Nursing Informatics: Technology in Nursing – Care Example

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"Nursing Informatics: Technology in Nursing" is an engrossing example of a paper on care. There are advancements in technology in every sector of life and new technology is being presented every day. This has affected many areas including the health care field. This paper will look into the various ways that technology is being used in the field of nursing to effectively improve information and communication measures thus improving the health care system. Introduction Nursing informatics is described as the use of technology in health care to collect, process, store, display, communicate and retrieve information or data in a manner that is timely and effective in the health care industry (Kathryn & Hannah, 2006).

This technology has greatly improved the role of patients in the systems. By using computers and nursing science and information science in a combined effort assists nurses in easing their practice and expanding their knowledge during delivery and practice of care. This has led to decreased time in documentation (Douglas, 2000). There are several types of technologies used in nursing including electronic charting which has led to patient safety. The big question in nursing technology and informatics at large is that “ is it a friend or foe? ” Technology is a friend but since it is a broad subject, this paper will focus on some handheld electronic devices and computer use in nursing practice, which have been shown to have positive impacts on patient safety and patient outcomes. Nurses and Computers Use of computerized technology as a method of documentation is used to assist nurses in organizing information and workflow improvement (Lee, 2007).

There are few concerns about the workflow once the implementation of the new system is done.

This is not just in nurses but all organizational changes are questioned. Initially, it is more time consuming since nurses have to learn new formats and typing skills which can be stressing and dissatisfying. The solution is to make nurses participate in the implementation process so as to gather their input. Hardwick (2007) says that it is important to have nursing informatics as clinical documentation is made available even at the bedside. Technology for Reporting and Documentation Communication failure is identified as the cause of sentinel events in America (Strople & Ottani, 2006).

Use of memory to give critical reports in nursing can lead to omissions of crucial information. These worksheets are replaced by the use of PDA devices that store information permanently and the risk of missing it is low. Use of handheld devices and other electronic reporting means has the potential to increase time spent directly with patients. Similarly, the use of handheld devices and computers for documentation improves the speed and efficiency of work. These portable devices are incorporated into electronic medical records (EMRs) in order to enter vital signs quickly and efficiently from the side of the bed (Hardwick, Pudilo, & Adelson, 2007).

A study undertaken at University Community Hospital concluded that the use of EMR reduces documentation errors for vital signs by more than half (Gearing, et al. , 2009). Summary and Conclusion Nursing technology has many benefits and is more of a friend than a foe. Even though change may not be easily accepted it is beneficial to have technology in nursing for efficiency and time-saving. This paper only looks into few technological advancements in nursing that have replaced the old chart for documentation and it is clear that they have links to positive patient outcomes due to efficiency, effectiveness and time spent directly with the nurses, thanks to the use of handheld devices and computers.

References

Douglas, M. (2000). Nursing informatics: Where caring and technology meet. Health Informatics, 12-13.

Gearing, P., Olney, C., Davis, K., Lozano, D., Smith, L., & Friedman, B. (2009). Patient safety -enhancing patient safety through electronic medical record documentation of sital signs. Journal of Healthcare Information Management, 40-45.

Hardwick, M. E., Pudilo, P. A., & Adelson, W. S. (2007). The use of handheld technology in nursing research and practice. Orthopaedic Nursing, 251-255.

Kathryn, J., & Hannah, M. (2006). Introduction to nursing informatics. Health Informatics Series, 292.

Lee, T. (2007). Nurses’ experiences using a nursing information system: Early stage of technology implementation. Computers, Informatics, Nursing, 294-300.

Strople, B., & Ottani, P. (2006). Can technology improve intershift report? What the research reveals. Journal of Professional Nursing, 197-204.

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