Information seeking behavior is the purposive seeking for information as a consequence of a need to satisfy some goal. In the course of seeking, the individual may interact with manual information systems or with computers based systems. The increase in information on the web has affected information-seeking behavior.
There are many sources that can affect or set the information-seeking behaviors of doctors. One of the things that affect doctors’ information-seeking behavior is the rapid growth of literature. The central job of doctors is to meet the needs of patients by drawing on the knowledge accumulated by medicine over 5000 years. Medicine, in modern jargon, is a knowledge-based business and experienced doctors use about two million pieces of information to manage their patients. Clinical information can be defined as “the commodity used to help make patient care decisions”. About a third of doctors’ time is spent recording and synthesizing information, and a third of the costs of a hospital are spent on personal and professional communication. Yet most of the information doctors use when seeing patients they keep in their heads in what has been called “a constantly expanding and reinterpreted database”. (BMJ 1996; 313:1062-8)
Unfortunately, some of the information in doctors’ heads is out of date and wrong, new information may not have penetrated, and the information may not have there to deal with patients with uncommon problems. These deficiencies have become more serious as the rate of change in medical knowledge has accelerated: the doubling time of the biomedical knowledge base is currently about 19 years, meaning that medical knowledge will increase fourfold during a professional lifetime. Inevitably, doctors cannot practice high-quality medicine without constantly updating the information within their heads and finding information to help them with particular patients. This realization has led to the development of medical informatics, which can be defined “as the development, use, and evaluation of information technology in health care”.
Those interested in medical informatics have tried to develop systems that will help doctors in their daily clinical practice by providing them with information. Very few of these systems have, however, been adopted, and most doctors continue to practice without them. One reason why these systems have failed to penetrate routine practice may be that they have been designed without any close study of the information needs of doctors. Medical informatics has been dominated by a concern with the technology and has developed solutions that have to search for problems. Now the time has come to understand the needs that the technology must meet, but there have been few studies of the information needs of doctors.
There is an adage which says that health is wealth. Health is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a state of complete physical, mental, social and spiritual well-being not mere absence of disease or infirmity. Health is a basic need that must be satisfied for any society to move forward. An unhealthy person cannot be happy and a country with many sick people loses man-hours with the result that productivity will be low. Health workers are professionals who play a vital role in maintaining a healthy population. They are trained medical professionals who are responsible for taking care of the patient and play a major role in the prevention of diseases. They are people who protect and improve the health of their communities. They engage in actions whose primary aim is to enhance health. The health workers include medical doctors, nurses, pharmacists, laboratory scientists, and community health officers. They perform the vital function of ensuring that people are well both mentally and physically. The health workers need health information in performing their official duties. They need continuous information so as to keep abreast of the recent development in the field of medicine. The society is dynamic, so there are rapid as an essential group of health workers. Doctors focus on health, promotes and prevention of illness.
The role of information seeking has always played a very significant part in all kinds of jobs performed by doctors, whether it is the treatment of a patient or overall management of the hospital. Information seeking is a process of searching, obtaining and using information for a purpose Vakkari (1999). The doctor’s collected information which takes the shape of their knowledge is not always adequate to answer all medical questions at the time of patient treatment Thompson (1997). It seems that most of the time doctors concentrate on their own knowledge which they acquired over the time period of years for making critical clinical decisions. Most of the clinical information doctors apply while examining the patients are acquired from their memory and unfortunately, some of it is out of date or wrong. Therefore, it is necessary for doctors to seek and keep abreast with the current clinical information to provide better patient care Smith (1996)
Health Information systems:
Health information is information about a patient’s medical condition of medical history that can be used to identify a patient.
The constitutions of the World Health Organization which came into force on April 7, 1948, defined health “as a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing.” The writers of the constitution were clearly aware of the tendency of seeing health as a state-dependent on the presence or absence of diseases; so they added to that definition that an individual if he is to be considered healthy, should not suffer from any disease (…” and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”)(1). In that way, the definition of the World Health Organization simply added a requirement to the previous position that allowed to declare someone healthy if o disease could be found the step forward that could have been taken in the conceptualization of health as a dimension of existence which can co-exist with the presence of a disease or impairment was thus not taken.
Health Information is the data related to a person’s medical history, including symptoms, diagnoses, procedures, and outcomes. Health Information records include patient histories, lab results, X-rays, clinical information and notes, A patients health information can be viewed individually, to see how a patient’s health has changed; of can also be viewed as a part of a larger data set to understand how a population’s health has changed, and how medical interventions can change health outcomes.
Health Information Management (HIM):
Health Information Management (HIM) is the practice of acquiring, analyzing, and protecting digital and traditional medical information vital to providing quality patient care. It is a combination of business, science, and information technology. Having skilled Health Information Management professionals on staff ensures an organization has the right information on hand when and where it is needed while maintaining the highest standards of data integrity, confidentiality, and security. As technology advances the role of the HIM professional expands. The HIM professionals duty is to adopt to new method of capturing health care information, storing, that information, and easily accessing it electronically. Their role is important in order to maintain organized and accurate electronic data that allows daily health care routines to carry on smoothly with the new technological advancement.
Health Information Technology (BIT):
Health Information Technology refers to the framework used to manage health information, and the exchange of health information is a digital formal professional who work in HIT are focused on the technical side of managing health information working with software and hardware used to manage and store patient date. As Technology advances, HIT professionals are necessary to ensure the electronic data HIM professional manage is maintained and
exchanged accurately and efficiently.
Health Informatics (HI):
Health Informatics is a science that defines how health information is technically cultured, transmitted, and utilized. Health informatics focuses on information systems, informatics principles, and information technology as it is applied to the continuum of healthcare delivery and public health, patient safety, Information Science and computer technology. Health Informatics programs demonstrate uniqueness by offering varied options for practice or research focus.
For citing this article use:
- Krishna, S. (2018). Information Seeking Behaviour of Doctors in Hyderabad Karnataka Region. Retrieved from: http://hdl.handle.net/10603/207257