Since its inception, nursing has always been a person-to-person profession. It is probably the only remaining profession that you cannot outsource or replace with technology. Even if you use a technologically advanced thermometer to measure temperature, you will still be there with the patient. Despite that, healthcare facilities have found a way of incorporating it into everyday practice to improve patient care, among other services. Today, the impact of technology in nursing has been immense. Technology can now improve documentation, assessment, and decision making.
Technology has changed the way nurses document, plan, review clinical care, and plan their services. The profession will continue to witness more changes even with the emerging technology in nursing. But what has been its general impact on the profession and how are nurses using it to offer patient care? Here are several ways.
- Streamlined Information Management
One of the benefits of technology in nursing is that it has streamlined information management. Today, nurses can share data with doctors within the hospital setup and with healthcare providers in different hospitals. When patient data is available, it is easy to see patterns in health care and offer the best services. The introduction of electronic charting in hospitals requires nurses to fill out charts electronically. That helps to review the information before submitting.
- Simplified administration of medications
Before the advancement of technology, nurses would go around rooms to look at intravenous records and make decisions based on what they saw. Today, IVs have advanced and simplified how the professionals administer intravenous fluids and medications. A nurse can easily set the speed of fluids as they go through a patient’s veins.
- Prevented Medication Errors
Although medication errors still happen, new technologies have reduced their number significantly. Nowadays, there are safety checks to ensure a patient is getting the right medication. Hospitals have alarms to ensure that patients are getting their medicines on time. Computerized Provider Order Enter (CPOE), for example, has helped to double the utility of monitoring drug levels in patients.
- Streamlined Patient Communication
In some settings, patients can access their test results and medical records through patient portals. That helps to close the communication gap with their caregivers. It also allows them to get information quickly and efficiently, which they can then share with their immediate physicians.
- Reduced Patient Interactions
Perhaps one of the most significant disadvantages of infotech in nursing is that it has reduced the interactions between nurses and patients. For example, the introduction of telehealth has made it easier for patients to access health services remotely. That has also reduced face-to-face conversations with their nurses or caregivers. And since nurses must make electronic records in real-time, both parties lose valuable time trying to come up to speed.
Hospitals are experiencing the impact of technology in nursing in different ways. Technology has improved patient care by streamlining information management and patient communication. With nursing, communication with patients is critical. And even if technologies will continue to advance, face-to-face interactions will never go away.