HomeKnowledge BaseHow Are Innovations in Technology Changing Patient Care?

How Are Innovations in Technology Changing Patient Care?

Technology surrounds us – from the devices we use in our everyday lives, such as telephones and cars, to the unseen devices that help run the world around us; advancements in technology are changing the foundations of industries of all kinds.

While it may not be readily apparent to the patient or the prospective nurse, innovations in technology are transforming the way that health stakeholders – from medical practitioners to patients – engage with the health service.

Master of Nursing Online can help educate nursing students on the newest innovations in the health system, such as the work being done to improve patient education and accessibility.

Let’s explore some ways that technology is enhancing the medical profession – from the apps and devices we use today to technology that may help run the hospitals and nursing stations of tomorrow and beyond.

Also read: How IoT is Transforming the Healthcare Industry

Elevating Patient Education and Management

Nursing graduates can often feel under immense pressure in their first few years of practice. A recent study found that turnover rates of graduate nurses can be as high as one in sixteen graduates. Upon reflection, while it is an astounding number, it’s not as surprising when considering the demands on nurses in the modern medical setting.

There are many ways that stress on nurses can be improved – for example, by improving hiring standards, having minimum nursing-to-patient ratios, and improving the materials and resources available to them in their practice. Technology can also assist with this – particularly in the fields of patient education, as well as the ongoing management of chronic health conditions such as asthma.

Patient education is one element that is impacted by the use of technology in an increasingly positive fashion. Apps can allow patients to track and record medical stats, such as the blood glucose level in diabetic patients or the frequency of asthma attacks in young children. This ability to gather data like never before assists nurses and other medical staff in getting the best treatment outcomes for their patients – being able to diagnose potential patterns of illness, or the significance of a health event, can assist greatly in identifying the best management and treatment options.

Patient Accessibility Innovations – Frontiers in Telehealth

The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant and dramatic impact on medical presentations in hospitals and doctors’ offices. As the COVID-19 pandemic worsened during 2020 and 2021, nurses faced a dual health crisis – that is, an inability to visit every patient in person, as well as a lack of in-person visits due to a fear of catching COVID.

Enter the relatively new field of telehealth, an emerging industry where healthcare providers can provide primary care and self-management advice for a number of conditions, where patients can remain safe in the comfort of their own homes. This healthcare innovation has provided a significant opportunity for nursing graduates to assist patients in a remote setting – mainly when dealing with illnesses such as colds, food poisoning, and anxiety.

Telehealth has experienced rapid growth in recent years; a recent report by the Australian Bureau of Statistics found that nearly one-third of patients engaged in telehealth consultations to seek medical assistance and treatment. As the needs of patients evolve, we can only imagine the possibilities of telehealth – perhaps the future includes remote medication delivery or advanced virtual appointments.

Doctor With Stethoscope
Image Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/a-doctor-with-stethoscope-wearing-pink-face-mask-while-looking-at-the-camera-5327585/

Electronic Records – Shifting to a Paper-Free Nursing Practice

Technology continues to improve and add to the role of nurses within their practice. In the past, a common pain point of nursing professionals was the role of printed documentation for patients – mainly if there were complex patient notes citing allergies and treatment schedules.

One such report from the National Library of Medicine found that nearly one in six medication incident reports were made due to missed or delayed medication doses. This is far from ideal for patients – to get the best possible treatment, it seems reasonable that a patient should get the medication they need in a timely fashion.

To address the issue of missed medications, innovation was developed in the space of electronic records – reducing the reliance on printouts and presenting data and information in a way that was easy to read and simple to action for nurses. As a result of these innovations, the rate of missed medications was reduced – demonstrating how innovation in the medical field can not only make the job of nurses easier but also benefit patient outcomes.

Beyond the Screens – Physical Innovations in Nursing

One field that often gets overlooked when looking at the innovations in nursing in recent years is the use of improved technology and procedures, such as patient handling procedures and mobility lifts. Historically, nurses relied on several complex, physical handling procedures that may have resulted in significant physical injuries.

Many medical institutions have implemented mobility aids such as full-body lifts, reducing the need for risky manual techniques. This level of innovation means that a nurse is now less likely to be injured at work by a manual handling technique – meaning they’re less likely to be injured. Innovation goes beyond the digital screen in nursing – there have been many significant physical improvements that look to make the lives of nurses easier in the years ahead.

Do These Innovations Make A Difference?

Innovation in the medical field has a long-standing tradition. Long gone are the days of the uneducated barber surgeon – the medical profession has come a long way in improving the standards of the professionals that make up their industry, including nurses.

While it may seem challenging to observe, a lot of time has been spent gathering information on how innovation can improve medical outcomes. In the case of electronic records, the data is well known – with studies such as those coming out of the National Library of Medicine allowing hospital administrators to gain concrete evidence on how innovation has made things better in the nursing space.

Also read: 27 Best Health Apps for Android & iPhone

In the physical sense, adjustments to the physical environment have also benefited nurses, reducing the rate of injury and volume of compensation claims due to outdated procedures.

Beyond the classroom, technology has come a long way in enhancing the lives of medical practitioners. As a nurse, you should feel well-equipped to handle any changes that may come your way – don’t be afraid to embrace the opportunity, as you may save a life.

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Mehul Boricha
Mehul Boricha
Mehul Boricha is the driving force behind Tech Arrival. He is a computer and smartphone geek from Junagadh, Gujarat, India. He is a Software Engineer by Education & a Blogger by Passion. Apart from technology geek, his free time is dedicated to cybersecurity research, server optimization, and contributing to open-source projects.

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