Given that the nursing profession involves interaction of and handling human patients to facilitate their recovery from health problems, it follows necessarily that the profession is more dynamic rather than static. For these reasons, changes in society influence the field of nursing in how it is viewed, its effectiveness as well as its efficiency (Piscotty et al., 2017). In the last few decades, there have been drastic changes in the society that have influenced operations, effectiveness as well as the efficiency in the field of nursing. One of such changes is the technological advancement that has been witnessed in the field of nursing and medicine at large. Technological advancements in society the last few decades have had numerous changes in nursing operations regarding effectiveness and efficiency. This essay will focus on describing technological changes and the impact that they have had on the field of nursing.
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Technological Advancements in Medicine and Nursing
In the last few decades, human social environment has experienced sweeping technological changes that have touched on almost all facets of human activities. Nursing and medical field have not been left out by these sweeping technological changes. Thanks to these changes, nursing and healthcare field has experienced drastic improvements in as far as efficiency and effectiveness is concerned. With technological advancements, the nursing field has seen the advent of electronic records, the introduction of GPS tracking in healthcare, invention of enhanced diagnostic devices in nursing, better drug delivery systems and devices and smarter alarm systems to monitor the status and welfare of patients in hospitals (Piscotty et al., 2017). This essay will attempt to explain the impacts of technological advancements i.e. electronic records, the introduction of GPS tracking in healthcare, the invention of enhanced diagnostic devices in nursing, better drug delivery systems and devices and smarter alarm systems to monitor the status and welfare of patients in hospitals in the field of welfare.
The Introduction of Electronic Records
One of the most important aspects of nursing and healthcare is keeping medical history for the patients that visit a particular health facility. Keeping records ensures that the health officers have all the data and information about the medical history of the patient meaning that they are in a better position for diagnosis and choosing the best drugs that can be administered to the patients. Advancement of technology in the past decades has meant that hospitals are able to keep centralized electronic medical records. This has been made possible thanks to the advent of computer and computer information system. With the computers and integrated centralized records, hospitals are able to keep a large volume of data and information and data belonging to their patients. The difference with traditional record-keeping that was done through hard paper copies is that with electronic records, the process of creating a file or record belonging to a patient has been made simpler and faster (Henly et al., 2018). For that reason, nurses are able to maintain accurate records about patients hence improving diagnosis and medication. Moreover, besides the faster and easier file creation that comes with integrated central record-keeping system, it is easier for nurses and health experts to access health records after they have been created, moreover, these records are more accurate and harder to temper with compared to traditional hard copy records.
The Introduction of GPS Tracking in Healthcare
In nursing and healthcare, patient and medical instrument tracking and tagging is a central piece of operations. For that reason, healthcare facilities and leaders in nursing and healthcare are constantly looking for technology that will help in improving the way medical equipment and patients are tracked. With GPS technology, healthcare facilities are able to tag and track medical equipment within the hospital and ensure that patients that are under inpatient program can be easily tracked and helped in the case of emergencies. However, the area of nursing and healthcare that has received the biggest boost from the invention of GPS tagging and tracking systems is the outpatient programs. With outpatient programs, healthcare officers treat patients in their hospital premises without the patient having to stay there overnight. In the past, outpatient program was a high-stake program given that a patient can have a worsening of their condition without the hospital and health officers realizing (Henly et al., 2018). However, with better GPS systems, health facilities can have GPS enabled wearables such as wrist bands and watches that monitor the health conditions for a patient that is under the outpatient program. When the patient experiences worsening of their situation, the wearables or the patient can send signals to the hospital for emergencies. Using the GPS systems, the hospital can be able to accurately locate the geographical position of the patient. This has led to the improvement t of the field of nursing and healthcare both in monitoring as well as service delivery.
The invention of Enhanced Diagnostic Devices in Nursing
The advancement in technology in the last years has led to the development of better and more effective diagnostic devices. Health facilities are constantly seeking to improve the diagnosis process in order to ensure that majority of diagnosis is non-invasive. Non-invasive diagnostic process is a diagnostic process that does not involve the opening of patient flesh in order to diagnose them. With the advancement of technology, diagnostic exams can now be conducted non-invasively. This has had a huge impact on the effectiveness and efficiency of diagnostic processes. For instance, with more non-invasive diagnosis, patients are now less exposed to infections arising from invasive diagnosis and the costs of healthcare and diagnosis has gone down (Khanade et al., 2017). The most revolutionary technology in the recent past that has had the biggest implication on diagnosis is the handheld biosensor and the ultrasound technology. With handheld biosensors, a nurse or a medical expert has the ability to detect a wide array of diseases in a patient without having to perform invasive processes. Moreover, ultrasound technology has led to more efficiency in intravenous therapy. With ultrasound, a medical officer is able to pinpoint the exact position for the IV and reduce patient distress.
Better Drug Delivery Systems and Devices
With advancements in technology, healthcare facilities have access to better drug delivery systems that come with implants placed on the patient. With these systems, a nurse is able to set the time at which a patient is supposed to receive medication as well as the quantity of medication that the patient will receive. These systems have had a huge implication on both in-patient as well as the outpatient programs. With a proper drug delivery system installed, the system has the ability to schedule dosing and ensure that the patient in question is capable of receiving the right medication, the correct dosage needed and in the right times that it is needed (Khanade et al., 2017). This means that the healthcare facility is able to reduce the chances of patient handling error, potential lawsuits emanating from the errors as well as free up more nurse time to allow the nurses focus on other areas of nursing that are more in need of their attention. For that reason, it follows necessarily that the advancement in technology and the development of better drug delivery systems has increased the efficiency and effectiveness in nursing.
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Smarter Alarm Systems
In inpatient healthcare programs, wards are installed with alarm systems that are used in monitoring the health condition for the patients inwards. In the past, analog alarm systems were installed inwards and constant beeping sounds were produced due to these alarms. In some of the cases, these alarms went off even when there was no real course of alarm i.e. when the alarms needed charging or when the alarms needed resetting. This means that nurses’ attention is taken away from the more important function. This is referred to as alarm fatigue. With smart alarm systems, the systems are able to detect vital signs in a patient and going off (Khanade et al., 2017). This means that the nurse attention will only be drawn in the case that there is a real cause of alarm. Fr that reason, smart alarm systems brought by advancement in technology has removed alarm fatigue and ensured that nurses time has been freed up to allow them to focus on other areas of nursing that are more in need of their attention.
From the extensive research carried out on the implications of technological advancements in the field of nursing, it is clear that technological advancements have led to the improvement of the effectiveness and efficiency in the field of nursing. Thanks to these technological advancements, we have electronic records that have helped in keeping health records for patients in order to ensure that health history is known and it is easier to diagnose and treat a patient. Secondly, the introduction of GPS tracking in healthcare has ensured that tagging and tracking medical equipment, as well as patients, are much easier. Thirdly, the invention of enhanced diagnostic devices in nursing has helped doctors and medical officers conduct diagnosis of patients much easier and more effectively. Fourth, better drug delivery systems and devices have ensured that patients receive their medication the right time and in the right amounts. Lastly, smarter alarm systems to monitor the status and welfare of patients in hospitals has freed up capacity among nurses allowing them to handle more critical tasks in nursing.
- Piscotty Jr, R. J., Kalisch, B., & Gracey‐Thomas, A. (2017). Impact of healthcare information technology on nursing practice. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 47(4), 287-293.
- Henly, S. J., McCarthy, D. O., Wyman, J. F., Heitkemper, M. M., Redeker, N. S., Titler, M. G., ... & Conley, Y. P. (2018). Emerging areas of science: Recommendations for nursing science education from the Council for the Advancement of Nursing Science Idea Festival. Nursing Outlook, 63(4), 398-407.
- Khanade, K., Sasangohar, F., Sadeghi, M., Sutherland, S., & Alexander, K. (2017, September). Deriving information requirements for a smart nursing system for intensive care units. In Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting (Vol. 61, No. 1, pp. 653-654). Sage CA: Los Angeles, CA: SAGE Publications.
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