Technology can be a powerful tool in the world of nursing. According to NIH.gov, the internet and social media have changed the way society communicates, especially in healthcare. Nurses have had to develop digital literacy skills to communicate with their patients and stay up to date with changes within the industry.
The internet is a unique platform that seamlessly connects various aspects of healthcare. A technologically knowledgeable nursing workforce can create collaborative communities that will positively impact healthcare. Here are some ways that nurses use technology in their daily practice and how these changes are altering healthcare for the better.
The best way to show how technology has impacted nursing is through nursing informatics.
Nursing Informatics encompasses a unique combination of nursing and information technology. Nursing informatics as a specialty integrates nursing science with multiple information and analytical sciences to identify, define, manage, and communicate data and information in nursing practice.
According to himss.org, nursing informatics professionals are unique, hybrid heroes of healthcare. Their innovative work keeps patients happy and healthy. Their expertise and guidance help streamline workflow and the sharing of information. Nursing informatics is a rapidly growing field of specialty in nursing in the United States. According to a recent article, nursing informatics professionals have long advocated for the integration of technology to support the profession.
Electronic health records (EHRs) are commonly found in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and other healthcare settings. After a visit to a doctor, you probably received a sheet of paper outlining the outcome of your visit. With EHR, all that information is available digitally. Software such as EPIC, Yardi, and PointClickCare (PCC) are commonly widely used in healthcare settings for computerized charting.
Many programs, including EPIC, PCC and Yardi, are used in long-term care settings and hospitals based on industry needs. EHRs make charting quick and convenient, compared to the old fashion way of charting. EHRs are built to share information with other healthcare providers and organizations so they contain comprehensive information about a patient’s healthcare record.
Scheduling an in-person appointment isn’t the only way to connect with a healthcare professional. Now more than ever, communication between doctors, nursing staff, and patients is taking place digitally thanks to advancements in telehealth. Smartphones are also useful in long-term care as a way for healthcare providers to interact with patients.
During the wide spread of COVID-19, telehealth was utilized by doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers to communicate with each other as well as with their patients. According to research, transformation into a digitally enabled profession will maximize the benefits to patient care. Not only are chronically ill patients able to access healthcare resources more easily, but homebound and remote patients also have more options. Healthcare is now just a click away for those who need it.
Technology hasn’t just impacted the way we provide healthcare but has also influenced the way we educate future healthcare heroes. Some nursing programs in the United States are online and hybrid nowadays. At Herzing University there are many opportunities for students to complete their nursing education online. You could complete your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) online in as few as three years or less or your Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). Advancements in technology increase the accessibility of nursing programs and education, thus supporting the ongoing efforts to address the growing nursing shortage.
According to the National Library of Medicine, modern nursing education must engage with technology and social media to provide a future-ready workforce capable of delivering future eHealth reforms. Technology has been an integral part of nursing and will continue to play an increasingly important role in the future of nursing practice and healthcare.