Technology has revolutionized healthcare in countless ways, and nursing practice is no exception. From electronic health records to telehealth, technology has transformed the way nurses provide care and interact with patients.
In this article, we will explore the top technology trends and innovations that are shaping nursing practice and patient care. We will examine how these advancements are improving patient outcomes, enhancing communication and collaboration among healthcare teams, and providing nurses with new tools to deliver high-quality care.
Whether you are a nursing student, a seasoned nurse, or a healthcare professional looking to stay up-to-date on the latest trends, this article will provide valuable insights into the future of nursing and the role of technology in shaping it.
So, let’s get started!
Online Nursing Schools
One of the most significant transformations nursing has undergone in recent years is the emergence of online nursing schools, which offer flexible and convenient options for nurses to advance their careers, that too from the comfort of their homes.
According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), there was a 3.3% increase in the number of students enrolled in entry-level nursing programs from 2020 to 2021. This trend is only expected to continue, as online nursing schools gain popularity and more and more students turn to them for education.
This development is especially useful for working nurses looking to boost their careers by pursuing higher degrees. But they may not be able to attend classes on campus due to their busy schedules. Online nursing programs allow these nurses to balance their work, family, and education altogether, which can be challenging with traditional classroom-based programs.
These schools also offer a wide range of programs to help students from non-nursing backgrounds realize their dreams of joining the healthcare sector. One example of such a course is an online accelerated BSN second-degree program. This program is designed for individuals who already have a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field and want to pursue a career in nursing.
It offers flexible scheduling, the ability to learn at your own pace, a supportive learning environment, and opportunities for hands-on experience. An online accelerated BSN program is designed to be intensive, with a heavy workload, but at the same time, allows students the flexibility to progress through the material as quickly or as slowly as they need to. This can be particularly helpful for students who are new to nursing and need more time to master certain concepts.
Another advantage of online nursing schools is the cost savings. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average cost of tuition and fees for an undergraduate nursing program in the United States is anywhere around $29,000 per year.
In contrast, online programs are often less expensive, with many schools offering lower tuition rates for online students. Additionally, students who join online programs save on commuting, parking, and other expenses associated with attending classes on campus.
Electronic Health Records
Electronic health records (EHRs) have revolutionized the nursing profession by providing nurses with a new and improved way to manage patient information. EHRs have replaced traditional paper-based records, which were often difficult to read, prone to errors, and difficult to manage.
With EHRs, nurses can quickly access patient records and enter new information, reducing the need for paper-based records that require manual input. According to a survey by the American Nurses Association (ANA), 87.2% of nurses believe that EHRs have greatly improved documentation.
Additionally, EHRs improve communication and collaboration among healthcare providers, including nurses. With EHRs, nurses can share patient information with other healthcare providers, including physicians, pharmacists, and other nurses, in real time. This enhances care coordination, reduces duplication of services, and improves patient outcomes.
EHRs also improve patient safety by reducing the risk of errors in medication administration, diagnostic testing, and other clinical processes.
Telehealth, also known as telemedicine, involves the use of technology to deliver healthcare services and information remotely. Its use has increased significantly over the last few years, and it has become integral to nursing.
One of the primary benefits of telehealth is its ability to improve access to care. With telehealth, patients can receive care regardless of their location, eliminating the need for in-person visits. This is especially important for patients who live in remote areas or have limited mobility.
The technology also allows nurses to remotely monitor patients’ vital signs, track medication adherence, and provide education and support. This improves patient outcomes by enabling nurses to intervene quickly in case of complications, reducing the risk of hospital readmissions, and improving patient satisfaction.
In addition, telehealth provides nurses with a new way to connect with patients. With telehealth, nurses can communicate with patients through video conferencing, chat, or other remote communication tools. This improves patient engagement, allows for more frequent check-ins, and enables nurses to provide more personalized care.
Portable Diagnostic Devices
Portable diagnostic devices have greatly impacted nursing practice and patient care by providing nurses with the ability to perform a range of diagnostic tests at the point of care. These devices have improved patient outcomes, increased efficiency, and reduced healthcare costs, making them an essential tool in the nursing profession.
One example of a portable diagnostic device is a handheld ultrasound machine. This device enables nurses to perform ultrasound exams at the bedside, providing immediate and accurate information about a patient’s condition. It is particularly useful in emergency and critical care settings, where time is of the essence, and rapid diagnosis is critical.
A handheld blood glucose monitor is another useful device. It is used to quickly and easily measure patients’ blood glucose levels, providing valuable information about their diabetes management.
Other portable diagnostic devices include portable electrocardiogram (ECG) machines, handheld spirometers for lung function testing, and portable X-ray machines for imaging.
This article has listed the top technological advancements in healthcare that nurses should stay abreast of to ensure they can provide the best possible care to their patients.
However, these innovations are just the beginning. The future of nursing looks bright, and with the continued advancements in technology, we can expect to see more exciting developments in the years to come.