Healthcare is now transforming together with the advances in information and communication technology (ICT). Indeed, everything has become “computerized”, “digital” and “online”. Healthcare (ICT) has innovated various was to make healthcare services more patient-centric. Telemedicine, Document Based Professional Opinion, e-clinics, electronic medical records and other borderless healthcare products and services are some of the examples of how healthcare ICT has revolutionalised and changed the delivery and consumption of healthcare services.
Moreover, nurses are an integral part of the healthcare delivery system and it follows that they also have to be familiar and in tune with all the innovations in healthcare. Since healthcare ICT in the Philippines is still at its early stage, not all Filipino nurses are aware of it and how it can possibly improve their skills and even their chance of getting better local or global employment.
Nelson Bautista is a Filipino nurse who made a presentation on Nursing informatics during the Nurses’ Week held last May 2011. He focused on the impact of the changes in healthcare to the efficiency of nurses. He is currently working in UAE as a nurse with specialisation in general surgery. Here is what our colleague, Nelson, has to say about equipping nurses through Technology, Innovations and Informatics.
TECHNOLOGY, INNOVATIONS AND INFORMATICS: EQUIPPING NURSES FOR EFFICIENCY
by Nelson Bautista
It is a reality. Healthcare is being transformed in ways few of us could have even imagined 10 years ago. With the recent technological advances, nursing care, nursing responsibilities, and opportunities for advocacy are also changing.
Changing societal demographics, increasing complexity in healthcare knowledge, and increasing staff shortages have led healthcare strategists to call for a redesign of the healthcare system. Embedded within most redesign recommendations is the increased use of technology to make nursing practice more efficient.
The use of modern technology in nursing, is revolutionizing the way nurses interact with patients, deliver care and communicate with colleagues. Equipment such as computer terminals on hospital units, computer tablets and advanced patient monitoring devices are as necessary as stethoscopes for health-care providers to do their jobs nowadays. Advanced technology, innovations and informatics is an integrated and essential part of health-care practice.
Technology is considered key to addressing challenges to the health-care system. However, there are still some factors that need to be considered for technology to work. And these factors lie in the hands of the health care practitioners including nurses.
Adopting clinical technology requires a new skill set for nurses and nurse leaders. That is why starting the use of high-tech pieces of equipment should start with training and making sure that the nurses have the appropriate knowledge base of what they are using.
So as health care organizations adopt modern technology to improve quality and patient safety, reduce errors, increase efficiency, decrease time-consuming and redundant paperwork, and enhance communication, they’re finding that modern technology can significantly impact nursing workflow.
Technological innovation has swept the globe, and nurses have accepted the challenge this evolution brings. Today, nurses work in a variety of services where they are able to make use of modern technology to provide quality and better care for their patients. These same technological advances require nurses to demonstrate knowledge and understanding that ensure the benefits of technology do not become a detriment to patient care.
These modern times are exciting times for nursing. Now nurses can provide computerized care at bedside, at the point-of-care.
It should be remembered though, that although technology is taking over many nursing functions, the presence of a nurse can never be replaced. Whatever the shape of things to come in the future, the nurses will always be there at the bedside providing the therapeutic touch that only humans can give.
To know more about Nelson Bautista, please visit his blog at http://digitalcatharsis.wordpress.com/about/
What do you think about technology penetrating the healthcare? How do you see Nursing informatics in the next years to come? Let us know what you think! Send a guest post to firstname.lastname@example.org and be heard on the latest social media voice of nurses!