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Understanding The Role Of Technology In Nursing

Understanding The Role Of Technology In Nursing

By Editorial Team | Updated On June 5, 2024
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Technology is fast evolving, and its influence can be noticed across industries. The way things are done and how work is performed has changed drastically compared to previous eras. The workplace has also become much more fast-paced and advanced. Knowledge of how to use technology to produce results in any given field is invaluable these days.

The medical industry is no different in this regard. The impact of technology on this sector has been immense and continues to grow in influence. The nursing profession has had to adapt to these emerging trends to remain up to date. Nurses these days have a much better understanding of technology and its place in the medical field.

Benefits Of Technology In Nursing

More and More hospitals and other healthcare facilities are making use of Electronic Medical Record (EMR) systems. Other examples of technology helping the medical industry develop include the availability of online medicine delivery apps to help with treatment, the use of software and online tools to record and maintain patient histories, etc. Let’s look at some ways technology has created improvements in nursing.

Speeds Up Processing

Technology has a knack for making things more fast-paced. In the medical field, this can help reduce inconvenience for patients and even save lives, as often delays in execution can be detrimental. By throwing technology into the mix, we can help implement various functions quicker and more effectively. It improves the patient experience in general, too.

Virtual Assistance

Before, it was always important for medical professionals to be present physically to provide their services, but now, with technology in nursing, things have changed for the better. For example, operations can now be executed with an expert guiding the team through a Zoom video call and seeing how things are going on screen. Another example is a psychologist who can provide counseling to patients remotely through a Skype video call and offer guidance to them online.

Hence, the reach of the medical industry has expanded. Virtual assistance from healthcare professionals can be beneficial for areas with less development in this sector. Rural areas are an example of this, as many of them do not have proper access to medical facilities.

More Security Of Information

With the introduction of information technology in nursing, details are now typically stored using computer systems through databases. Previously, this was not the case, as physical records were normally kept. However, with them, there was a greater risk of loss of information due to disasters, fires, or other such calamities.

Also, with computer-based information storage, passwords can be set for confidential files to reduce the possibility of unwanted access. With physical records, this was a bit harder to prevent. This ensures greater exclusivity of important information, which all organizations need to implement.

More Skilled Staff

Whenever new technology is introduced in a workplace, there is going to be a bit of a gestation period before you see results, as staff need to be trained to use it. However, this is great for the staff as it allows them to develop new hard and soft skills that they can add to their resume. Apart from that, just the general exercise of learning and developing new abilities can boost employee morale and engagement.

Examples Of Technology In Nursing

With the rise of technology in nursing more and more new devices are being introduced and implemented at healthcare facilities. This applies to pretty much all departments in the medical profession which have become far more advanced and sophisticated than before. This has changed the way nurses function in this field. Let’s take a look at some examples:

Monitoring Patients

Portable monitors have been introduced to healthcare facilities, which allow nurses to keep a check on patients even while they may be occupied with other tasks. This equipment provides details on the vitals of a patient, which could include information like oxygen levels, respiratory rates, electrocardiography, etc. Nurses also receive alerts when urgent attention is needed. This creates a quicker response time, which can prove to be crucial.

Administering Medications

The emergence of smart pumps has made injecting medicines and other fluids into patients' bodies a lot easier and more efficient. They can use them to set the quantities of fluids patients should receive. They also have alert systems to inform nurses if levels drop too low, if there are issues with tubing, or if any other problems need to be addressed.

Hospital Beds

Smart beds are now a thing in the medical field and are capable of monitoring a patient’s vitals, weight, movement, etc. These features can help reduce the chances of misdiagnoses, bedsores, injuries, etc. These advanced beds help save time and effort for nurses and have grown in popularity and usage.

Medical Applications

DIgital tools greatly minimize the risk of entering wrong details when logging patient information for health conditions, illnesses, allergies to certain medications, medical history, etc. These apps reduce the chances of incorrect medicines being administered due to human errors. This creates better outcomes and helps to curb readmission rates.

Communication Devices

Passing on important messages and details has become easier than ever. Nurses these days can utilize headsets, instant messaging, team collaboration tools, etc. Some of these methods allow nurses to speak with colleagues in real-time. It helps get important information to desired personnel quickly and efficiently. It also allows for smoother patient handovers between departments.

What Does The Future Hold For Technology In Nursing?

Not many could have imagined the way technology has revolutionized nursing and the improvements it has brought. What then can we expect from the future? Though technology has taken us forward to a great extent, there are always areas for improvement. One must also note that technology is not perfect and can have defects that need to be resolved in the future. There are, of course, many expectations for the common ways technology can develop in the future.

Robotics

The use of robots in healthcare facilities may sound a bit futuristic to some, but it has already taken baby steps in the medical field. Initially, it is expected for robots to handle basic tasks, so nurses have more time and attention to allot for complex tasks requiring greater effort. Some fear this may create unemployment issues within the job market, while others anticipate it can enhance the productivity of an organization.

CyberSecurity

Digital technology and databases are often prone to hacking, which can lead to valuable information falling into the wrong hands. Although it will be difficult to hack-proof databases, steps can still be taken to improve cyber security. Also, tools such as voice recognition to access certain valuable data need to be put in place on a more mainstream level. Improvements in cyber security could create more jobs in the future.

Remote Patient Monitoring

Technologies like sensors on beds are expected to increase in the years to come and can help nurses monitor patients and know important information from distant locations. Wearable monitoring technologies are also expected to follow the same trend and ensure that patients can be kept track of better.

It offers more convenience for patients too, as they need not always be kept in hospitals but can be at home with their families and still be monitored. This helps keep their mood positive as being in a hospital for too many days straight can feel depressing to many patients. Hence, remote patient monitoring has great scope in the future.

Personalized Experiences

Personalization of services is a common theme across many industries, and the healthcare sector is starting to catch up with the trend as well. Many firms try to customize experiences to the needs of various individuals to satisfy them. Tailoring elements of their services differently to potential customers has proven to be an effective strategy for businesses.

The medical field is increasingly adapting to this practice, and it has improved the patient experience by better fulfilling their needs. By creating scenarios where the health issues of patients are better understood while also considering their medical history and bodies, medical professionals can provide better treatment for them. The introduction of digital databases has helped make this process smoother and more effective, as more details can be stored and accessed easily.

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