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Benefits of Technology in Nursing

by Kevin Bellah

Technological advancements have changed the ways nurses are delivering care and access information. Although medical guidelines change from time to time, the most common adjustments are in the IT functionalities. Unfortunately, this means that the most knowledgeable nurse can become out of sync with the industry in no time. Unfortunately, many nurses have an “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality, which makes demonstrating the benefits of technology one of the most difficult hurdles to overcome. With this in mind, we will tell you exactly how technology is helping nurses. 

Decreased Operational Costs

Health information technology is an expensive investment, but it reduces operational costs in the long run. In particular, medical facilities see a decrease in operations costs within the first year of adopting technology. For example, smart technologies can increase the speed of care and improve turnaround. Electronic health records (EHR) help to reduce insurance processing speeds, which means that users can access care swiftly and payment can be collected in good time. 

High-level nurses studying DNP nursing leadership courses through Baylor University will learn how to integrate technology into operational plans. This knowledge is essential for the nursing industry to advance in technological adoption. 

Speedy Lab Results

Before technology improved communication through EHR, nurses had to wait for lab results to be manually analyzed before they retrieved them. Now, thanks to innovative tech, nurses can access test results as soon as they’ve been published. This speeds up the treatment process and provides better care to the patient, and helps to improve turnover. Having a higher turnover means more revenue to spend on improving resources, which will in turn help nurses carry out their duties. 

Better Patient Safety

Before EHR began infiltrating the healthcare system, erroneous diagnoses were fairly common because of a lapse in communication and the difficulty in accessing patient medical history. Fortunately, EHR offers real-time access to medical history for all parties involved, which means that any mistakes can be easily spotted and avoided. When it comes to administering drugs, having access to a patient’s medical history results in more effective treatment. 

Not only does EHR improve patient safety, but it also reduces potential legal costs faced by hospitals on the back of negligence. Given the staggering amount of money paid out in legal fees, malpractice case reduction is a key area of focus. 

Smoother Care Coordination

Caregivers across numerous agencies need to have access to data. Thanks to EHR, care providers can access information transparently, which reduces the risk of errors resulting from communication issues. If any discrepant treatments are issued, an effective monitoring system will produce a red flag. This helps to reduce errors and makes treatment more streamlined across all services. 

Records Administration Streamlining

When patients visit care clinics, they were historically asked to provide information through written records. Now, onboarding and information gathering are streamlined through EHR. The reduction in friction between user and service provider means that more people will be willing to visit the emergency room, especially when faced with minor healthcare problems. 

Improved Scheduling

Staff shortages are unavoidable but can be a massive hindrance to caregivers, which is why resource-demand management is used. This technology allows leaders to analyze current caseloads against available staffing levels. The tools allow users to set boundaries to avoid too much work being assigned to one person. As well as assigning work, scheduling tools let managers see who their skilled workers are. This means that an unknowledgeable nurse won’t need to take on work that’s above their station.

Hospital Admission Reduction

Many people visit clinics for issues that can easily be dealt with at home. Unfortunately, this means that there are fewer beds and nurses available to care for those that need it. Technology including wearable tech can help nurses provide remote care, which saves space in hospitals. Further, EHR gives power to patients because they can authorize access to their information, which will speed up and improve the care they receive. 

Performance Improvements

As mentioned previously, EHR significantly reduces the chances of drug administration mistakes happening, but it doesn’t mean mistakes don’t slip through the net. Fortunately, thanks to information management tools, clinics can identify and analyze areas that require improvement. Leaders can then use this information to educate staff and improve the level of care given to patients. 

Access for Patients

American law states that all citizens can access their medical histories to check for errors. With this in mind, healthcare providers have created online portals using Health IT to let patients access their records. These portals let people find answers quickly and increase transparency. If anything erroneous is in the information, it can be rectified, which helps caregivers improve their level of care. 

Reduce Emergency Room Wait Times

Waiting in the emergency room can take hours, which can put people off attending. Thanks to telehealth advancements since the global pandemic, clinics can provide remote consultations. Remote appointments don’t require patients to wait around for hours, and they can be provided with in-depth information. With more people being seen remotely, the emergency room can be left for people with real emergencies. 

Patient Stay Reductions

Fall victims make up a large proportion of people admitted to the emergency room. According to the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC), innovative technology has helped to reduce the time it takes to assess these patients by 20%. Decreasing the time patients need to stay in the hospital allows a greater level of care to be provided. 

Technology is a great resource for nurses, but the shortcomings primarily come from a lack of knowledge. If the average nurse knows how technology can benefit them, they are more likely to be proactive in learning how to use them. The more tech knowledge in the nursing field, the more effective it will become. Health care tech manages nurse workload, grants access to medical records and reduces the number of patients coming through the emergency room. Now that you know the benefits of technology, you can talk to your leaders about learning how to use it. 

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