Top 5 Benefits of Health Information Systems for Providers and Patients

health information systems

One remarkable advancement that has significantly impacted how healthcare is delivered is the implementation of health information systems (HIS). Per the Pan American Health Organization, HIS are “digital systems with open data that come from different sources.” They have revolutionized the way that healthcare providers and patients interact, collaborate, and access health information because they have expanded where it can be collected and centralized how stakeholders can understand it. Examples of HIS include electronic health records, patient portals, and clinical decision systems, among many others.

Since their widespread adoption around 2010, HIS have been instrumental in improving patient care, enhancing communication, and streamlining data management. Let’s delve into the top five benefits of HIS for providers and patients, illustrating how they have transformed the healthcare experience.

1. Improved Patient Care and Outcomes

HIS have paved the way for an interconnected healthcare ecosystem, where patient records are easily accessible to authorized providers in real time. For example, interoperable electronic health records are improving medication safety and reducing patient events through increased knowledge sharing of the patient’s most recent health information and activities.

This level of immediate access to comprehensive patient information empowers clinicians to make informed decisions about diagnosis and treatment and avoid repeat medical testing, thus reducing healthcare costs.

2. Enhanced Communication and Collaboration

Effective communication among healthcare providers is vital for providing quality care. An HIS facilitates seamless collaboration among healthcare organizations. Secure messaging, electronic referrals, and shared patient records enable providers from different specialties to coordinate care effectively while maintaining regulatory compliance.

For example, UT Health East Texas highlights the benefits of its direct messaging system, including regulatory compliance, increased clinical data integrity by reducing manual extraction, and expedited referrals, as the correct data gets to the right people quickly. This results in a more comprehensive and holistic approach to patient health and gives patients the option to work with providers throughout their communities, including those who may be affiliated with different health organizations.

3. Efficient Data Management and Access

Gone are the days of paper-based medical records that can easily be misplaced, damaged, or poorly transcribed to other information sources. An HIS digitizes patient records, leading to a more efficient data management process.

Centralized data storage allows for the easy retrieval of patient information, eliminating the need for digging through stacks of paper files. The search tool in many electronic health records enables providers to quickly find vital information related to a patient. The centralization of data also allows for the development of clinical decision-support tools to minimize the risk of human error and ensure that patients receive the highest standard of care.

HIS supports regulatory compliance by ensuring easy-to-update record-keeping and robust data security measures, promoting trust between patients, providers, and health systems.

4. Empowerment of Patients

An HIS empowers patients to take control of their health, as they have greater access to their information and an additional means to provide more information to their providers. With patient portals, individuals can access their health information, which can include treatment plans, test results, and medications. Patients can also securely send pictures and relevant real-time information to help providers quickly decide the severity and acuity of a health concern.

This level of transparency enables patients to actively participate in their own care, which means they can make informed decisions and manage their health more effectively. An HIS contributes to the shared decision-making model, reminding providers of opportunities for shared decision-making and giving providers insights into patient preferences. Patients who are empowered are more likely to adhere to and engage in preventive measures and treatment plans, thus leading to better long-term health outcomes.

5. Data-Driven Insights and Decision Making

The abundance of data generated by HIS presents a unique opportunity to derive valuable insights. These systems aggregate and analyze data, enabling healthcare providers to identify trends, predict outbreaks like COVID-19 trends, and allocate resources more effectively—for example, to minimize workplace violence within healthcare settings.

Data-driven decision-making is at the heart of evidence-based care, enabling providers to tailor treatments and interventions based on an individual patient’s or the population’s needs. Data can also drive improvements in the patient experience within healthcare, such as evolving from appointment check-ins via kiosks to fast smartphone check-ins at many Veterans Affairs hospitals.

Finally, data insights are pivotal in shaping healthcare policies and strategies that benefit entire communities.


The journey of healthcare transformation driven by HIS has been impressive and has improved patient care outcomes, enhanced communication and collaboration, and empowered patients. While these five benefits are evident for patients and providers, many problems still exist.

Therefore, collaboration between healthcare providers, IT experts, administrators, and healthcare technology organizations like OtterSoft is crucial for harnessing the full potential of HIS. By combining technological expertise, healthcare expertise, and innovative solutions, healthcare organizations are helping their clinicians be more efficient and patients have a better experience.

But healthcare organizations cannot do this alone, so a collaborative approach with technology builders like those from OtterSoft, who stay current with emerging technologies and health technology best practices, is an efficient way to bring together various stakeholders to create a healthcare ecosystem that prioritizes quality, efficiency, and patient engagement.

Here at OtterSoft, we help healthcare technology providers drive innovation and integrate systems to seamlessly enable healthcare organizations to identify areas for improvement and implement changes to enhance patient experiences continually. See how we can help you overcome healthcare innovation challenges by strategically partnering with our development team.