As technology changes, so do its impact on nursing. With new tools and resources to enhance patient care and streamline healthcare delivery, technology is changing the nursing sector. Technology assists nurses in performing their jobs more efficiently and enables patients to have a more active role in their healthcare. Read on to find out the influence of technology in nursing and what the future holds.
If you are starting your nursing career or are an experienced nurse, understanding the current innovations and trends is crucial for staying competitive and providing your patients with the best care.
History and evolution of technology in nursing
The history of technology in nursing dates back to the early 20th century, with nurses using X-rays and other sophisticated diagnostic equipment. Technology in nursing continued to improve in the 1950s and 1960 with the introduction of electronic signs monitors and the creation of computerized charting systems.
Technology in nursing continued to expand during the 1970 and 1980s to accommodate the use of telemedicine, electronic medical records, and other forms of telecommunication in nursing. Technology in nursing continued to advance throughout the 1990s with the introduction of electronic prescribing systems and the expansion of mobile technology, such as smartphones and tablets.
With the growing use of electronic health records, telemedicine, and remote patient monitoring, technology in nursing is now playing a bigger part in patient care. New technologies are also being developed for their possible use in nursing, including machine learning, robotics, and artificial intelligence.
What are the types of nursing technologies?
There are many debates surrounding technology in nursing. Some people provide a combination of anecdotal evidence and statistical as proof of their claims. It is essential to note that most nurses agree that technology plays a key role in their pursuit to improve patient care.
Nursing technology continues to advance at a fast rate. Some of the technological developments that are aiding healthcare practitioners to provide better services are explained below.
Telehealth is a new but valuable introduction to healthcare. People can use virtual video chat with a nurse or doctor in hospitals and clinics to explain their symptoms or to show them bruises or rashes. Patients benefit from speedy diagnoses without having to leave the convenience of their own homes.
They can receive medical advice, get prescriptions for medication, or determine if they need to visit a hospital for more screening or diagnosis. Doctors and patients both benefit financially and time-wise from telehealth. Additionally, it stops sick individuals from entering public areas and potentially infecting other patients. Telehealth is also changing the manner clinics run and how patients care.
With the help of technology, nurses and doctors can address patients’ vital signs and symptoms without necessarily being in the hospital. Also, it gives medical practitioners more control over their health.
- Centralized command centers
Centralized command centers is the latest innovations for hospitals, higher selectivity patient encounters, and efficient ways for RNs and doctors to control capacity, clinical technology, and resources.
Nurses can monitor OR schedules, available rooms, and what some patients require before evacuating without delays in the transition of care.
Command centers, designed primarily for capacity management, work well throughout the continent. Many hospitals boast of running at higher capacity and delivering better patient care overall.
Nurses can assess the patient’s weight and movement using smart bed equipment. Smart beds are necessary to keep patients secure and comfortable during a protracted hospital stay. Smart beds are critical for patient safety, given the high rate of patient falls and hospital injuries.
With smart bed technology, nurses have a persistent in-room monitor that continuously updates them on a patient’s behaviors. Additionally, it can aid in detecting trends, which may result in an updated problem diagnosis or a new diagnosis.
Caregivers can spend less time rushing to modify medicines and hospital instruments for comfort or safety because they can aid in controlling that with their smart bed. It enables service providers to return to other essential human tasks.
Portable monitoring technology enables healthcare professionals to inspect patients whether they’re out.
Nurses can now assess the readings every hour in most facilities. Even when numerous other things happen, portable monitoring technology enables nurses to track and capture statistics appropriately. They can now regularly review patients from any location within the hospital.
Nurses undergo training on the use of portable monitors in their particular institution. Nursing schools contribute to instructing students on the significance and broad application of several common pieces of equipment. The portable monitor can save lives by sending an alert and alarms to nurses.
Wearable technology in nursing is improving the healthcare sector a lot. People can manage their health using devices that track heart rates, activity, sleep, respiration, and more.
With more people accessing iPhones, nurses may now use tools and apps that enhance their patient care. For instance, the Steth IO smartphone stethoscope, essentially a stethoscope app, enables nurses and doctors to receive breathing sounds and view heart rates using their smartphones.
Using a phone could be less scary, especially for younger patients, and provide caregivers with access to a wide range of information and simple monitoring of medical needs. It’s common to hear people refer to wearable technology as the future of healthcare, including patient monitoring and health tracking.
With access to large amounts of information, wearable devices can enhance the overall healthcare practice, from diagnosis to recovery.
Automated IV pumps regulate the dosages and drip administered to patients. Medical technology and software nurses can adjust the drip rates and medicine dosages without waiting for changes. There are nutrition IV pumps that deliver essential meals at convenient stages. Self-pumps are another option that lets patients enhance their own controlled dosage of painkillers.
Advantages and disadvantages of technology in nursing
Automating several procedures, including the administration of medications and charting, can save nurses time and lower error rates.
Technology enables nurses to access and exchange patient information quickly and easily, which may result in more accurate treatments and diagnoses.
- Remote patient monitoring
With technology, nurses may keep tabs on their patients from a distance. This is helpful for people with chronic diseases.
Technology can help increase interactions between doctors, nurses, and other healthcare personnel, enhancing care coordination.
Some nurses may find it challenging to use technology due to its complexity and difficulty.
The high cost of purchasing and maintaining technology might be an obstacle for some healthcare companies.
Nurses who rely too heavily on technology may lack critical thinking abilities.
Information technology in nursing
Information technology has emerged as a critical instrument in the nursing profession, given its ability to enhance patient care and boost operational efficiency in the healthcare industry. Examples of IT technologies in nursing include telemedicine and clinical decision support systems.
Telemedicine makes it possible to monitor and consult patients from a distance. Clinical decision support systems can give nurses real-time data and instructions to help with patient care. In nursing, IT generally has the potential to enhance patient outcomes through improved communication and teamwork.
What’s the future of technology in nursing?
The future of technology in nursing is expected to witness increased dependency on electronic health records, telemedicine, and other digital tools to enhance patient care and communication.
The utilization of remote monitoring systems, which enable nurses to monitor people’s vital signs and other clinical information from a distance, may also become more common.
Applying machine learning and artificial intelligence in nursing may increase, possibly assisting with duties like patient monitoring, drug administration, and diagnostics.
Impact of technology on nursing
The nursing profession has been greatly impacted by technology. Some instances include:
- Nurses have faster and easier access to patient information because electronic health records (EHRs) increase care coordination and reduce error rates.
- Nurses can care for patients in isolated or underserved locations thanks to telehealth, which enables them to monitor patients remotely and video conference with them.
- Using technologies like virtual reality and simulators, nurses may practice and develop their abilities in a secure, controlled setting.
Technology in nursing education
Technology is being used more and more in nursing education to boost student learning and improve the standard of nursing care. Online learning tools allow students to access training materials, participate in group discussions, and submit assignments.
In a protected, controlled setting, students can develop their skills and make choices using simulation technology to generate authentic, interactive scenarios.
What are the barriers to technology in nursing?
Although the nursing sector is reaping from the implementation of technology, there are still several factors of technology in nursing. Some of the issues include;
- Restricted access to technology
Some nurses may not have access to technology due to geographical or socioeconomic constraints.
- Lack of funds
It is hard to install new systems since many medical institutions do not have the funding to invest in new technologies.
- Resistance to change
Nursing staff members could be hesitant to change, making introducing new technology challenging.
- Inadequate training
Likely, nurses aren’t taught how to utilize new technology, making it challenging to use it successfully.
Technology has significantly improved the nursing profession. Technology in nursing makes it possible for nurses to give patients better care, and foster greater communication and teamwork among healthcare team members. Do you need more insightful articles like this? Click here to access