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How Technology Is Changing The Nursing Profession

Nursing in the digital age

As healthcare technology evolves, one field greatly impacted by technological advancements is nursing. From improved communication to streamlined health records and innovative monitoring systems, technology has ushered in a new era of efficiency and effectiveness in the nursing profession. 

Whether you’re a recent grad, an experienced nurse, a part of the IT team, or in charge of buying hospital equipment, staying current with nursing trends is crucial when determining what equipment to buy. In this blog, we will explore how technology is reshaping nursing roles and discuss the benefits it brings to both nurses and patients.

How Technology Has Changed Nursing

Enhanced Communication & Mobile Computer Carts

DATACART mobile medical carts

Effective communication plays a vital role in providing quality patient care. With advanced communication technologies, nurses can now communicate and collaborate more efficiently with other healthcare professionals, leading to better coordination and improved patient outcomes.

Mobile computer carts equipped with cutting-edge technology, such as wireless communication devices and real-time video conferencing capabilities, enable nurses to connect with doctors, specialists, and other nurses instantly. This enhances the speed and accuracy of decision-making, especially in critical situations requiring prompt interventions.

The advancements in mobile medical carts alone have greatly enhanced the healthcare industry in general. DATACART™ offers a wide range of workstations on wheels (WOWs). These carts can contain capacity for tablets, dual monitoring systems, and laptop use, which gives a wide range of accessibility options. For example, the medical cart industry now offers very specific carts including: 

Although the names of these carts hint at the specific use they are made for, these WOWs can be used for many different healthcare needs. Depending on the needs of the nurses and healthcare professionals, multiple types of carts can be utilized in one facility. 

Additionally, mobile carts can be equipped with electronic health record (EHR) systems, allowing nurses to access patient information on the go. This eliminates the need for manual charting and reduces the risk of errors, enabling nurses to spend more time providing direct patient care. In fact, by 2017, certified electronic medical record (EMR) systems have been deployed by more than 95% of all hospitals in the United States. 

Streamlined Health Records & Patient Portals

Gone are the days of bulky paper records and handwritten notes. Electronic health records (EHR) have revolutionized the way patient information is stored, accessed, and shared. EHR systems have made it easier for nurses to maintain accurate and up-to-date records, resulting in more efficient and comprehensive patient care.

With EHRs, nurses can quickly retrieve medical histories, test results, and medication lists. These systems also provide alerts for potential drug interactions, allergies, and dosage discrepancies, thereby reducing medication errors and improving patient safety. Nurses can spend less time searching for information and more time delivering personalized care to their patients.

On the other side, patients have also seen a revolutionized way to access 24/7 personal records, all in one app. Patient portals are safe internet websites and applications that provide patients with round-the-clock access to all of their medical data. All test results, scheduled visits, and any medications they are taking are included in these portals. 

By using these online portals, patients can make sure their treatment is a top priority for all of their healthcare providers and get answers to any issues they may have before making an appointment. As more patients become aware of their advantages and as healthcare facilities find new ways to use them to expedite operations, the use of patient portals will only continue to rise. 

Advanced Monitoring Systems

Technology has introduced monitoring systems that continuously track patients’ vital signs, allowing nurses to closely monitor their condition in real-time. These systems automatically transmit data to nursing stations, enabling prompt intervention in case of any abnormalities or emergencies.

Through the use of remote patient monitoring (RPM) devices, nurses can keep a close eye on patients even when they are not physically present at the bedside. This technology is particularly beneficial for home care and remote patient management, as it helps detect early warning signs, prevent complications, and reduce hospital readmissions. Devices like telehealth kits, tablets, and smartwatches make this possible, which would be a good consideration for patients, travel nurses, and facilities that offer telemedicine. 

It is possible to track a person’s steps, heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, sleep apnea, and more. Fewer people will develop chronic diseases as a result of this preventative care strategy, saving money on healthcare in hospitals and ERs. 

According to predictions from GlobalData, the wearable technology market is expected to expand by $34.48 billion between 2021 and 2024. At the moment, 80% of individuals are open to wearing wearable medical technology.

Online Education & Travel Nurses

The nursing shortage created a demand for travel nursing that was prevalent before the pandemic but has continued to explode well after the pandemic. In a survey of more than 6,500 critical care nurses released in September 2021 by the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, 92% of respondents reported that the pandemic had “depleted nurses at their hospitals, and, as a result, their careers will be shorter than they intended.” These feelings were shared mutually across the country amongst many healthcare professionals. 

The practice of travel nursing gained popularity in the 1980s as a result of nurse shortages, but in 2020 it increased by 35% over the previous year, and it is predicted to increase by another 40% in the coming years. Technological advancements and accessibility to online education will play a crucial role in expanding the nursing workforce and creating a new wave of travel nurses. 

Over 438,000 new RN positions are anticipated in the United States by 2026, and that doesn’t even include nurse practitioners, nurse educators, nursing administration positions, nurse informatics positions, or public health professions. Nursing schools will need to make room for a massive influx of new students in order to fill so many positions and assist practicing RNs in obtaining their BSN degrees. Thankfully, online colleges are offering the tools necessary to fulfill demand.

An online university can reach nurses all over the world and doesn’t need a lot of physical space to operate. Additionally, online education makes it easier for nurses to complete their nursing degrees while still holding down a full-time job. This is just one more technological innovation that’s changing the nursing profession.

Telehealth Accessibility 

The COVID-19 pandemic led to the widespread adoption of telehealth. Patients who were skeptical of telehealth may have said they would never use it again as we returned to a new normal. By 2022, 38% of patients will have received virtual care, and this percentage will only keep rising.

Patients can receive thorough care through telehealth without having to worry about travel or wait times. It allows nurses to visit with patients in one spot rather than having to account for the time it takes to walk from room to room. This, together with the growing usage of technology in hospitals, indicates that telehealth will keep growing.

Although DATACART™ offers a variety of carts that can be customized to be used for telehealth capacities, they sell carts that they have specifically designed for these virtual visits. DATACART™ Telehealth carts can be fully customized to fit your facility’s needs and offer sit-to-stand functionality. They are ideal for providing cost-effective technology solutions to assist efficient and proper remote diagnosis in any clinical setting.

AI, Automation, and Virtual Reality

The use of machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), commonly referred to as “big data,” in hospitals offers possibilities to enhance the procedures put in place. They improve operations, diagnose and forecast disease, maximize innovation, construct new tools, formulate treatment plans, and generate efficiency in research and clinical trials.

Even the use of automation can assist nurses in repetitive tasks, such as medication dispensing, thereby freeing up their time to focus on direct patient care. Additionally, robotic devices can aid in lifting and transferring patients, reducing the risk of musculoskeletal injuries among nurses.

The new era of healthcare is moving in the direction of utilizing virtual, augmented, and mixed-reality scenarios to further nursing capabilities. Virtual reality in healthcare will have healthcare professionals use training simulators that simulate real-world situations to create an altogether new world of how treatment is possible. 

This aids in preparing healthcare professionals for potential outcomes and for carrying out the activities on-site. Patients with depression, autism, and visual impairment can also benefit from virtual reality since healthcare professionals will be more prepared and able to assist them more quickly. At the same time, augmented reality can help with computer-generated images of the body in real-life environments.

While these AI applications cannot replace the human touch and compassion that nursing requires, they can serve as valuable tools to support nurses, increase education, and enhance efficiency in healthcare settings. 

Takeaways

The nursing profession is experiencing a profound transformation fueled by technology. From improved communication through mobile computer carts to streamlined health records and advanced monitoring systems, technology is empowering nurses to deliver safer, more efficient, and patient-centered care.

The integration of technology in nursing roles enables nurses to access critical information at their fingertips, collaborate seamlessly with other healthcare professionals, and closely monitor patients’ conditions. By reducing administrative burdens, automating routine tasks, and enhancing data-driven decision-making, technology is reshaping the nursing profession for the better, allowing nurses to focus on what they do best: providing compassionate and high-quality care to patients. 

As technology evolves, nurses will play an essential role in leveraging these advancements to drive innovation and improve healthcare outcomes. DATACART™ is at the forefront of providing the best mobile computer carts, made right here in the United States. Our focus is versatile, solidly engineered mobile mounting solutions and user-friendly DATACART™ Healthcare and Telemedicine products.

If you are in need of high-quality products and great customer service, we would be happy to help you with all your mobile medical cart needs. Contact us today to talk through options!