Innovation in healthcare is changing medical outcomes and saving lives, but it is also changing the careers of nurses. New medications and procedures change how patients can be treated, and new tools change how nurses do their jobs. Whether you are at the beginning of your nursing education or are about to start your first job after getting licensure, these technology innovations (and more) will likely be part of your new profession:
Automated IV pumps, also called smart pumps, can help measure, set and manage correct medication. The software can change the drip amount automatically according to the doctor’s instructions. This easily facilitates dosage changes if a patient requires an immediate adjustment and, because the process is automated, it helps prevent errors. Additionally, smart pumps have alarms that alert nurses when fluid levels are low or tubing becomes kinked.
Smart beds include technology that helps track a patient’s movement, weight and vitals. They can help identify patterns and provide information that healthcare professionals can use to better understand a condition or make a diagnosis.
In addition to gathering information, smart beds help nurses keep patients safe by monitoring patient movement and creating alerts when patients attempt to get out of bed which can prompt nursing staff to assist to the patient to help avoid falls or injuries. Bed monitors can also encourage regular movement to prevent bedsores.
Electronic Health Records
An electronic health record (EHR) is a digital version of a patient’s medical chart. It records the patient’s medical history including everything from diagnoses andprogress notes to medications, immunizations, radiology images, and laboratory results.
EHRs provide an easier way to collect, review and share information at a patient’s bedside. EHRs help nurses monitor condition changes and are a single-source for information that can be helpful throughout treatment. EHR data also helps clinicians to avoid mistakes and unnecessary tests as well as prevent delays in treatment.
Personal Health Records
In addition to the rapid adoption of EHRs, more patients are using Personal Health Records (PHR). Similar to an EHR, the PHR gives patients access to a portion of their medical records, such as diagnoses and test results.
Healthcare professionals, including nurses, can now provide patient care remotely using technology that enables live video conferencing and mobile health apps.
With telehealth programs, patients can access “nurse concierges” when they have any questions or concerns about their health. Similarly, nurses can use telehealth systems to check in with patients and record vital statistics that can be reviewed by doctors to determine or monitor treatment plans.
Innovation and the Future
Innovation can help alleviate some of the time-consuming, stressful tasks a nurse does each day. While technology is helping medical professionals better care for patients, it can never replace the human interaction that makes the job of a nurse so vital. The ultimate goal is to free up time and make it easier for nurses to provide the best possible patient care.
If you are interested in exploring a career in nursing, click here or call us at 855-436-7847 and find out how we can help you get started.