Nursing is a challenging job. Throughout the day, these medical professionals must take care of records, provide care, as well as a myriad of other tasks throughout their day. However, new advances in medical technology take the burden off nurses to ease some of this challenging work. Here is a look at the new nursing technologies currently assisting nurses in the field.
New Nursing Technologies
In the past few years, the nursing field has seen many improvements courtesy of technology. These new devices are increasing the productivity of nurses, allowing patients to control their own health, and easing other concerns in hospitals and clinics.
Wearable devices are changing many people's lives, and these devices are making their way into the healthcare industry. These devices can keep track of exercise, sleep, respiration, heart rates, and much more. With that, many people are tracking their health without much trouble. Nurses can access these apps and devices daily.
There are plenty of apps on the market to help with tracking the vitals of a patient. For example, a stethoscope app allows these medical professionals to observe heart rates and oxygen rates. With a phone, younger patients are able to take charge of their own health by monitoring, regulating, and charting their progress through health apps, which is a significant benefit for nurses and doctors.
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Automated IV Pumps
When nurses need to control the drips and dosages of their patients, they rely on automated IV pumps. With the help of this medical software, these devices allow nurses to change the amount of medication so that valuable time is not wasted on physically altering the dosage.
In some cases, these self-pumps give the patient control of their medication by allowing them to adjust the amount for themselves. This is beneficial for those who rely on an IV for pain relief.
The medical industry has come a long way from those old-fashioned hospital beds. Since that time, smart beds have been introduced to help nurses track the patient's weight, vitals, and movement. In addition to that, these beds are assisting the patients in staying safe and comfortable.
Smart bed technology allows hospitals and nurses to prevent falls and injuries, which is a problem for patients with balancing issues. This helps nurses track the patient's activities without physically being in the room. It can help to identify other issues that may be the result of an underlying problem.
Nursing professionals use portable monitors to check up on the status of their patients, especially when they are busy or required to help doctors on the floor. These mobile devices can monitor oxygen saturations, respiratory rates, and ECG vitals. All that information is transmitted back to the nurses' station. If there happens to be an emergency, the nurse will receive an emergency notification.
In many hospitals, the nursing staff will check on the patients and note their charts on an hourly basis. With the help of a portable monitor, the team can keep an eye on those critical vital signs even when they cannot be in the room.
Electronic Health Records
The world has gone digital, and that has extended to the medical industry. Electronic health records (EHR) are replacing those old filing methods. Electronic health records can be transferred from one doctor's office to another in the blink of an eye.
With this technology, patient care can be prioritized. Electronic health records can enhance hard copy records by creating a digital duplicate of vital documentation that can be retrieved by doctors, nurses, and patients in a matter of seconds.
However, EHRs are a big concern for patient privacy. For example, HIPPA laws require that health records also be protected to the fullest extent. In most cases, these records are encrypted by healthcare organizations. While digital records are convenient, there is still a need to keep hard records on file in case the system goes down or there is a catastrophic digital failure.
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Telehealth and Apps
With the coronavirus pandemic, patients and doctors have been relying on telehealth to take charge of their medical care. Telehealth is an available tool that allows patients to virtually "chat" with a nurse or doctor. The patient can describe their symptoms or show physical ailments, like bumps, minor pains, and rashes to the medical professional. This can help a patient to be quickly diagnosed without having to travel to a medical office.
Telehealth benefits both doctors and patients. Patients can save time and money, and doctors can provide medical advice without setting up an office. Along with that, sick patients can avoid spreading germs in other places. In the future, many more nurses will change how they operate based on this new technology.
Mental health is another field where patients are benefitting from telehealth. They can schedule appointments with therapists and track their own mental health and energy levels.
Centralized Command Centers
Centralized command centers are some of the newest tech for nurses and hospitals. These centers can improve the patient's experience and provide better ways for doctors and RNs to manage their capacity, technology, and supplies. With software, nurses can use dashboards to give real-time status to their patients and medical staff.
These centralized centers also reduce delays in room availability, provide access to the OR schedule, and give the orders for patient discharges. With a centralized command center, nurses, doctors, and other medical professionals can efficiently do their jobs to the satisfaction of patients and staff.
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Smarter Lifting Devices
When a patient needs to be lifted from a bed, it can cause injuries to them and the nurses. With new technology, lifting devices allow these medical professions to easily lift patients from the bed without the risk of injury. Some of these devices can move patients to a wheelchair, help patients stand, and even turn patients in the bed.
Robots are becoming commonplace to help with surgeries, scheduling appointments, dispensing medication, drawing blood, and disinfecting rooms. This medical professional-robot collaboration should continue throughout the years in the medical industry. However, robots are costly, and that is often a barrier to adoption. When they are in use, they are providing many benefits for nurses.
These nursing technologies are a brief glimpse at how medical care will change in the next few years. Nurses and other medical professionals can stop focusing on mundane tasks and devote more time to patient comfort and care.
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