How New Technology in Nursing Is Improving the Quality of Care
October 23, 2020
The last three decades have brought remarkable innovations to healthcare. New technology has changed every step of patient care, from how appointments are made to how surgery is performed. Many of these technological platforms have greatly advanced the practice of nursing, allowing for more efficiency also improving the quality of patient care as well as outcomes.
A 2018 LinkedIn survey of nurses showed that 82 percent believe that technology positively affected their ability to provide care. Digging a little deeper, how is tech helping nurses do their jobs better, and hopefully avoiding burnout? Here are a few examples:
Electronic Health Records (EHRs): These digital version of a patient’s history can include everything from progress notes to medications, labs, and provider information. It’s a one-stop shop for nurses to both enter and find data, allowing them faster access to information while also improving both the accuracy and amount of patient medical records.
Failsafes: No human, and no technology, is foolproof. That said, tech-enhanced routine procedures such as automated IV pumps can take over tasks where error could be introduced. And as mentioned before, an EHR close at hand means better data in front of the nurse when needed, which can reduce duplication or delays.
More Time for Nursing: The nursing shortage across the United States continues, and burnout rates from the COVID-19 pandemic have yet to be assessed. New technology in nursing care, such as telehealth, has emerged to take some of the burden off nurses, allowing them to spend more time with individual patients and interact with families and other caregivers.
Artificial Intelligence Proving Beneficial for Continuing Education and More
Another way that technology in nursing is vastly improving nursing is through artificial intelligence, or AI, in the realm of professional learning and development. As an example, HealthStream’s Jane® has created a system that personalizes competency development for nurses, allowing for training that meets nurses where they are vs. taking a “one size fits all” approach. The result is customized learning that benefits each learner, identifying risks and opportunities that provide a smart, accessible learning journey to support their career path.
Jane’s features include:
- Automatically assign assessments based on a clinician’s profession and specialty area
- View assessment results together with percentile rankings and national benchmarks for greater context
- View results by clinical topic to determine major areas of focus during orientation
- Receive relevant feedback on target areas for development
- Identify which clinicians are potential flight risks.
- Judgment is assessed using AI and IBM Watson technology for quick, accurate results
No technology will ever replace the care and compassion that a skilled nurse offers patients. What it can do, however, is make that nurse’s life easier while supporting the entire care team’s goal of comprehensive care and successful outcomes for each patient.