health care professionals.
Yusof, M. M., Papazafeiropoulou, A., Paul, R. J., & Stergioulas, L. K. (2008). Investigating evaluation frameworks for health information systems. International journal of medical informatics, 77 (6), 377-385.