Nursing Responsibilities – Can Tech Help?
Nursing responsibilities are both rewarding and challenging. On the one hand, Nurses get to work with children and adults to make a real difference in their lives. On the other, Nurses often work in pressure-filled environments, and the role can be both physically and emotionally draining.
The Government’s Five Year Forward View initiative will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the working lives of Nurses, so there has never been a better time to enter the field. Plus, with so much emerging technology, here at Nursco, we’re confident that nursing responsibilities are set to change for the better.
What’s the role of tech in nursing?
Tech in nursing is nothing new. Since 1970, computers have been used in hospitals and clinics primarily for administrative purposes. However, the past decade has seen a changing emphasis towards the role of tech in the clinical process. As far as nursing responsibilities are concerned, patient care has become a primary focus in the development of new healthcare technology, and the widespread application of this tech is just around the corner.
Information technology is changing rapidly in all areas worldwide, creating new challenges and opportunities for different industries every day. So how can revolutionary tech assist the responsibilities of Nurses?
Nursing responsibilities and the future of tech
As technology advances, so does its influence on our society, including healthcare. Today’s Nurses must be able to navigate online charting systems, use electronic schedules, update digital records and more. Before now, charts were carefully handwritten and the margin for error was much broader. Now, technology in nursing has made it easier than ever for Nurses to store patient data safely. In the future, technology has the capacity to save thousands of hours and help to reduce the workload of Nurses .
Technological advances aren’t likely to slow down any time soon. In fact, they are speeding up more rapidly than ever. New technology will give patients better access to their plan of care and allow them to communicate with Nurses without the need for face-to-face interaction.
But what are the repercussions of integrating tech into nursing? Will electronics help or hinder nursing responsibilities in hospitals and care facilities?
How do Nurses feel about the role of tech?
Most Nurses now have a positive attitude towards the role of tech in healthcare. The introduction of electronic communication systems will help lighten the workload and ease nursing responsibilities in all areas.
“In some ways, you get more face-to-face time with your patient because additions to the electronic record are made in real-time,” Sharon M. Weinstein, Registered Nurse.
However, despite the benefits of electronic documentation for Nurses, there are also potential drawbacks to consider. The challenge comes when Nurses who have been working in the profession for some time have doubts about working in a nursing environment filled with technology, or they struggle to use an electronic system.
The benefits and challenges of tech in nursing
The advancing role of tech in nursing has many benefits, including:
Health information systems store patient data and synthesise the information. This allows Nurses to run security checks, check medication records, access lab results and medical imaging all in one place. All this information is critical during decision making, and technology could help Nurses avoid costly mistakes.
Information technology systems allow multiple Medical Professionals to access patient records at the same time. This way, Doctors, Nurses and Specialists can share updates, log data and communicate their findings without complications. This cross-disciplinary system will drastically improve patient satisfaction and outcomes and help medical teams coordinate care more efficiently.
Health information technology puts the care partly in the hands of patients, so they have better access to their own information. Digital versions of patient files could potentially be accessed from anywhere, allowing patients to be more active in their treatment plans and stay better informed about their care.
Reduced operational costs
Information technology systems allow health institutions to better allocate resources and save significant amounts of money, energy, time, and supplies. This potentially means bigger staffing budgets and reduced workloads for Nurses, reducing fatigue levels among staff. It is estimated that around 50 % of health finances are wasted each year due to system inefficiencies. This means hospitals could save potentially millions by utilising better technology.
Information technology could relieve nursing responsibilities by helping Medical Staff manage patients much more effectively. However, there are some potential drawbacks to bear in mind.
“There can be temporary drawbacks when a technology is first implemented, but these are outweighed by the long-term benefits of the technology. It’s of vital importance that Nurses are given the necessary education to use new technologies that are being introduced in their workplaces.” Anthony Sartor, Registered Nurse.
One of the biggest nursing responsibilities is the accurate conveying of information. Therefore, new and improved applications must allow Medical Staff to communicate effectively with one another and with their patients. There is the potential for staff to grow frustrated because they aren’t able to express themselves or communicate properly using a computer.
With any type of technology comes a risk to privacy, but a breach of patient confidentiality could be devastating. Therefore, it is vital that the storage of all data is governed correctly and secured so databases cannot be accessed illegally.
Another important consideration is how nursing technology affects interactions with patients. It’s unclear what the effect of clinic-based technology will be on patient interaction, but there will undoubtedly be positives and negatives. Some patients may welcome the ability to communicate with staff electronically, while others might crave more face-to-face communication.
Nursing responsibilities: can tech help?
Technology has an important role to play in nursing and can be beneficial to the needs of Medical Professionals and their patients. While new technology can provide more opportunities to educate patients, relieve nursing responsibilities and save hospitals millions of pounds each year, concerns about security and communication must be addressed before these healthcare systems are implemented.