Healthcare is still the fastest-growing industry on the market. The demand for healthcare services is on a steep rise, which only means the ...
Healthcare is still the fastest-growing industry on the market. The demand for healthcare services is on a steep rise, which only means the demand for healthcare professionals is also growing rapidly. More people are entering the industry as doctors, nurses, and medical practitioners. Existing healthcare professionals are also adapting to the changes affecting healthcare in general.
Those changes include the implementation of new technologies. As nurses and medical practitioners are required to do more work, handle more patients, and deliver better healthcare services, they turn to technology for solutions. In recent years, several technologies have transformed healthcare – and nursing specifically – substantially.
Electronic Health Records
Electronic Health Records, or EHRs, are invaluable in today’s healthcare landscape. When the concept was first introduced a few years ago, EHR solutions were seen to bring about a big change that would make delivering good healthcare services easy. That prediction was correct.
EHRs allow patients to get the same level of healthcare services no matter where they are. As long as they can give nurses and medical practitioners access to their EHRs, they can have the exact services they need based on their complete medical history.
The implementation of electronic medical records also makes nurses more effective in what they do. Instead of having to pull up thick bundles of documents or work on reports after handling patients, nurses can switch to digital files and forms.
Even better, some parts of updating EHRs are now fully automated. Adding medical images and lab reports are among the tasks that no longer require manual input. As long as the same patient ID is used, all records are added to the patient’s EHR automatically.
That actually brings us to the next technology transforming our healthcare landscape, which is information management systems. Healthcare information management systems are not only more advanced, but also more integrated.
The integration of EHRs to hospital and practice information systems is certainly a huge plus. As mentioned before, human error can be avoided almost entirely now that new entries to the patients’ EHRs are added automatically.
At the same time, a good information management system also makes improving healthcare service quality and accuracy easy. As long as medical practitioners and nurses have all the patient’s information, they can maintain a high level of service quality at every turn.
On top of that, the use of information management systems allows for over 80% of healthcare operations to be stored and conducted digitally. This means hospitals can save on the costs of storing paper documents, which results in more affordable healthcare services.
To tie everything together, we have modern medical tablets. These tablets are the devices that make using healthcare information system easy and intuitive. More importantly, medical tablets are designed for the environment that they are used in.
A rugged exterior case protects the hardware from bumps and drops. The screen is usually resistive rather than capacitive like consumer tablets, so doctors and nurses can use the device while wearing gloves or holding a pen; resistive touch requires pressure rather than a conductor.
Nurses can also take advantage of the system running inside the tablet as well as the improved mesh network supporting modern healthcare facilities. No matter where they are in the building, nurses will always have access to patient information.
Dedicated medical tablets also excel in one department: security. While it may be difficult to manage security across multiple devices in a Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) environment, facilities that use medical tablets can use centralized security measures to comply with HIPAA.
We really cannot talk about technologies that have transformed healthcare without talking about the portable defibrillator. Portable defibrillators have been responsible for saving countless lives in the event of heart failure.
A defibrillator automatically diagnoses life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias, and then apply the most suitable treatment based on that diagnosis. The available devices are relatively affordable too, with top-of-the-line models costing around $3,000 to $4,000.
A portable defibrillator is now an invaluable tool in a nurse’s arsenal. Nurses no longer have to rely on manual CPR or bigger hardware normally only available in hospitals and clinics to perform life-saving procedures. CPR becomes the step taken after using the defibrillator.
It is a technology that’s now being introduced to those studying to become a nurse, including in online ABSN programs from top names like Baylor University. In fact, the Louise Herrington School of Nursing Online are among the first to add this new technology – and many others – to their curriculum.
For nurses, a Sphygmomanometer is a piece of technology that makes day-to-day nursing tasks more manageable. Until the Sphygmomanometer was introduced, nurses had to measure blood pressure and heart rate manually.
This may not seem like a big problem at first, but when you consider just how many patients a nurse can – and usually does – handle in a day, you begin to appreciate what the Sphygmomanometer is doing to the industry.
Sphygmomanometers basically take blood pressure and heart rate measurements in one go, and without having to do a lot of manual work. A digital Sphygmomanometer can be installed on a patient’s arm within seconds, after which the device requires only a press of a button.
Newer models have bigger screens and are significantly more accurate. Some models also add additional features such as blood oxygen level measurement and temperature reading, making nurses’ jobs a lot easier.
The last tech we are going to review in this article is the IV monitor, particularly the electronic IV monitors that we now have in most healthcare facilities. The technology is created to do a specific job: to monitor and control IVs.
More specifically, electronic IV monitors take care of IV pump infusion and electronic monitoring. Nurses no longer have to administer an IV and constantly make changes based on the patient’s movements. The electronic monitor handles everything with immense precision.
All of these technologies are still being used right now and affecting the lives of nurses across the globe. Newer technologies and updates to those we have discussed in this article are also in the pipelines, so expect to see more improvements to our healthcare landscape in the near future.