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Nurses’ use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) is becoming essential for providing quality healthcare.
Utilizing ICTs for nursing practice can impact how nurses plan, deliver, record, and evaluate clinical care. These technologies have changed nursing practice, and they will only continue to evolve as technology advances.
ICTs will fundamentally change how nurses receive and review diagnostic information, make clinical decisions, interact and communicate with patients, and provide clinical care.
Nurses already have their plates full due to a multitude of daily duties. On top of caring for patients, charting requires collaboration with doctors and other healthcare team members, procuring medications or supplies, and operating medical equipment.
Therefore, it is beneficial for everyone if nurses spend more time with patients. In some cases, technology can help nurses make their tasks more efficient and quicker or complete some of their duties altogether.
Nurses are experiencing a dramatic change in the healthcare landscape due to innovations, including robotics, data analytics, mobile devices, and diagnostic devices.
However, healthcare organizations, clinicians, and patients will get the most value from the technology if end-users, such as nurses, are included in the discussion early.
However, to fully reap the benefits of technological innovations in the healthcare sector, nurses, too, need to upgrade their qualifications.
And to achieve this, most RNs are enrolling themselves in advanced online degrees like accredited online MSN programs to learn more about the latest trends in nursing and medicine.
Though some nurses oppose new technology, claiming it takes them away from patients, a survey of 600 nurses reveals a staggering 82% believe that technology improves patient care.
As nurse burnout increases in the U.S., new tools available in health systems may help nurses avoid leaving their settings.
Let’s take a closer look at how today’s technology affects nursing.
Reduction of human error
The use of new technologies can reduce the likelihood of human error. For example, understaffed units and nurses who work long hours are more likely to make mistakes.
Fortunately, new medical technologies simplify routine procedures. Automated IV pumps, for instance, can measure medication dosages. In turn, this reduces the time required to change the drip amount.
EHRs also reduce duplication of tests or delays in treatment since the data is readily accessible.Though some nurses oppose new technology, claiming it takes them away from patients, a survey of 600 nurses reveals a staggering 82% believe that technology improves patient care. Take a closer look.Click To Tweet
Monitoring patients through wireless technology
Every year, thousands of deaths are reported due to patients falling from stairs because there was no one to watch them.
While this is a severe health risk, insurance companies continue to reduce the coverage of health policies to save money. This often leaves hospitals with a burden and strains their financial resources.
In most cases, falling patients cost a hospital more than $13,000 and prolong a patient’s stay by six days. To minimize these risks, health care centers can implement a new technology called wireless patient monitoring, which integrates sensors into a patient’s mattress.
With these sensors, nurses can be alerted when patients leave their beds to intervene and prevent injuries.
Responding quickly to a fallen individual can reduce their risk of hospitalization by 26% and death by up to 80%.
A significant transformation took place in the healthcare information technology sector since the advent of electronic health records (EHRs).
Electronic health records are digital copies of medical records. For instance, a progress note may contain provider information, problems, medications, lab results, etc.
Medical records kept on EHRs can be more accurate and detailed and easily accessed by doctors, healthcare providers, and patients whenever they want.
Improved accessibility is also possible by advances in telehealth. Nursing care has become more accessible to patients who live far from their providers using remote patient monitoring, live video conferencing, and mobile health apps.
As a result, people living in remote areas have better access to quality healthcare today.
Nursing robots save time and energy
There are currently several types of robots used to assist nurses in their work. For example, a new mobile lifting robot makes lifting patients from their beds easier.
These robots are also helpful for carrying people or for rehabilitation. A nurse or assistant is always in the room to keep the patient safe.
During the pandemic, customer service robots have become more popular, and they can greet patients, ask them questions for triage, and help them sign in.
In addition, companion robots are available in senior living facilities to keep them company and comfort them without nurses and clinicians.
Another technology assisting nurses and patients is chatbots. The algorithm can determine whether or not a nurse should be contacted by analyzing the patient’s symptoms.
Additionally, bots can deal with non-emergency symptoms, allowing nurses to devote more time to critically ill patients.
Positive impact on the shortage of nurses
Nursing burnout has contributed to the shortage of nurses in the U.S. Exhaustion from long-term mental and physical stress can lead to nurses leaving clinical settings.
As telehealth technologies develop, nurses will have less burden to carry since they can provide adequate care with fewer nurses.
Moreover, nurses can use telehealth to reach regions with shortages of health professionals. Many rural areas lack sufficient healthcare professionals; telehealth helps alleviate these shortages by providing effective remote care to patients.
By reducing ER visits and hospital admissions, these advances in telehealth can reduce healthcare costs in the long run.
Is it Possible for Technology to Replace Nurses?
Regardless of the concern of many people, no technological innovation can fully replace humans. The end goal of these advancements is to assist healthcare providers in their day-to-day tasks and make it easier for them to care for their patients.
Technology isn’t replacing nurses anytime soon; instead, nurses and other medical professionals will keep incorporating technology into their daily activities.
Nurses already use EMR systems, wearable devices, and telemedicine to address their patients’ health needs.
The future of healthcare isn’t always clear. Still, nurses will use machinery and artificial intelligence to see and treat more patients daily, prescribe medicines more efficiently, and monitor conditions more confidently.
Technology is transforming the nursing field and in healthcare due to technology. Technological advances in nursing are the future of healthcare.
As more hospitals and facilities integrate EHRs, AI, apps, and software into their health systems, emerging technologies are becoming increasingly popular.