Technology continues to change the world at warp speed. The changes are particularly evident in healthcare settings where emerging technologies have transformed patient care and the practice of nursing.

Technologies like artificial intelligence and telehealth, for example, are being integrated into health systems to reduce professional shortages in hospitals. Telehealth specifically is useful to providers as it enables them to provide health care outside traditional hospital settings.

According to a report released by the American Hospital Association on workforce strategic planning trends, more healthcare facilities are deploying new care models and technologies to supplement the existing workforce to effect this change.

While some health care professionals are still hesitant to adopt it, a survey of more than 600 professional nurses agrees that the new technology will impact patient care positively. During the study, the professionals found that new technologies helped them with routine tasks and reduced human error caused by working long hours.

They also stated that the technology should not replace day-to-day human interactions. The professionals also agreed that caregivers should not over-rely on healthcare technology and software as the human interpretation of symptoms is an essential aspect of quality health care. The text identifies seven emerging technologies that are transforming medical care:

Electronic Health Records

The introduction of this technology couldn’t have come at a better time. Its widespread use has eliminated endless paperwork and the need to wait for hard copy medical records, as well as the need to fill out patient charts.

With this technology, nurses can share a patient’s records to doctors, thereby improving the quality of care to the patient and communication among healthcare providers. Additionally, the scope of patient information is available to healthcare workers, and nurses are increased.

Another advantage of EHR systems is that health care workers and nurses have access to a patient’s health information at the point of care. It is this feature that speeds up treatment and early diagnosis of fatal illnesses.

Patient-generated Health Data Systems

Modern healthcare systems are emphatic on patient-centric health care. Patient-generated health data systems have been invented; as a result, to allow patients to gather and record data using their smartphones or via wearable technology.

The systems are designed to collect data such as the patient’s blood pressure, food intake, blood sugar levels, and exercise habits. Patient-generated health data provides a better understanding of the patient’s condition, insight into the patient’s home health, and access to clinically relevant patient information.

Also, patient-generated information helps address chronic conditions through at-home care and reduce incidences of readmission.

Mobile Communication Systems

Improved health care depends on staff coordination and excellent communication. Health care institutions that integrate mobile communication systems report significant tremendous improvement in this area.

Also, real-time communication among staff reduces untimely disruptions and improves a patient’s experience and general level of care. Nurses find this technology useful as they only need one device to communicate about care, medical administration, and receive alert messages.

What’s more streamlining communication in a health facility helps locate other nurses around the hospital quickly, assign tasks to others, send direct messages to other clinicians, and receive patient alerts using one device. In the past, nurses needed multiple devices in the form of pagers and cell phones to communicate.

Automated IV Pumps

The pumps are designed to control the drips and dosages given to patients. Software for this technology enables nurses to set appropriate drip amounts and medication, so the patient does not need to wait for the changes.

As such, the automatic IV pumps help speed up the administration of health care, which is essential if the patient needs immediate adjustment. The technology also eliminates human error likely to present problems to clinical patients and hospitals.

Smart Bed Technology

Smart bed technology is an integrated solution for patient care, monitoring, and assistance based on a multidisciplinary and comprehensive design approach. The technology helps nurses monitor a patient’s weight, movement, and vitals. It also plays a critical role in keeping the patient comfortable during his stay at the hospital, as falls and patient injuries are pretty common in hospitals.

The smart beds have a sensor under the mattress to prevent the fall. The sensor not only alerts the nurse when the patient is out of bed but also creates a report of the patient’s movement so professionals can monitor patterns. As such, nurses spend minimal time tracking the patient and can focus on the critical work that needs human input.

Wearable Technology

In the past, we have used mobile apps and wearable devices that help monitor a patient’s heart rate, sleep patterns, exercise, respiration, among other health metrics. Advances in technology introduce apps for nurses too. 

One such app is the Steth IO smartphone stethoscope that enables doctors and nurses to use their smartphones to monitor a patient’s heart rate and breathing pattern. Using a phone is less intimidating for young patients and provides users with a full range of information for easy tracking of the patient’s medical needs.

Also, elements of human error are eliminated because data communication is done directly. With these apps, the process of record-keeping is prompt, and it helps nurses maintain consistent health monitoring.

Nursing Education Software Technology

Nurse education has become dynamic, given the ongoing technological advances. As such, modern education software for nurses has been developed to help nursing students take online classes and use patient simulators.

According to the 2015 Vision Series report released by the National League of Nursing, teaching about emerging technology is the future of nursing practice and education. The report also addressed the need for technological competence among nurses recommending that nurses should be well-versed in cloud computing and other advanced storage platforms.

As such, professionals should not just encourage patients to take charge of their care, but they should be able to translate patient-gathered information into effective treatment options.

Conclusion

Emerging technology in healthcare requires to be experts in the latest advancement. Integrating these technologies helps improve patient’s experiences while providing the best care possible.

 

Published by Shahbaz Ahmed