Nursing professionals today are concerned about a variety of workforce concerns that have an influence on outcomes for patients, clinician experience, and safety. The aging population, increased demand for healthcare services, and a shortage of qualified workers are just some of the issues that must be addressed.
Recently at the HIMSS Conference 2023, the topic of “Technology to Help Workforce Challenges” was discussed by an amazing nursing forum panel. They discussed the importance of utilizing digital technology and how nursing informatics professionals are addressing hurdles and encouraging nurse innovation. By leveraging technology-focused care delivery and management practices, the healthcare world can improve the health of doctors, patients, and caregivers.
Here are some ways that healthcare organizations can utilize technology to help with their workforce challenges:
Automating Workflows & Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence (AI) can help healthcare organizations optimize staffing and workforce planning.
Hospitals spend a lot of money, time, and human resources doing administrative tasks. It is essential to free medical workers from paperwork and leave enough time for patient care.
AI and Machine Learning (MI) can analyze data on patient demand, staffing levels, and workforce capacity to help healthcare organizations make more informed decisions about hiring, scheduling, and resource allocation. AI can also be used to automate routine tasks, freeing healthcare professionals to focus on more complex patient care.
Additionally, there are some studies already suggesting that AI can perform as well or better than humans at key healthcare tasks, such as diagnosing diseases. Algorithms already surpass identifying cancerous tumors and advising researchers on how to create cohorts for expensive clinical trials. However, we think it will be a while before AI is considered (if at all) in replacing humans in large medical process domains. But the promise of automation in healthcare and other obstacles should streamline its quick adoption.
Increasing the Quality of Care
How do we ensure that patients receive the attention and support they need? Essentially, medical providers have to change their goals when it comes to raising the standard of care in healthcare. Patients who, for instance, are more likely to catch an infection following surgery or contract a hospital-borne illness need more care. The quality of care can be greatly improved by putting the patient first in the healthcare system.
As mentioned above, the healthcare industry will start to look to AI and ML to increase aspects like this. Patient monitoring has evolved as a result of AI. Numerous health parameters can be successfully and consistently tracked by AI software. There are many smartwatch apps with AI functionality that can be used to monitor daily activities. Similar apps can help with in-the-moment monitoring and alert doctors as needed.
The need to improve the quality of care comes with the fact that technology has changed tremendously even within the past 5 years, and the healthcare industry is trying to keep up with that pace.
Improving Healthcare Access
Modern healthcare must be accessible to everyone. The uneven distribution of healthcare access results in problems with geographic accessibility and timely delivery. Patients must have access to medical resources and services, wherever they are. Whether it be a serious accident or a chronic illness, a patient must also be able to act quickly when faced with a medical problem.
The increasing use of telemedicine/telehealth and e-visits enables healthcare providers to connect with patients remotely. Geographic accessibility and care timeliness difficulties are being addressed via mobile phones, laptops, computer carts, and tablets.
It is anticipated that broadband projects, coupled with technological advancements and their applications, will help address the problem of healthcare access. It can have a huge impact on a person’s health, especially if they have limited mobility or live in remote or hard-to-reach places that are often underserved by healthcare providers. With telehealth, patients can receive medical consultations, diagnostic tests, and follow-up appointments from the comfort of their own homes. This can reduce the need for in-person visits and save time and money for both patients and healthcare providers.
Reducing Inefficient Processes
Administrative costs are primarily to blame for rising healthcare prices. In fact, it has been determined that in the US, nearly half of the money allocated for healthcare is wasted. Reducing these inefficiencies is necessary in order to address many of the key problems facing the healthcare industry. One procedure that requires modernization is the sharing of patient records.
The improvement of electronic health records (EHRs) allows healthcare providers to access patient records from anywhere with an internet connection. This means doctors and nurses can access patient information, test results, and treatment plans from their computers or mobile devices, reducing the need for paper records and physical storage space. The fact of the matter is that paper records must eventually be transformed into digital ones.
One such approach would be to use blockchain to store and distribute patient records. Blockchain has the potential to improve interoperability, help EHRs standardize their practices, and safeguard patient privacy. The technology behind blockchain data access and exchange does present some difficulties, though.
Mobile applications can help healthcare professionals stay connected and access information on the go. For example, mobile apps can provide real-time updates on patient conditions, allow healthcare providers to communicate with each other, and provide access to medical research and reference materials. Mobile apps can also be used to improve patient engagement and education by providing patients with access to educational materials, appointment reminders, and medication reminders.
Everchanging Ergonomic Integration
Powered workstations on wheels (WoWs) allow you to bring power anywhere that it is needed and ensure that a charge is only a moment away when it is needed with mobile battery charging stations. This saves doctors and nurses an ample amount of time by eliminating the need to continually swap out uncharged equipment. A great example of this is battery swap stations.
WoWs also can help reduce trips back and forth for power sources, which is one way powered carts limits fatigue. DATACART™’s powered medical carts also integrate a push-button for electric sit-to-stand adjustments. Research suggests that prolonged standing at work has been associated with various potential health problems, such as lower back and leg pain, fatigue, and cardiovascular problems.
It is important that medical carts continue to adjust and adapt to the advancements in daily services. That is why DATACART™ tries to constantly improve our non-powered and powered medical cart features. Our goal is to provide ergonomic functionality while providing security and customization that are greatly needed for our healthcare clients.