The development of technology influences every aspect of our lives, and the healthcare industry is no exception here. Constantly appearing new or improved digital tools and equipment allow health professionals to provide their patients with better, faster, more effective care.
According to equipment experts from Heartland Medical, not only doctors but also nurses can benefit from technology enhancements. No one can argue that nursing is an exceptionally stressful and demanding profession, which is why it’s even more important to try making it at least a little easier for them. Apart from that, the digital age has facilitated further education, so nurses are able to improve their skills and service quality without pausing their careers or neglecting their personal lives.
Below, we present you with examples of technology improvements that help nurses become better professionals, avoid burnout and reduce the risk of overexertion. Read on if you’re a nurse yourself or you’re simply curious about the digital wonders in the healthcare system.
Medscape is a website offering the latest news from the medical world, information for health professionals, and helping people from the industry educate themselves further. You can download their iOS, Android, or Kindle app to gain access to medical journals, drug information, medical libraries, MEDLINE database, FDA announcements, as well as helpful tools, such as medical calculators.
StudyBlue is a learning platform, available for both desktop and mobile devices, offering educational materials, quizzes, notecards, and more. It uses various types of content – videos, texts, images, audios – that keep the learner engaged. The app is widely used by nursing students but can also prove useful for nurses who want to keep learning. The great advantage is that StudyBlue is entirely free and allows you to track your progress.
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the development of telemedicine software (e.g., GreatCall, eVisit), which will also benefit us all in the future. Not only does it allow for safer consultations whenever there’s no need for a face-to-face meeting, but it also enables people from remote and isolated areas to stay in touch with medical professionals. They can ask for advice, see visual instructions regarding wound dressing, etc. Combined with other digital tools, it can help nurses monitor their patients from a distance, including their heart rates, blood pressure or glucose levels, and so on.
Automated IV Pumps
Automated IV pumps have become so prevalent that many nursing schools include them in their training programs. The pumps have made it much easier (and, as such, safer) to control the distribution of medications as well meals to patients. Nurses can remotely change the amounts without unnecessary waiting time, which can be crucial in case of an emergency.
On top of that, it reduces the risk of human error that may happen even to the best of nurses; plus, in case of painful injuries and conditions, patients can manage their own pain medications without constantly bothering ever-busy nurses.
Almost every job includes monotonous, daunting tasks that can make every worker’s life a nightmare. These activities are one of the most significant factors leading to apathy and irritations, which can cause a person to make a mistake or experience burnout. Currently, there are various robots in place or in high stages (e.g., the TUG robot) of development that can support drawing blood, serving food, carrying medical supplies and devices, disinfection, admitting and navigating patients and their visitors, and more.
Centralized Command Centers
A centralized command center ensures better services and experience as it provides the whole staff with information about supplies, technologies, and the hospital’s capacity. With its help, there aren’t any problems with assessing room availability, schedules, patients’ needs, discharge processes, etc.
Technology gets better and better at making things smaller. Fortunately for all of us, this also includes medical devices. Activities like measuring parameters and vital signs no longer require heavy machines that need time to be moved around. As such, nurses can perform the tests quicker and easier, which is also more comfortable for patients. Moreover, many portable devices can work online, uploading and sharing data with other health professionals. It significantly speeds up the whole assessment and decision-making process.
Electronic Health Records
Electronic Health Records allow nurses and other healthcare professionals to reduce the amount of time they spend on screenings, searchings, interviewing, etc. Some versions might contain a questionnaire that needs to be filled out by a patient who creates their health history themselves; it can also be updated by a nurse or a doctor later.
When there’s a need for medical assistance, hospital workers can gain immediate access to a patient’s files, significantly speeding up the decision-making process and treatment. In addition, it can be easily shared across wards and different caretakers, improving the overall quality of healthcare. The system may also work in real-time, alerting nurses when there’s a need for any changes or help is required. Thanks to the HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), the patient has a guarantee that the information remains private and secure.
Technology is making the healthcare system better, more efficient, and more accessible. It brings the necessary help to people in need but also improves the working environment of health professionals, reducing the risk of overexertion and burnout. Nurses are increasingly turning to technology in order to improve their work and their patients’ well-being. The benefits of these digital tools are apparent, and as such, they are in high demand. After all, no one wants to be stuck in the stone age.