Answer the discussion and at least 2 references.
Healthcare Information Technology Trends
I used to work in one of the largest general hospitals in my city as a med-surg nurse. The most significant technology we used was electronic health records (EHRs). EHRs can hold an enormous amount of information on each patient, yet it is incredibly organized and simple to use. Newly hired nurses started training on the EHRs as an orientation, and basic computer knowledge was expected. The EHRs have many components, such as accessibility of patient data/information, order entry, communication and connectivity, and patient support and management tools (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2018). EHRs also can be very helpful in detecting or predicting population health. From paper charting to computer charting, the technology makes it possible to reduce errors and monitor disease conditions.
There are potential challenges to the use of EHRs. Insufficient training could cause potential harm to data accuracy. There are always privacy issues regarding technology (Sarnese & Bennett, 2020). Missing data or errors could cause potential harm to patients. Alarm fatigue is also a problem among healthcare professionals in a busy practice.
One potential benefit of EHRs is accessibility (Laureate Education, 2018). Healthcare professionals can view the patient’s chart wherever they are and monitor the lab results and disease progression. EHRs also promote communication between healthcare providers and patients, and accessible communication enhances patient outcomes. However, the risk associated with the accessibility of patients’ EHRs is that there is always the threat of infection from malware or a virus (Sarnese & Bennett, 2020). If that happens, the computer will become unavailable, or data could be misused. The patients’ information and privacy would be exposed to the world, which is an ethical and HIPPA regulation issue. The patients’ care would be compromised if the data is not accessible, which lowers the quality of care.
Radio Frequency Identifier (RFID) technology sounds most promising for impacting healthcare technology in nursing practice. McGonigle & Mastrian describe in their article that RFID uses an electromagnetic field and can help track patients if the RFID is embedded in patients’ identification bracelets. RFID can also track down medical/surgical supplies and replace current barcode technologies. In addition, because RFID uses a radio frequency, it automatically captures the data and patient identification, reducing the time to scan the barcode on patients; thus, RFID can reduce the workload of healthcare providers.
There are more promising benefits from RFIDs. RFIDs can track down things like surgical supplies, reducing the errors caused by surgical equipment left in a patient (McGonicle & Mastrian, 2018). RFIDs automatically update patients’ whereabouts, so this technology provides safe patient care. The automatic transfer of data promotes the efficiency of healthcare delivery. RFIDs can also ensure patient identification. Misidentifying patient leads to medical errors, which is a risk to patients’ safety. RFIDs can enhance patient drug compliance and data documentation. A patient’s medical container with an RFID tag can automatically record each time it opens, and physicians can monitor the medical compliance of patients (Haddara & Staaby, 2018).
Haddara, M., & Staaby, A. (2018). RFID Applications and Adoptions in Healthcare: A Review
on Patient Safety. Procedia Computer Science, 138, 80–88.
Laureate Education (Producer). (2018). Health Informatics and Population Health: Analyzing
Data for Clinical Success [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.
McGonigle, D., & Mastrian, K. G. (2018). Nursing Informatics and the Foundation of Knowledge Fourth Edition. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learnings.
Sarnese, P., & Bennett, L. (2020). Healthcare Security and IT: Working together to secure our facilities. Journal of Healthcare Protection Management, 36(1), 85–91.