How Technology Is Improving Nursing Care
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Nursing is a profession in the healthcare sector that focuses on the care of families, communities, and individuals. Nursing staffs help patients to maintain, recover, or attain optimum health. In past decades, healthcare authorities faced various challenges to fulfill the demands of patients due to the lack of technology and computerized medical equipment. However, the new technologies help nursing staff to improve their service in various medical procedures. Moreover, the technology offers cost-effective, efficient, safe, and quality services to the patients of different age groups. The following paper analyzes the contributions of technology in healthcare settings. Also, it describes how information and technology can improve the efficiency and the quality of nursing care in the future.
The new patient care technologies help nurses to deliver extensive services in medical settings. In past years, nurses heavily relied on their senses, sights, touch, and other manual capabilities to check the patient’s illnesses and disorders. According to the leading healthcare publishers, Williams and Wilkins, the medical technologies provide best-practice cares to the patients (Woods, Scheponik & Barragry, 2010). Also, they support and navigate nurses to offer evidence-based services. Besides, information technology (IT) delivers online academic, theoretical, practical, and scientific solutions for different diseases.
In addition, new technologies create extensive medical information services (Cipriano & Hamer, 2013). For example, some medical organizations offer online articles and medical reports for nurses that can help nursing practitioners to improve their knowledge in primary or acute care services. Moreover, nurses can access this medical information at work, at home, or in the online library by using internet services (Woods et al., 2010). Williams and Wilkins believe that nurses should get medical information in various environments. It helps them improve their psychological conditionals in different complex situations (Woods et al., 2010).
For example, nurse practitioners should receive up-to-date information about nursing and healthcare issues. Therefore, the IT guides nurses to get plenty of information for professional development at home from internet services. Additionally, nurse practitioners complete their majority of education outside the working environment. Hence, technology guides them to develop their knowledge in different situations (Cipriano & Hamer, 2013).
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Furthermore, experts found that nurses need synoptic and in-depth information at the workplace (Woods et al., 2010). Usually, synoptic reports are written in quick-read formats. Therefore, nurse practitioners can read synoptic instructions to provide primary care. However, sometimes nurses may not get sufficient information in synoptic contents. In such cases, they can take help from the online medical library to receive in-depth information. Studies show that American nurses prefer to use Google medical libraries as a first-line resource (Woods et al., 2010). They provide quick information about various clinical topics.
Also, some medical libraries provide full-text reports about various diseases and care procedures. The Wolters Kluwer health services report shows that in the past, nurses used print journals and books to practice nursing procedures. However, these journals may not deliver current solutions for a specific disease. Hence, online updated information helps nursing practitioners to provide up-to-date services (Woods et al., 2010).
In addition, handheld devices help nurses to obtain drug, patient, and disease information. Research shows that currently, sixty percent of nursing practitioners use social media to get up-to-date information about nursing care-related issues (Woods et al., 2010). Especially, the American nurses use Twitter, Facebook, and other blogs to create daily schedules and health care public notices. Additionally, IT offers healthcare information in different audiovisual formats. It provides online videos, webinars, scripts, podcasts, and full-text articles that help beginners to improve their practical knowledge. Williams and Wilkins believe that the new technologies will take healthcare services to the newly updated level in the future. It will increase opportunities for all medical stakeholders by providing extensive services (Woods et al., 2010).
New technologies help medical experts to expand their services in various healthcare settings. Also, contemporary devices guide nurses and physicians to boost their capabilities (Ramundo, 2012). Currently, nursing practitioners use a digital thermometer, electric patient lifting systems, advanced wound care drugs, equipment, and electrocardiography (ECG) machines to deliver excellent services. Also, these instruments reduce the pains and traumas of weak or elderly patients. Moreover, medical technologies help healthcare industries to offer cost-effective services (Sipe, Marthinsen, Baker, Harris & Opperman, 2003). For example, in past decades, many Americans faced challenges to pay health care bills. Also, nursing homes did not have sufficient resources and nurses to take care of a large number of patients. However, improved technologies help nursing industries to solve these issues.
For example, robotic surgery helps surgeons to perform various critical operations through computer-assisted technologies. Hence, in such surgeries physicians do not need the supports of large nursing staff (Sipe et al., 2003). Also, robotic technologies are developed to overcome the complications of open surgeries. Therefore, they reduce the incidences of wound infections and postoperative pains. Usually, in robotically-assisted surgery, surgeons use computer technologies or telemanipulator to regulate instruments. Moreover, telemanipulator consists of robotic arms, manipulators, and end effectors. These devices guide surgeons to perform surgeries without moving the instruments directly. Hence, it reduces the manual errors of open operations (Weinstein, O’Malley, Snyder, Sherman & Quon, 2007).
Medical experts, Debby Ramundo, consider that new medical instruments help medical staff to meet the patients’ needs and optimize the service (Ramundo, 2012). Moreover, integrating technologies follow the fundamental elements of nursing practices. Online medical information guides nurses to have effective planning, documentation, intervention, and evaluation of diseases. Also, it supports nursing practitioners to have efficient knowledge and education. Furthermore, new instruments reduce the labors or nursing staffs. For example, currently, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) is developing a new instrument to create Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) of patients in a contemporary way. UPMC is working with Welch Allyn diagnostic company to design this EMR machine (Ramundo, 2012).
Experts believe that the new device will automatically receive and download vital signs of patients’ health. The new EMR machine will have alert systems that can save nurses time and effort. For example, in traditional medical service nurses need to be alert with patients if they have pain issues. It can elevate the Blood Pressure (BP) level. However, the new machine will create automatic alerts when a patient develops high BP. Thus, it will reduce the stress and labors of medical staff in the future (Ramundo, 2012).
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Recently, the architectural firm, Harwood K. Smith (HKS), conducted a study to understand the medical issues of primary care nurses. In research, the experts found that nurse practitioners prefer to spend more time with patients, but, they often need to perform additional works that take long hours. During the study, some nurses claimed that they need to attain phone calls of discharged patients. Also, some others complained that they need to look for specific equipment in different hospital chambers. As a result, they cannot provide a hundred percent of services to the patients (Ramundo, 2012). Currently, HKS firm experts are working to develop patient room settings by using technology. They designed two-unit models of rooms and beds that reduce the walking distances for nurses in a hospital setting (Ramundo, 2012).
Also, the experts changed the shifts of nurses and installed various technical instruments in each room, such as a tablet computer, electronic charting system, and other emergency alert devices. Moreover, the HKS firm specialists designed special nursing stations that include medications, emergency supplies, phones and additional equipment for medical use. Thus, the experts of HKS firm help the nursing industry to improve the interior settings of American hospitals (Ramundo, 2012).
According to the study of Nursing 2012 Critical Care, nurses spend a long time to locate various medical instruments in primary care units. Often they need to find a wheelchair or the infusion pumps for specific cases. If a nurse cannot find the necessary equipment in time, the patients may have critical conditions. Moreover, in some conditions nurses cannot decide whether an infusion pump is clean and up-to-date or not. Therefore, medical scientists designed Real-Time Locating Systems (RTLS) that guide nurses to track medical equipment. RTLS uses radiofrequency, infrared, and ultrasound identification systems to locate a device or instrument in medical settings (Edwards & O’Connor, 2011).
For example, if a patient needs a wheelchair in a specific location, then RTLS can track the nearest location of the unoccupied wheelchair. In addition, currently, clinical scientists use sensor bracelets to monitor the patients. These facilities save time and labors of medical employees (Ramundo, 2012). Initially, the Pacific Medical Center’s Canyon Park Clinic used sensors bracelets on patients to track their locations. Also, these bracelets have RTLS tags. Usually, these sensors indicate various color signs on computer screens that help nurses to identify whether an examination room is occupied or not.
Furthermore, the instrument includes alert systems that guide nurses, when a patient waits in the same location for a long time (Edwards & O’Connor, 2011). Additionally, these notification screens are available for nurses and other medical staff. Therefore, different medical stakeholders can take quick actions if they notice any emergency signs or alerts (Ramundo, 2012).
In the traditional patient discharge system, nurses need to call transportation services to pick up the patient, and then they need to wait and check if the patient has left or not. Also, nurses need to contact environmental service staff to clean the room. Medical experts found that the patient discharge process takes long hours. Therefore, Lehigh Valley Hospital and Health Network introduced a logistics software program that can save the time of nursing staff and patients (Ramundo, 2012). The program works through the workflow panel system. When a patient is ready to discharge, then the nurses use the logistics program that automatically notifies the transpiration system and cleaning department. Also, the program has special capabilities to create time schedules for cleaning and room management. Thus, the patient logistics system guides nurses to develop their service in the discharge process (Ramundo, 2012).
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In conclusion, medical technologies, and equipment help nursing staff to improve their day-to-day healthcare services. The new technologies provide safe, quality, cost-effective and efficient services. Also, they guide nurses to deliver evidence-based services. Moreover, currently, nursing practitioners can get online solutions for various diseases by using online medical libraries and other certified blogs. New technologies help nurses to improve their knowledge at home or workplace by using computer devices. Additionally, the electronic versions of nursing education provide audiovisual instructions for different healthcare services. Currently, medical industries use a digital thermometer, advanced wound care drugs, and other specific equipment to deliver instant care for a variety of healthcare issues.
Besides, robotic science reduces the necessity of large nursing groups in surgeries. Also, it reduces the needs and demands of the human workforce in medical units. Likewise, the healthcare interior settings, computerized monitoring systems, and electronic charts save the time and the costs of medical settings. Furthermore, the new EMR and RTLS alert systems reduce the hard labor of nurses. These systems create alerts in emergency situations. Also, it tracks and indicates the locations of patients and medical equipment. Thus, new technologies help medical science to improve its service.