Growing Role of Technology in Nursing 2020
Discuss the Growing Role of Technology in Nursing 2020
Growing Role of Technology in Nursing 2020
The digital revolution era has seen tremendous technological evolution which has induced significant transformation in human lives from almost every aspect. Technological advancement has transformed research, education, business, construction and design, communication, and healthcare among others. The health system has witnessed the emergence and adoption of telehealth, electronic recordkeeping, diagnosis, and prognosis and in some cases, administration of medication and medical procedures. In the nursing domain in particular, technology has allowed RNs to advance the efficiency of their care and effectiveness of their communication (Avant Healthcare Professionals, 2019). This assignment explores and presents the implication of the growing technology in the nursing field.
Technology has had a wide range of impacts on nursing practices all over the world. Among the most impacted nursing domains include Health Information System (HIS). Health information has improved nursing care which has improved the health of individuals as well the performance of nurses because through technology, a greater engagement in health care facilities has been achieved (Huston, 2013). Consequently, the overall quality of healthcare has improved as well as cost saving. Adoption of emerging technologies is thus by far beneficial to the healthcare system just as they are to business, scientific, entertainment, research and government communities. More specifically, the growth in technology has had tremendous impacts in the nursing healthcare as discussed below.
Accessibility of healthcare has been one of the challenges facing health care. Either patients face challenges accessing health care service of nurses or the nurses and doctors facing challenges with accessing accurate information about patients of even reaching patients in time. However, with the emergent technologies such as electronic health records (EHRs) and telehealth have played key roles in solving the challenges. EHRs have changed the narrative of healthcare information technology domain, ERH puts together all sort information about patients at the click of an icon (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, 2010). Information such as progress notes, health history, laboratory results, medical history, online appointment scheduling, mobile laboratories and previous healthcare providers can all be combined into digital format which can easily be retrieved anytime, and anywhere. Consequently, EHRs improves the accuracy and clarity of medical records while at the same time making them more accessible to any health care provider who may need them anywhere and anytime. A doctor in another country can access and study the record of a patient in another country and respond real-time. In other words, both the patient and their healthcare providers can access the information without having to visit the health facility from where the records are generated. In the same way, remote patient monitoring have become possible through technologies such as telecommunication, video conferencing and mobile health apps. Furthermore, the technology makes it possible for patients to have personal experience with their healthcare providers.
Reduction of Human Error
Before the emergence of some technologies, human error was common and severe. In situations where health facilities are understaffed, nurses have to work for long hours without proper rest. They become fatigued and exhausted and thus at a higher risk of making mistakes of interpreting prescription or even administering treatment. New technologies have nevertheless simplified some procedures so that risks of human error are greatly reduced. Automated IV, pumps for instance, can measure dosages of medication to be given to patients (Huston, 2014). Changing drip amounts and dosages is thus not only made accurate but also quicker. Additionally, with EHRs, chances of duplication of tests or delays of treatments are greatly reduced.
Lifting the Burden on Nurses Shortage
Most health facilities in the U.S. face shortage of nurses causing burnout among the few nurses. The situation becomes even worse in rural areas as nurses get overstretched due to too much workload. Many nurses leave their practice following the distress of workload. There are healthcare information technologies which have the potentials to solve this endemic challenge. Several telehealth technologies have been tested and tried and found sustainable because even with shortage of nurses, patients can receive sufficient and timely care even in remote and less accessible regions in the U.S. Nurses can provide care to patients in remote areas without having to be in personal contacts with the patient (Huston, 2014; Avant Healthcare Professionals, 2019). Telehealth thus not only partially solves the problem of nurse shortage but also makes healthcare more cost effective while at the same time time-saving.
Communication across the Healthcare System
Health information technology has by far streamlined instant communication and team collaboration between individual nurses and multi-disciplinary teams. Nurses who provide lynchpin services in their teams can easily coordinate their work more efficiently. Moreover, point-of-care testing and efficiency of access to bedside test results quickens identification and diagnosis of the patients (Avant Healthcare Professionals, 2019).
Figure 1: Summary of Technology Adoption Conceptual Model for Nursing Care
Challenges of Technology in Nursing
In as much as technology has drastically grown with significant implication in the way health care systems work, it has also come with some drawbacks which cannot be overlooked. Among the notable areas of concern include threat to the human aspect of nursing care, generational disparity and data security threats. These elements are elaborated below
Threat to Human Elements
According to Huston (2014), nurses’ personal service to patients makes a whole range of difference in health care. Some patients need more personalized attention and thus only comfortable with person-to-person relationship with the nurses. While interacting with patients, nurses create human and emotional relationship with their patients. They can figure the feelings of the patients, they can explain medication and procedures and helping patients with their unique needs. Some hospitals require that nurses to wheel in their workstations so that they are able to record patient information. Human touch facilitates the recovery process because their emotional needs are better understood and managed.
Emergent technologies come with demand for training of how to effectively use them. While some nurses and patient may find the technologies easy to use, there are generations of patients and nurses who may not easily and effectively use the technologies. It may be easier to train nurses on the technologies but the same may not easy with the patients (Avant Healthcare Professionals, 2019). This compromises the effectiveness of the technology because any success is dependent of effectiveness of use of the technology by both the nurses and the patients.
Data Security Threat
Digital technology presents the fear of data insecurity. Data in the digital media is vulnerable to cyber-attack. Hackers have allegedly been reported hacking and accessing patient profile data which they can sell in the black market. A little mistake with malwares can expose EHRs of a health facility to cyber insecurity (Huston, 2014). Health facilities and the nursing fraternity must thus be extremely careful with EHRs kept in the clouds.
Figure 2: Summary of Drawbacks of Technology in Nursing Care