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Technology is transforming the world and that is more evident in the health care arena than any other setting. Considerable progress has been made in the health care arena through the implementation of advanced technology in delivering patient care. By the year 2020, technology will transition the health care from curative to preventive where people will be treated for ailments that they are likely to develop. Effective blending of technology and care facilitates transformation of health care across health care facilities, clinical fields of expertise and departments. Advancing technology can be a critical tool for nurses -the frontlines in the health care landscape in- order to improve patient care and safety. However, medical progress may be decelerated and can curtail patients’ access to required care due to inappropriate implementation.
Although several medical technologies have been around since decades and are in the continuous process of development, some latest technologies are changing the way medicine would be practiced in the future. These technologies would allow medical practice from anywhere, any time and from any device. These include smart phones, Tablet PCs, Touch screens, digital ink, voice recognition, Electronic Health Records (EHRs), Health Information Exchange (HIE), Nationwide Health Information Network (NwHIN), Personal Health Records (PHRs), patient portals, Nanomedicine, genome-based personalized medicine, Geographical Positioning System (GPS), Radiofrequency Identification (RFID), Telemedicine, clinical decision support (CDS), mobile home healthcare, cloud computing, and social media, to name a few significant, . Accelerated cost savings Healthcare is just a market for technology where consumers such as hospitals are happy to pay enormous amounts of money, particularly for prestige equipment, such as PET and MRI scanners and linear accelerators. Technology automates and extends things that previously had to be done by people. Before infusion pumps, nurses had to give injections every so often; the infusion pump technology automated that. Now the nurse’s time is freed up for other activities. In the old days a patient would go to their doctor and get a paper prescription. They would then go around to the pharmacist and get their medicines. One problem with this process was that paper prescriptions were notoriously hard to read, and there was a danger of incorrect dispensing. Today, this process has been computerized. The doctor sends the prescription electronically to the pharmacy, and the pharmacy can dispense the drugs almost immediately.
Innovative information technology tools help ensure patients get the right care at the right time. Health information technology would allow medical professionals, such as doctors, nurses, physician’s assistants, and other medical professionals easy access to a number of services, such as patient’s records, dental services, nursing services, social services, and crisis and critical care services, etc. By using the health information technology to update and maintain information in real-time, available medical, social and community resources may be allocated appropriately and efficiently by the users of the technology. This may result in decreased costs for treatment of individual patients and for the health care system as a whole. Non-invasive and minimally invasive tools for diagnostics and treatment generally result in lower patient risk and cost.
Laparoscopic surgery, a modern surgical technique, has gained popularity over conventional abdominal surgery. There are a number of advantages of laparoscopic surgery as compared to an open procedure. These include less pain than an open procedure faster recovery, smaller incisions, less risk of infection. People can typically resume normal activities within 1or 2 days after surgery resulting in decreased hospital expenditure.
Improved Nurse satisfaction and Patient Safety
The use Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) by nurses can impact their practice, modifying the ways in which they plan, provide, document, and review clinical care. ICTs can influence nurses’ working environment and have the potential to impact on professional satisfaction, for example, the quality of care as perceived by nurses. Nursing sensitive outcomes (or patients’ outcomes), such as patient safety, comfort, and quality of life. However, nurses are sometimes concerned that using electronic nursing documentation or the Barcode Medication Administration (BCMA) for documenting and for administering medication might take away or reduce time for patient care. Conversely, other reviews including communication systems like tele homecare, and management systems like Electronic Health Record System (EHRs) found that time spent for patient care has significantly improved and particularly, nurses using EHRs spent more time with patients in assessment, education, and communication.
Conventional patient records are paper records in folders in cabinets. Many patients have extensive patient records, lab results and so on, and even more patients have patient records that are in many places – in hospitals they have visited, consultant’s offices, general practices, and so on. They are rarely all together where the patient is, often they get lost or duplicated, and sometimes destroyed by fire or floods. An electronic health record (EHR) is a digital version of a patient’s paper chart. A greater and more seamless flow of information within a digital health care infrastructure, created by electronic health records (EHRs), encompasses and leverages digital progress and can transform the way care is delivered and compensated. With EHRs, information is available whenever and wherever it is needed. EHRs are real-time, patient-centered records that make information available instantly and securely to authorized users. While an EHR does contain the medical and treatment histories of patients, an EHR system is built to go beyond standard clinical data collected in a provider’s office and can be inclusive of a broader view of a patient’s care. EHRs can: Contain a patient’s medical history, diagnoses, medications, treatment plans, immunization dates, allergies, radiology images, and laboratory and test results. Allow access to evidence-based tools that providers can use to make decisions about a patient’s care. Automate and streamline provider workflow.
There is no space here to fully explore the vast range of likely and significant technological breakthroughs. Consider Nano health, brain implants, artificial organs, networked sensors, genomics, exoskeletons, just a few of the potentially transformative developments already under way. Some of these technologies are going to transform our whole approach to illness and health – in the same way that the nineteenth century development of anesthetics changed society’s moral approach to pain. Pain and suffering used to be inevitable; now we like to think we have a right to painless procedures.
At the international level, organizations such as the European Union, the World Health Organization and the United Nations entertain high hopes and great expectations of eHealth when it comes to the major issues in global health care: ageing, curbing healthcare expenditures, consumerism, prevention and control of infectious diseases.
The American Academy of Nursing’s Workforce Commission recognized the importance of effective technologies in improving the safety and efficiency of care and in helping to return time to nurses for essential care. Technology enables care and enhances safety by automating functions both simple and complex. They recognized the value of technology in eliminating waste in the nursing workflow due to inefficient work patterns, interruptions, or distractions; missing supplies; and inaccessible documentation. These findings support the business case for using technology to return more time to direct nursing care and to improve communication and implement other safeguards available through smart devices.
Technologic tools can provide the right care at the right time and in the right place. For example, telehealth affords veterans the convenience of accessing primary or specialized care services either from their local Veterans Administration (VA) community clinic or from the privacy of their own home. Under the Choice program, any veterans now have the option to access community. partner health care rather than waiting for a VA appointment, or traveling to a VA facility when the geographic distance is more than 40 miles, or if the appointment in the VA is not available for 30 days. The Choice program and telehealth are 2 very concrete examples of (Veterans’ Health Administration (VHA) transformation from a facility or provider-centric health care delivery model to a model that puts the veteran’s needs at the center and improving the veteran’s access to resources to meet their health care needs. More than 717, 000 veterans have accessed VA care through telehealth in fiscal year 14, and 45% of these veterans live in rural and highly rural areas. In FY14, the total for veterans using telehealth represented about an 18% growth from the prior year; and the telehealth services provide access to help in more than 45 different specialty areas, including those areas where VHA has a particular expertise, especially, for example, in mental health that may not be available from the local community partner.
Quality is one of the most frequently used terms in health care. However, there are no clear definitions available. In an authoritative publication of the US Institute of Medicine, the authors listed six components of quality in health care for the 21st century: safety, effectiveness, patient-centeredness, timeliness, efficacy and equity. eHealth contributes to the global issue of keeping our health systems affordable, accessible, acceptable and of good quality. Though limited when it comes to the impact on all six components of quality health care by the Institute of Medicine these results show where eHealth stands as of now: effective in education, monitoring and self- management support. Safety, effectiveness and efficacy are manifest in lower mortality rates, lower hospital admissions rates, better lab-values and lower medication use. Economic benefits are indicated by a reduced use of care, though the evidence is not very extensive yet. eHealth significantly supports enhancement of patients; knowledge about their diseases, their self-management capacities and their quality of life. Additionally, a well-functioning system of care delivery is hardly imaginable without the continuous support of a secondary process driven by information and communication technology such as logistics, appointments, finance, case-management, procurement, (personal) health records etc. For example, Canada Mount Sinai Hospital (MSH) developed a comprehensive, integrated approach to improve care for hospitalized older adults and older adults at high risk of hospitalization, particularly because of functional, cognitive, social, or other problems. To improve the delivery and quality of care, patient and system outcomes in all older patients, and those older patients at especially high risk of poor outcomes. The MSH geriatric zed order sets and care protocols to support safer evidence-based care; tracking systems to monitor flow of Acute Care for Elders (ACE) patients throughout Mount Sinai Hospital in real time and support timely transfer to ACE unit; secure e-mail notification and flagging systems to allow primary care, home care, emergency, and inpatient care providers to communicate effectively; and risk identification tools (ACE Tracker) to support early identification of high-risk patients. Mount Sinai has maintained region’s lowest admission rate of older patients — 25 percent, 18 percent lower than regional admission rate. For those admitted to hospital, there was 28 percent decrease in mean length of stay; 13. 4 percent decline in readmissions; reduction in “alternate level of care” (“bed blocker”) days per patient of 20 percent; and increase in patients discharged directly to home. Average direct cost of care per patient reduced by 23 percent, and general inpatient medical beds reduced by 18. 2 percent.
Healthcare changes dramatically because of technological developments, from anesthetics and antibiotics to magnetic resonance imaging scanners and radiotherapy. Future technological innovation is going to keep transforming healthcare, yet while technologies (new drugs and treatments, new devices, new social media support for healthcare, etc. ) will drive innovation, human factors will remain one of the stable limitations of breakthroughs. The healthcare environment will also continue to be rapidly transformed by new technology as a result of the need to provide confidentiality and security of patient data. eHealth will accelerate the much-needed transformation of our healthcare systems and sustain access, affordability and quality for all in the near future. Information and communication technologies (ICTs) are becoming an impetus for quality health care delivery by nurses.
A greater and more seamless flow of information within a digital health care infrastructure, created by electronic health records (EHRs), encompasses and leverages digital progress and can transform the way care is delivered and compensated. A greater and more seamless flow of information within a digital health care infrastructure, created by electronic health records (EHRs), encompasses and leverages digital progress and can transform the way care is delivered and compensated.
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