Technology, Care Coordination, and Community Resources Considerations
Technology is a part of us and there have been immeasurable benefits that can be accrued from adopting it at the hospitals. To effectively practice nursing in the continually changing environment, there is the need to know the existing and the emerging trends that influence healthcare decisions. However, to adopt a technology, it is vital to understand the factors that lead to understaffed healthcare organizations, that lead to unfavorable nurse-patient ratios. These issues include high turnover that is as a result of poor working environment, burnout, retiring, too many patients at the hospital, fewer nurses graduating compared to the demand due to high cost of nursing education, cost factors among others. the technology that should be considered should be aimed at reducing the number of patients at the hospital or helping reduce the workload for the nurses. These two technologies will be adopting electronic health records to reduce the workload and maintain a safe environment for patients, and telehealth technology to reduce the number of patients at the hospital.
Telemedicine services have been provided for about 50 years, but remain an underutilized tool for nursing and NI. Telemedicine is where people employ the electronic data and telecommunications technologies to back long-distance medical healthcare, professional health-related education, patients, public health, in addition to health administration. Despite the advances in telehealth technologies, disjointed development, research, demand, and investment have produced a small telehealth market. The market that has been developed in telehealth has been independent of a national strategy or effort. Through telemedicine, remote people can be reached, meetings can be faster, the response in the healthcare setting is also faster. Nonetheless, nurses can receive all the information they need to treat their patients faster and with ease (Lynn, Polivka & Herron, 2018). Regrettably, telehealth provides such dedicated tools that falls outside of the influence of groups like the American Medical Association and Advanced Medical Technology Association (Borycki et al., 2017). Equally telehealth and information technologies face issues of reimbursement, acceptance, and licensure. In addition to that, nurses may misuse the opportunity and use their smartphones to attend to their businesses putting patients at risk.
The second solution is to adopt electronic health records. Technology has diversified in the healthcare sector; data accuracy, storage, and retrieval have shifted from paper charts and documentation to digitalized form of storage known as Electronic Health Record (EHR). The electronic health record is a digitalized version of a patient’s paper chart. They can contain a patients’ medical history, detects, suppositories, treatment plans, vaccination dates, allergies, radiology, laboratory test, and results (Kruse et al., 2018). They are built on sharing information with other health care providers and organizations. They are a vital part of the healthcare sector as they help prevent medical mistakes. This will help in reducing the workload of nurses and helping them focus on the care of patients. it will also reduce the amount of time that nurses spend trying to update the manual records that can be easily be lost or where they can easily forget leading to medication errors. This will significantly reduce the desire to leave the job since the workload is much less. It will also ensure that the nurses will make fewer mistakes that might play a significant role in making them feel like they are not good enough including making mistakes when identifying patients, forgetting to offer medication to the patients, not giving patients medication in time. Their health information is recorded to determine factors about their health complication. Throughout care, EHRs are used to inform caregivers of important information concerning the patient. They help caregivers make a concrete decision on providing adequate care to the service user (Rajkumar et al., 2018).
Impact of Healthcare Technology on The Issue of Nurse Staffing
Healthcare technology has transformed healthcare greatly in the past 30 years (Avant Healthcare Professionals, 2019). with the emerging technologies in electronic record-keeping and telehealth, patients have had more access to healthcare. in the field of nursing, technology has allowed nurses to communicate more efficiently and improve efficiency which lack of has been known to lead to high turnover.
The new technologies have also decreased the chances of human error (Avant Healthcare Professionals, 2019). when nurses work for long hours and are in short-staffed units, they are often at a high risk of mistakes. With the new technologies, the routine events are more simplified. For instance, the automated IV pumps which can quantify dosages of medication that is given to patients. This will create a quick response to changing the dosages and drip amounts. It also helps reduce mistakes on the bedside because of the availability of data which can help reduce test duplications and treatment delays (Avant Healthcare Professionals, 2019).
In addition to that, healthcare technology has helped reduce burnout which is a factor in nursing shortage and hence translates to unfavorable staffing ratios which is a major factor in the US. Prolonged physical and mental exhaustion may make nurses feel overstretched and hence leave the practice setting. With telehealth technology. This burden can be mitigated since it will only take few nurses to offer acceptable care. Telehealth will also provide nurses with an opportunity to reach a geographical area that is acknowledged as having professional shortages especially rural areas and providing care remotely. This will help reduce healthcare costs and also reduce visits to the hospitals as well as admission rates and hence bettering the nurse staffing when nurses will only care for fewer patients (Avant Healthcare Professionals, 2019).
State Board Nursing Practice, Organizational or Governmental Policies Associated With The Technology
Registered Nurse’s staffing ratios are one of the significant aspects that significantly affect the nurse’s turnover. Nursing shortages lead to high morbidity, errors, and death rates (Nurse Stand, 2016). In facilities with a high patient-to-nurse ratios, the registered nurses experience fatigue, dissatisfaction, and patients experience higher death rates as compared to hospitals with a lower patient-to-nurse ratio. States like California, have started to pass legislation to limit patient-to-nurse ratios (AACN, 2012).
The Infectious Diseases Society of America is ready to support its members by educating them on use of telehealth and telemedicine technology and encouraging evidence-based and appropriate methods to provide cost-effective, timely and up to date care to populations with limited resources (Young et al., 2019). A study by Kiberu, Scott, and Mars (2019), to establish the eHealth readiness of various stakeholders to facilitate the sustainable and successful implementation of telemedicine in Uganda found out that 70% of healthcare professionals across the three levels of health care facilities that were studied were aware of telemedicine, but only 41% used it. This shows that healthcare organizations are adopting this technology.
American Nurses Association hold the position that public has right to assume that healthcare information and health data will be focused on patients’ safety and will improve outcomes throughout the sections of the healthcare system. They should also expect that there will be efficiency and accuracy of the information. Security and confidentially cannot be compromised as the industry implement or creates integrated and interoperable health information technology solutions and systems that will convert the manual filing system, which was predominantly paper, to the new formats, which is the electronic health records. ANA also supports efforts to refine the requirements and the concept of an EHR that is centered on the patient that would promote effective and efficient patient and interprofessional communications and decision-making during care delivery. They also ascertain that attention must also be paid to addressing secondary uses of data and information in knowledge generation that will lead to better decision tools. The stakeholders who include patients and nurses, are integral in the designing, developing, implementing, and evaluating phases of the EHR. It is their position that registered nurses should be involved in the process of adopting the new information systems and in electronic patient care devices that are used in a care setting.
Impact of Collaboration in Healthcare
Collaboration can be defined as when the interdisciplinary teams come together and work towards achieving a common goal (Weller, Barrow, & Gasquoine, 2011). Collaboration in healthcare is vital in almost every aspect of care. When its cows to the adoption of healthcare technology, there is a need for collaboration between interprofessional teams and also between the management and the employees. When the physicians collaborate with other healthcare professionals in using a certain technology, e.g., telehealth, its use and implementation will be much easier. They will also be able to reach more patients in their rural setting or at home and hence reduce the number of admissions at the hospital. With good collaboration vertically and horizontally, adoption will be easier and faster and the change will be easier to go through (Marc et al., 2019).