Healthcare Technology Trends, Challenges, and Risks
Overall, the general technology trends within healthcare aim to create or expand electronic health records with robust capabilities that improve patient care and outcomes (HealthIT.gov, 2022). My current employer does not utilize an electronic health record for our services, but we do utilize a state-sponsored immunization database (Kansas Department of Health and Environment, n.d.). Before this electronic database, paper copies of immunization records were utilized. Most of our clients have stayed at numerous foster home placements before admission, and the frequent location changes and transfers made verifying their immunization status difficult. The adoption of an electronic database for immunization records has improved our ability to ensure our youths are adequately immunized and to communicate this information between case team members easily. One potential risk is that this database is dependent upon manual data entry by healthcare providers. Therefore, it is vulnerable to inaccuracies created by human error.
Data Safety Benefits and Risks
One benefit of this technology is that it can store immunization information for any Kansas resident. In addition to immunization records, other personal health information, such as demographics and insurance information, can be entered. Despite the benefit of users being approved before registration, the opportunity for patient data to be accessed unjustly remains. Privacy and security concerns are prevalent within healthcare technologies due to the sensitive nature of personal health information (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2022).
The advent of applying artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to healthcare systems could dramatically change nursing practice. McGonigle & Mastrian (2022) state that technologies like these are discovering trends and relationships within data sets that likely would not have been discovered for years using current research methods. Evidence-based practices can be established and implemented much sooner with AI systems’ speed and analyzing power. With AI clinical decision tools that utilize current evidence-based practices, healthcare providers can more confidently develop treatment plans and provide care accordingly. To build user trust, some AI systems provide a rationale for each prediction or suggestion, referred to as explained artificial intelligence or XAI (Loh et al., 2022). These are examples of improvements in efficiency and patient outcomes.
As a result of rapid technological advances, the healthcare industry is experiencing the most significant transformations in the world market, particularly in healthcare information. With the advent of digital technologies, healthcare systems have been transformed, allowing new ways to share health information and tools for diagnosing and treating patients. Mobile apps, social media tools, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and other tech-based information-sharing devices increased dramatically following technological advancements. Our organization is experiencing these technological trends at an increasing level, forcing it to adapt to new conditions to manage and distribute information. In the wake of these vital future trends, the organization has had to change dramatically, transforming into a digitalized tech corporation where healthcare professionals utilize updated methods and procedures to manage, deliver, and secure healthcare information. It is predicted that technology will continue to play an essential role in the organization, radically transforming how systems are used. The advancements in technology have enabled our organization to implement many healthcare information technology trends aimed at improving the quality of care and the satisfaction of our patients. Electronic health records (EHRs), social media, and mobile apps/telehealth are some of the general healthcare technology trends I have observed in our organization. Data is managed electronically in our organization, making it easier for authorized users to access the information instantly when needed. We use an electronic health record beyond standard clinical data collection in the provider’s office, where patients’ medical and treatment histories are recorded. Based on the use of digital technology, the patient’s care is viewed from a more comprehensive perspective. Patients’ medical histories, treatments, diagnoses, medication plans, immunization dates, laboratory tests, results, radiology, and allergies are included to assist providers in making informed decisions. Our organization has also recently utilized social media and mobile apps to enhance a connected care environment. Telehealth is becoming a more popular means of accessing health care for more people. The organization uses mobile devices and computers to access and manage healthcare services remotely using digital information and communication technology. This trend has enhanced quick information sharing between patients and their general practitioners (Orji & Moffatt, 2018). As a result of the use of social media and mobile applications, remote complaints can be resolved by raising awareness of medical care and treatment through mobile apps and social media. The use of health information technology is a crucial part of the provision and delivery of care within the organization.
Nevertheless, with the growing engagement of healthcare professionals, they need to consider updating their knowledge and skills to evaluate the appropriate use of these technology trends. Electronic health records (EHRs), social media, and mobile apps can significantly impact care delivery. Lack of knowledge and skills regarding the system is one of the challenges associated with these trends. Physicians who are new to the organization or need more training regarding how to operate involved devices may need help navigating the system. If physicians fail to use the system correctly, they will likely make errors resulting in adverse patient outcomes. Connectivity is another challenge. As a result of network issues, social disturbances, and interruptions in communication, devices may fail to send information on time. Ensuring physicians are competent in using these technology trends is crucial to ensure they receive adequate education and training.
As a result of using these technologies, there are potential benefits as well as risks in terms of data security, legislation, and patient care. Access to information is one of the benefits of data security. Keeping patient data safe for future use is one of the benefits of an electronic health record. The system allows doctors to access a patient’s information quickly by entering the patient’s name and date of birth. A risk factor associated with these technologies is privacy concerns (Gupta & Alam, 2022). Anyone with access to a computer can access the information stored on these devices. A lack of patient data privacy assurance will prevent most patients from providing vital information when seeking medical care, resulting in poor health outcomes. Despite a few challenges, these healthcare technology trends are expected to impact nursing practice significantly. Apps and social media tools have improved care delivery to patients living in remote areas, resulting in improved patient outcomes. With the rapid development of technology, people enjoy using these technologies to seek medical care. Using digital technologies, such as mobile apps and social media, many individuals in communities are taking responsibility for their health care. Health professionals can educate patients on maintaining a healthy lifestyle by using mobile apps and social media. Thus, these technology trends are essential for nursing practices. As a result of the devices, people can receive guidance on how to control specific diseases, particularly during the current COVID-19 pandemic, which is occurring in areas with limited access to healthcare facilities. Since technology is here to stay, it is crucial to incorporate these trends into healthcare systems to improve them. When combined with the appropriate skills and knowledge, these trends can enhance the efficiency of care delivery, patient outcomes quality, and data management. Nurses and patients must be well informed about a disorder to make informed decisions regarding its diagnosis and treatment.
From a patient’s perspective, healthcare technology trends provide greater opportunities for participation in care. Patients can communicate more often with their healthcare provider through an electronic health record portal, get personal real-time health status through wearable technology, and visit their provider without ever leaving their homes. On the other hand, from a provider’s perspective, healthcare technology trends improve patient health outcomes. Healthcare providers can access external patient data through a health information exchange, identify quality measure trends for a large patient population through a clinical data registry, and obtain recorded images of a patient’s gastrointestinal tract through capsule endoscopy. These healthcare technology advances are currently in practice for the patients and providers at the gastroenterology practice where I work.
Data breaches are a significant risk whenever protected health information (PHI) is shared or transferred. In an exploratory analysis, Yeo and Banfield (2022) found that healthcare organizations pay millions yearly for breaches due to human behavior, such as carelessness and negligence, theft, and scammers. Electronic health records, health information exchanges, and patient portal applications all house PHI that is vulnerable to inadvertent disclosures by both patients and healthcare personnel and intentional misuse by criminals.
Telehealth played a vital role in keeping patients and healthcare providers connected during COVID-19. Even when mitigation efforts slowed and organizations adjusted back to in-person visits, many patients found telehealth services more convenient than leaving home, driving to their provider’s office, parking, and waiting their turn in a lobby. However, according to Khoong et al. (2022), telemedicine negatively impacts patient safety. Limited data collection results in diagnostic errors, lack of physical exams constrain medical decision-making, and misunderstandings lead to medication errors or adverse drug events (Khoong et al., 2022).
Undoubtedly, electronic health records improved access to health information, and telehealth improved access to care. Both technologies have tremendously benefitted healthcare providers and patients. To improve the state’s future pandemic response, the New York State Bar Association recommended a public policy to eliminate telehealth restrictions (Lytle, 2022). While this recommendation may be specific to New York, it led other states through early mitigation efforts, and a recommendation to remove restrictions on telehealth would potentially benefit everyone. Though the rules behind telehealth were initially waived through the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, loosening the limitations for an extended period may improve compliance amongst patients with mental health problems, anxiety, or competing priorities. People who have demanding jobs or are caring for aging parents may find telehealth more reasonable than visiting a provider’s office in person.
Currently, people have access to prescriptions and healthcare providers nationwide through technology, specifically telehealth services. People suffering from frequent urinary tract infections or men with erectile dysfunction can obtain prescriptions for treatment without ever having to establish rapport with a healthcare provider. Though convenient and efficient, limited patient-provider interaction poses a considerable risk due to heavy reliance on the patient’s skills in using technology and potential gaps in information sharing between patient and provider.
One of the biggest trends I have noticed in my practice is the use to telemedicine. It was not particularly new to the rural hospital I had worked at as we used it often for consults with specialists and for overnight admissions. However, with the pandemic I saw an even bigger increase as larger hospitals were full and we were now faced with managing more complex patients for longer periods of time. Aside from the inpatient side of telemedicine I also witnessed an increase in telemedicine for primary care visits, especially if symptoms were considered high risk for a covid-19 diagnosis. This trend proves true outside of my observations as data was collected stating in 2019 accounted for 2.1 million telemedicine visits, but within 2020 that number increased to 32.5 million (U.S Government Accountability Office, 2022). While the dramatic increase was largely impacted by the pandemic I anticipate now that we have access to this technology the use will expand to reach out to rural communities, those who cannot arrange transport, and other opportunities. The use of telemedicine has had a huge impact on management of chronic conditions due to the availability for more frequent check-ins (Health Resources & Services Administration, 2022). Again, the pandemic initiated a higher need for telemedicine care but the opportunities will continue in healthcare it has been used in various specialties such as psychiatry, ophthalmology, dermatology, and neurology (Shen et al, 2021). As these specialists are often not on site of may healthcare facilities it allows for a quick interaction that can get treatment started sooner. I see the importance of mental health and psychiatry providers using telemedicine the most. Through my time working in the ER and during a research project on pediatric mental health in rural communities I found access to these specialists is rare. Expansion and continued technology improvement for telemedicine I predict will make it one of the standards of care in many communities.
I have observed and utilized many technology trends in healthcare that have been effective in nursing practice. One trend in technology that is utilized at the hospital I work for is the sharing of patient information and electronic health records (EHR) between the hospital, clinic, and skilled nursing facilities. This sharing of information is described as interoperability which several systems operate together to exchange information (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2022-a). Nurses and providers in the hospital clinic system can access most of the same patient health information that nurses and providers can in the hospital. Even a few local skilled nursing facilities can access some of the patient’s health information while in the hospital. A system like information sharing of patients’ EHR is also an aspect of the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT is electronic devices connecting with each other to supply real-time data and analysis without human interference (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2022-b). IoT is a way that computers and devices have been connecting healthcare providers to patient information in real-time throughout the clinic and hospital system efficiently.
EHRs and the Internet of Things (IoT) are the most effective for data sharing of information; however, some challenges exist. One challenge is that IoT and real-time data sharing require safe, reliable, and private Wi-Fi. The absence of a real-time monitoring system can lead to severe failures like damage to essential equipment connections due to the late detection and recognition of unforeseen situations (Hulsen, 2020-a). Another challenge with data-sharing in healthcare is an ethical consideration. There might not be transparency in data-sharing with healthcare institutions and patients. Transparency is trust, and healthcare institutions should also inform patients about the specific goals of the data-sharing collaboration (Baric-Parker & Anderson, 2020). In experience, patients have been unaware that nurses can access information about prescriptions filled at local pharmacies or access reports from clinic visits. Transparency with data sharing is a must.
There are benefits to data-sharing and potential risks associated with data-sharing and legislation. One benefit of data-sharing is that when programs like GIFT-Cloud are used, GIFT-Cloud supports relationships between multiple healthcare and research institutions while satisfying patient privacy requirements, data security, and data ownership demands (Hulsen, 2020-b). Data-sharing programs and devices add exceptional patient care that efficiently accesses health information and is all-around consistent between all healthcare providers involved in the care. One risk with data-sharing is the issue of privacy. In 2007 Minnesota’s Governor initiated the Minnesota Health Information Exchange (MHIE) to encourage patient safety and increase healthcare efficiency across the state, it raised substantial concerns about security and privacy, and new questions resulted about the definition of when and how patient consent is mandatory to exchange data electronically (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2022-c). MHIE is an example of when legislation like Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty is involved in privacy and confidentiality acts in health care and EHRs.
A promising healthcare technology trend in nursing practice is the use of smartphones. There are many ways smartphones can be utilized in nursing practice now and in the future for efficient patient care. A healthcare application can use a decision help method to triage patient signs and symptoms, solve questions about or provide perspective for a disease or illness, and provide patient education and emergency precautions (Grys, 2022). Smartphones and applications can be crucial to patient care because the tools would allow for rapid response from providers to answer patient questions via messaging, and downloaded information could create a quick symptom algorithm to remind the nurse to message or call the provider if an acute symptom arises. Smartphones and applications can improve patient outcomes in this of many ways.
Healthcare technologies are intended to enhance patient safety, simplify administrative tasks, and improve the quality of healthcare delivery. Electronic health records (EHR), patient portals, and mobile apps are some of the general healthcare technology trends I have observed in the organization I work.
The electronic health record (EHR) is a digital record that can provide comprehensive health information about patients/clients. It is meant to disseminate information about patients to healthcare providers, laboratories, imaging centers, pharmacies, clinics, and other organizations involved in patient care. This information is required to make sound clinical decisions about the patient. (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2022). The advancement in healthcare technology has brought about significant changes that cannot be overestimated. These changes include how information is being transferred within the healthcare providers and on a need-to-know basis. At the organization where I work, we are experiencing these technological trends with upgrades being done frequently to ensure that the organization and workers are abreast with the latest information technology to deliver and manage healthcare. Healthcare providers and patients can communicate and relate with each other via the patient portal and smartphones. Patients can schedule appointments, track their laboratory results, and participate in their care, (patient engagement). These have indeed improved patient outcomes and reduced the rate of hospital readmissions.
Also, the rate of errors, particularly medication errors has reduced due to the digital means by which medicines are being pulled (from the pyxis) before administration. Errors are prevented through better access to patient data and error prevention alerts (HealthIT.gov. 2018).
Critical laboratory results are disseminated as soon as the result is out, and nurses can take prompt and necessary action. These in all have helped to maintain patient care, safety, and outcomes.
Inherent challenges or risk
With the trend in technology, the risk of complexity is inevitable due to the lack of knowledge and skills associated with the usage by some users (healthcare providers). Hence, education and training must be provided through short programs to support knowledge and practice and prevent errors.
Potential Benefits and Risk
The potential benefits associated with data safety, legislation, and patient care for the technologies described include enabling healthcare providers to make clinical decisions due to access to patients’ health information. Also, the benefit of Computerized physician order entry gives room for care to be given as soon as the order is entered. (Menachemi, & Collum, 2022). Legislation has imposed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) policy to ensure the privacy of patient information and make it more difficult to access electronic data inappropriately. Likewise, a potential risk associated with data safety, legislation, and patient care is increased medical errors due to overdependence on technology and poorly designed system interfaces or lack of end-user training.
The healthcare technology trends are promising for impactful nursing practice. Mobile apps like the Tissue Analyst on smartphones allow nurses to improve the quality of care rendered. For instance, the app can help to analyze patients’ wounds and help the nurse give appropriate wound care. This will also help patients/client build trust in the nurse.
With our fast-paced and ever-changing technological advances, it comes as no surprise that healthcare and what is available to us as both providers and patients has also changed. Over the past decade, we have seen the implementation of electronic health records, the use of smart devices to monitor certain health conditions, the ability to order prescriptions from our phones, and the communication of health information between facilities, along with many other amenities. There are many pros to using technology in healthcare, including the storage and easy retrieval of patient information, as well as more ease of sharing with other providers; decreased medication errors because of safety nets that have come with technology; and easier communication with patients, through patient portals (ACOG, n.d.).
In my facility, the main thing that comes to mind with technology is our wireless monitors we use on our laboring moms. They are very handy to use and allow them to have a more comfortable experience during labor and delivery. They can move around more, take a bath or shower, and it allows them to get more rest if they are here overnight for an induction because nurses are not coming into their room constantly to readjust their monitors. These wireless monitors trace the fetal heart tones, the mother’s heart rate, and uterine contractions. The information is transmitted directly into our charting system, OBIX, just as it would be with the wired monitors. These monitors, unfortunately, do come without hassle. When they choose to work, they are phenomenal; but, as with all technology, most of the time they come with issues. The signal on the monitors cuts in and out often and any Bluetooth device in the patient room will interact with the signal and cause the monitor to stop working. It also causes signal issues if the battery pod on the patient is not in a direct line with the monitor. When the signal cuts in and out like this, especially if a patient is on Pitocin, it could potentially cause legal issues down the road if there were to be an adverse event with that delivery. The other issue I have noticed with these monitors is the uterine contraction sensitivity. If you do not turn down the sensitivity, it appears that the patient is contracting more than she is. The sensitivity button must be toggled every so often, so it can be a nuisance to constantly have to remember to toggle the sensitivity off. These monitors could use a lot of improvement, which I am sure will come with time.
The year has just begun, and I was already able to find an article discussing the different health care technology trends of 2023. This article listed 17 different trends that will grow throughout the year, and the one that I found the most notable was smart implants. The idea behind smart implants is that they will allow for cures for certain disabilities, patient rehabilitation, and more effective rehab methods (TATEEDA, 2022). These smart implants utilize 3D printing, which is amazing in and of itself. By utilizing the 3D printing method, costs can be reduced, and patients would have shorter wait times for their implants or prosthesis. There is even the option of certain smart implants to be created for cardiovascular and neurological issues. Neural implants to help restore certain functions related to blindness and paralysis have already been developed and are hoped to be released by the company, Neuralink, in 2023 (TATEEDA, 2022). Smart implants are a wonderful advancement to healthcare, and they have numerous capabilities. They are a diagnostic tool that can allow for continuous monitoring of certain patients, while improving patient outcomes and allowing for personalized care of patients (Ledet, Liddle, Kradinova, & Harper, 2018). The further advancement of technology like this will continue to improve patient outcomes and their quality of life with certain chronic illnesses. Although, I do fear that our society will continue to rely on these technologies and because they know these options are available, will not put their health as a top priority in the first place. If we have the means to fix something, what is the point in ensuring it does not break?
One of the dynamic and important industries is healthcare. It is one of those sectors with many chances for innovation due to its ongoing need and improvements in its output, quality, accessibility, and price. Telemedicine and remote healthcare are two developments in healthcare technology that I have noticed in my nursing practice; during the first few months of the pandemic, the percentage of healthcare consultations conducted remotely increased dramatically, from 0.1% to 43.5%.
The care delivery model was upended by social distance and orders to stay at home. Yet, many physicians and health systems quickly adopted telehealth and virtual care models after realizing the advantages they can offer for patient care, (Savarkar V. 2021) believes that as a result, telemedicine will likely prove robust long after the epidemic and will establish itself as a long-lasting and essential fixture in the healthcare ecosystem.
Describe any potential challenges or risks that may be inherent with these technologies
Due to the inherent limits of the remote exam, doctors must be aware of when to request a patient’s in-person visit to prevent missed diagnosis and increased cyber liability, mainly when healthcare providers interact with patients through several devices worldwide. High-tech privacy issues include: Is the video visit interface HIPAA compliant? Additionally, in conventional forms: Household members may cut off conversations at either end. Some patients have less access to care since 50% of senior citizens in the United States lack internet connectivity, (Lau, J. et al., 2020). On the other hand, when remote visits are accessible via a mobile device and don’t require a computer, many patients can receive telemedicine, according to several hospitals that serve low-income populations. Despite this, many areas lack enough internet speed, and some patients cannot use telemedicine portals due to a language barrier or a lack of technological knowledge.
Discuss at least one potential benefit and one potential risk associated with these technologies for each of the following topics: data safety, legislation, and patient care
The potential benefits are that most patients have greater access to care, including those who live in rural areas, those with chronic conditions, and those who cannot pay for the expenditures associated with an in-person visit and time away from work. Facilitates more regular contact, which improves the ability to manage chronic diseases. The monitoring of blood pressure, blood sugar, and other crucial data parameters are already enabled by at-home equipment. Reduces infection risks for individuals with immunosuppression and COVID-19 and those who have recently had surgery, (Mehrotra, A. et al., 2020). It is also a simple risk to see the dangers of collecting data at home: user mistakes, erroneous findings from modest gadgets, and compatibility issues. Views the increase of at-home devices as a trade-off where, on the one side, one increases patient comfort and ease, which leads to higher compliance.
Example: Healthcare providers can precisely monitor vital signs in real-time thanks to the heart rate, stress, and blood oxygen detectors included in the latest generation of wearable technology. Even “virtual hospital wards” have been created due to the pandemic to manage the care of many patients receiving treatment at home using centralized communication infrastructure.
The healthcare sector has undergone several changes and adjusted to new circumstances since the COVID-19 pandemic began, seeing the most considerable market-wide transformation. The use of the healthcare IT industry has given rise to critical future trends in healthcare that will continue to influence it. New instruments for diagnosis and therapy have been developed thanks to rapid technological advancement. Methods used by medical professionals today would have been unthinkable decades ago. Healthcare is becoming more and more digital. Information may be shared thanks to data engines and hospital information systems quickly. Solutions for remote medical treatment and increased health awareness are additional examples of innovations. Over the next five years, 80% of healthcare providers intend to increase their investment in technology and digital solutions, according to the HIMSS Future of Healthcare Report (2022). Growing industries include telemedicine, genomics, personalized medicine, and wearable technology.
Some trends I have observed in my nursing practice include the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT). The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) is a grouping of medical software and hardware that communicates with internet computer networks to link to healthcare IT systems. Wi-Fi-enabled medical devices provide the machine-to-machine connectivity that forms the core of IoMT. IoT devices connect to cloud infrastructures like Amazon Web Services, allowing for the storage and analysis of collected data. IoMT is another name for IoT in healthcare. The development of healthcare information technology includes a significant amount of wearables and trackers. Their main advantage is that they give doctors accurate, real-time information about patients’ health conditions.
Additionally, the use of HIPAA-compliant video conferencing platforms such as zoom, skype and google meets has been adopted in the organizations that I have worked with to safeguard the security and privacy of people’s medical information as well as other protected health information (PHI). Lastly is the use of electronic health records. A patient’s paper chart gets converted to digital form in an electronic health record (EHR). EHRs are patient-centered, real-time records that securely and promptly make information accessible to authorized users. An EHR system is designed to go beyond the typical clinical information recorded in a provider’s office. It can encompass a broader view of a patient’s care, even though it does include the treatment and medical histories of patients. In addition to containing a patient’s medical history, diagnoses, prescriptions, treatment plans, dates of immunizations, allergies, radiological pictures, and laboratory and test results, EHRs are a crucial component of health IT. Give professionals access to evidence-based instruments to decide how to treat patients (HealthIT.gov.n.d.).
One of the main risks involved with this trend is the problem of data breaching. The number of weekly attacks on the healthcare industry reached an average of 626 per organization by the end of 2021 and is still steadily increasing. According to the US Federal Bureau of Investigation, more than 40 million patient health records were compromised in 2021 because of the vulnerability of 50% of internet-connected hospital devices. Therefore poses a risk to the patients and healthcare providers as their privacy is invaded (Dykes et al., 2017).
Telemedicine is the development in healthcare technology that is most likely to impact nursing practice significantly. Telemedicine is the delivery of healthcare remotely using technology to identify, treat, and prevent diseases and conduct research to enhance health (Serper & Volk, 2019). Telehealth allows monitoring patients while they are away and providing care. This dramatically improves health outcomes for chronically ill patients and those having trouble receiving care owing to geographic location issues. For patients with chronic conditions, telehealth, which has been proven to enhance health outcomes, helps to keep track of the progress and compliance with prescribed therapies. It also incorporates family members into the care. Lastly, enhanced cybersecurity integrated with EHR will be the foundation of nursing informatics in the future. Hackers threaten secure and crucial patient data in the healthcare industry. To handle the larger datasets, evolving health information systems will need new cybersecurity systems (Dykes et al., 2017). Building secure data interchange platforms to protect private data will be a future trend in health informatics. For data security, computer systems will be updated and encrypted. Through safe gateways, the exchange of electronic data interchange would be made simpler. Thus promoting patients and organizational outcomes.
Healthcare technology has become universal. The goal for electronic health records is to help control healthcare cost. The USA has been challenged with a healthcare system that is expensive. The USA continues to work at improving the quality of patient care and at the same time controlling expenses (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2022). The definition of an electron health record according to health IT (n.d.) is a digital version of a patient’s paper chart. If our goal is to have patient centered cost effective healthcare the pressure is demanding on healthcare system and providers (Ahmad et al., 2022).
I have noticed in my current role as the nurse navigator that EMR increases patient participation, keeping the patient involved and current with their healthcare. Electronic medical records help keep healthcare cost down by providing the patient’s health information in one location. By having the patient’s information in one location providers are less likely to order unnecessary or duplicate test. Electronic medical records also provide easy access for the providers and reduces the providers time, also reduces healthcare cost (Abdulrahman Mohammed Al et al., 2018). Patients can communicate to their providers through their EMR allowing them to be involved and responsible for coordinating their care.
We will always be faced with challenges associated with EMR. One of the challenges associated with EMR is the cost to implement and to maintain the system. Small organizations or private providers will not have the capital to start an electronic medical records system (Janett & Yeracaris, 2020).
There are several healthcare technology trends that I have observed in the healthcare industry including electronic health records (EHRs), telemedicine, wearable technology, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and 3D printing. One challenge with telemedicine is that it requires a reliable internet connection, which may not be available for some patients or in some areas. There is also a risk of inadequate treatment or misdiagnosis when medical care is provided remotely, as healthcare providers may not have access to all of the information and tools they would have in an in-person visit. Wearable technology poses a challenge because the accuracy of the data it collects may vary. There is also a risk of data privacy, as these devices may contain sensitive personal and health information that could be accessed by third parties (Skiba, 2017).
The benefits and risks could be considered two in the same. The heightened security of these technologies to prevent patient information from being misused could make it more difficult for healthcare providers to access and use the information they need to provide high-quality care, potentially leading to reduced efficiency and effectiveness (Skiba, 2017). However, the level of accessibility and effective use of these technologies can help build trust between patients and healthcare providers.
I believe that telemedicine and wearable technology have the most potential to impact healthcare technology in nursing practice. Telemedicine allows nurses to provide medical care remotely, which can be especially useful in rural or underserved areas where access to healthcare is limited (Potter et al., 2016). It can also be used to follow up with patients after they have been discharged from the hospital, helping to prevent readmissions. Wearable technology can help nurses to monitor their patient’s health data in real time, allowing them to identify potential issues early on and intervene before they become more serious (Wu et al., 2016). This can help to improve patient outcomes and reduce the need for hospitalizations, specifically in the elderly population who can then live more independently for longer. Wearable technology can help to reduce the workload of nurses by automating certain tasks and providing more efficient ways of gathering and analyzing patient data. This can allow nurses to spend more time on tasks that require their expertise and care, such as patient education and support.
In terms of data management, both telemedicine and wearable technology can help to improve the completion and accuracy of patient data, as they allow for real-time data collection and analysis. This can help to inform treatment decisions, improve patient outcomes, and improve patient and healthcare provider communication (Wu et al., 2016). Additionally, both telemedicine and wearable technology can help to reduce the risk of data breaches, as they can use secure communication and data storage methods. The use of telemedicine and wearable technology in nursing practice has the potential to contribute to improvements in patient care outcomes, efficiencies, and data management.
At the facility where I currently work, there is an overarching goal of transforming all patient documentation and interactions to a computer-based format that will be stored in electronic health records [EHR] (HealthIT.gov, 2019). The process is four-fold, with most of the documentation done in the EHR, scanning documents such as consents into the EHR, transforming documents that require signatures into editable versions on tablets where the patients can sign or generate digital signatures, and allowing patient’s responses to enter EHR into two categories: permanent record and non-permanent records. The facility has also developed its own Facebook page and Twitter Account and hired a Social Media Manager to add content or respond to content to be at par with the current trend of increased social media use (Skiba, 2017). Adding to this, efforts to increase patient satisfaction scores have led to the development of interoperability software to increase patient participation in their own care; patients can document responses to interventions such as pain or nausea (Rao-Gupta et al., 2018).
There is a consensus that the efforts have resulted in increased patient participation and increased patient satisfaction scores, which are updated quarterly. However, this progress has brought on challenges, one of which is privacy. Whenever patients are admitted, there is increased anxiety in the patient, family, and friends resulting in a demand for instantaneous diagnostics outcomes and an unbounded ability to view the health records (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2022). The patients and designated representatives can create patient access portals to view the EHR and can, therefore, access labs, imaging, and physician documentation. Unfortunately, patients and families share this information on Facebook and other social media outlets. The result of this is that they end up receiving different treatment suggestions and additional testing that only increase frustration and anxiety for the patient. This has necessitated educating patients and their families on the importance of not posting on social media and of the concept of being monetized by big data companies such as Facebook and Google (Rothstein, 2021).
Technology is ever-evolving, with improvements targeted toward improving the quality of care and patient outcomes, all while simplifying work and effort for healthcare providers. Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence facilitate interdisciplinary and interprofessional communication. For example, when a chest x-ray is captured, AI and ML can generate a preliminary result identifying pneumonia and generate an interdisciplinary approach to treating pneumonia: recommended antibiotics, nursing plan of care, and speech therapy evaluation which can then be edited as necessitated (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2022). This ensures nothing is missed, resulting in good outcomes for patients.
Healthcare technologies are evolving and converging so fast in this digital age. These technologies in healthcare are mainly for the purpose of improving care
One of the healthcare technologies being used in the facility where I work is Electronic Medical Records System (EMRs). EMRs are online medical records of the standard medical and clinical data from a provider. (HealthIT.gov). is a digital aversion of typically find in providers paper chart. (HealthIT.gov). These include medical history, diagnosis medications, immunizations dates, lab results and allergies. It is a digital version of paper charts in Physicians office, clinicians, and hospitals
Potential Challenges inherent in this technology.
One of the potential challenges inherent in this technology is Inability of the facility to maintain the system in all care areas. As stated in McGonigle & Mastrian,2022) EMR is a complex and difficult multidisciplinary effort that will stretch an organizations skills and capacity for change.
EMRs enables physician /providers to track data overtime. It helps to monitor patients visits. It helps communication and connectivity between health care providers, clinicians and patients which helped for improved healthcare quality.
It could be incorporated into the electronic health records system (EHRs) which goes beyond standard clinical data collected by one provider. EHRs provide comprehensive health information about patients from various data. ( McGonigle & Mastrian).
The healthcare technology that I believe is most promising is the HER. Despite its potential risk like security breach, None transparency in ethical consideration. There are many benefits and potential benefits. EHR holds the health information and can be referred to at any time. This can help to trail potential diseases and health issues and device a way of preventing it as fast as possible
Within my healthcare organization I have noticed that more patients have been using MyChart to view their test results, and notes from healthcare professionals. Although this allows patients easy access to their healthcare records, I have identified numerous issues with this program and identified some patient safety issues.
Challenges and Risks
Potential challenges that I have noticed with this trend is that electronic systems are not always user friendly and can prove difficult for some patients. Also, often patients or families will see the results of blood work, scans, or doctors’ notes before the nurse or doctor has been able to review them, or before the nurse has spoken with the doctor about that patients plan for the day. Issues arise when the patient or family members have low health literacy. Low health literacy can cause wrongful interpretations of risks regarding healthcare decisions and can lead to misinterpretations of healthcare situations (Hasannejadasl et. al., 2022). I have noticed that this creates a lot more questions about things that are standard within care, such as daily labs, and these extra conversations contribute to emotional burnout. Although talking to families and answering their questions is a part of the nurses’ duties, on my unit I have personally seen how this can complicate a nurse’s day and can take away from the time that should be dedicated to the critical patient. Risks which are inherent within electronic charting systems and online viewing of health records is the possibility of hacking or leaking of private information. This possibility may cause patients to be guarded when sharing health information. (Layman, 2020). Having this technology requires hospitals to be on the lookout for data breaches and enact actions to prevent this.
Benefit and Risk
One potential benefit of systems such as the ones mentioned above, is that patients are able to see every aspect of their care through the chart and may be able to gain a greater understanding of their overall healthcare picture. Positive impacts this has includes patients feeling like their care is more self-driven, decision making feels more informed, and medical compliance and trust improved (Tapuria et. al., 2021). Risks include potential for hacking, scams, and leaking of information, as well as affecting patient care due to the overwhelming amount of information the patient and families have access to. This can cause anxiety due to the type of information deposited in the patient record (Tapuria et. al., 2021).
Trend Impacting Nursing Practice
One benefit that electronic charting has brought to healthcare systems is that there is a growing trend of charting systems which are able to interact, and healthcare professionals are able to obtain records from outside hospitals, clinic visits, and past medical history which can improve the care they receive and complete the picture. This contribution will improve patient care outcomes by decreasing the guessing that occurs when there is an unknown history and can help guide a diagnosis in less time due to more knowledge. I would like to see in the future a better integrated system which not only allows access to other systems charts but complies it together without having to access a separate database.
Nowadays, hospitals and care facilities use EHR to record patient data and follow up with progress. This EHR system allows healthcare providers to improve the care patient receives. In the study by Dykes, P C. et al., writers evaluate interventions to improve outcomes in intensive care units by engaging patient communication and technology study. It is reported that patient engagement in the ICU setting will improve by incorporating patient-centered communication. The writers hoped to reduce adverse events and improve patient and care partner satisfaction. The intervention included a 60-minute training session introducing the patient “satisactive Model,” which included training to enhance responses to needs, concerns, and expectations and interactive training on a web-based toolkit to improve communication and patient engagement. This toolkit allowed patients to access EHR data, provider care planning tools, and messaging platforms to communicate with providers and patients. (Dykes, P. C., Rozenblum, R., Dalal, A., Massaro, A., Chang, F., Clements, M., Collins, S. …Bates, D. W. (2017).
With EHR, everything ties together in one place. From intake forms to billing, these document management is combined all together in one place, in the electronic chart. The HER has branched out and has impacted all fields of health care. With the development of big data and EHR systems, our public health significantly improved and has helped to decrease health disparities. For instance, public health advocates can look up symptoms, disorders, age, gender, and race by zip code and conduct projects to help areas with high health disparity. With this idea in mind, one place to improve is to improve health evaluation to see if we are impacting our community. We need to evaluate ourselves to see if we are impacting our community. (Walden University, LLC. (Producer). (2018).
Benefits of EMR include accessibility and information that is organized and decision support. The potential problem with EMR has HIPPA violations. For example, you accidentally record things on the wrong patient without realizing it. Yet, the benefits of having Health information exchanges (HIE) and National health information infrastructure (NHII) outweigh the potential problems of the EMR system. Patients can receive well-rounded, connected care by exchanging health information with other providers. The treatment plan will reduce redundancies and help create a patient-specified treatment plan without delaying time. There are challenges to NHII, which include internet connectivity issues, data standards, messaging standards, and workflow requirements. Yet, with the current speed of IT development, it is hopeful that these obstacles can be managed soon. Walden University, LLC. (Producer). (2018).
Telehealth and electronic MAR are two examples of healthcare technology advances that I have seen in my nursing career. This electronic technology was developed so that providers could obtain information instantly, and it is only available to staff who are qualified. 2018c (HealthIT.gov). These two technologies are employed at work because our detox and mental health institution still uses paper charts. Although we have only recently adopted electronic MARs, they do capture data that we utilize to inform clinical judgments. Lack of understanding on how to use the system is one of the difficulties with the e-MAR. Although new nurses or PRN nurses who have never used the system or have not had enough training on the system may find it difficult, this is more of a medical concern than a nursing problem. Doctors who are unfamiliar with the system frequently enter incorrect orders, especially when a patient is tapering off detox medications. This is risky because medication errors can and do occur when a doctor who is unfamiliar with the system is working with a new nurse or a PRN nurse.
Data security is one advantage of the e-MAR. With the e-MAR, we can seek up a patient by name and date of birth or scan their armband. A nurse’s entry of this information triggers the patient’s e-MAR profile, where you can review prescriptions, allergies, or any other vital information that has to be confirmed. When it comes to e-MARs, there are concerns as well. For instance, data security may be a problem. Although patient data is a top focus for technology, there are still security and privacy concerns. Data security, for instance, is influenced by patient trust and the manner in which consent is gained. Patients may not be willing to provide crucial information when seeking treatment if trust is not maintained (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2017 pp. 284-285).
Many people in the community are taking charge of their healthcare today, and they do so by using social media and smartphone apps (Skiba, 2017). These technological developments have the most promise for influencing nursing practice and patient outcomes. Social media and mobile apps have an impact on nursing practice because they give patients a tool for education. For instance, you may direct your patients to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as they receive education from you. Patients will be able to take control of their care because they frequently don’t have questions till afterwards. These cutting-edge technologies are excellent tools for nurses to use in their work and will have a lasting influence. As nurses, we must embrace technology and make the most of its tools since it is here to stay. Patients will be less likely to search the internet for answers to their health questions when nurses give trustworthy resources. Numerous social media platforms and mobile apps exist that may misdirect patients. It is our responsibility as nurses to be aware of the social media platforms and apps that will improve patient outcomes. Having said that, it appears that advances in technology, the influence of nursing practice, and enhancing patient outcomes are all interrelated
In practice I have seen the adoption of smart phone applications for patients to have access to their records and can communicate directly with their treatment team. The Long Beach VA in the past few years has made major strides in getting veterans receiving care at the VA connected to their application, MyHealtheVet. Near registration and business office there is someone stationed permanently to assist veterans. Some health care organizations have created committees that review and evaluate social media and mHealth apps for their patient populations (Skiba, 2017).
An issue with this technology could be electronic health record access for people that the patient may not want to have access. This is more likely due to patient not knowing how to prevent others from seeing their information rather than application issues. Another risk I can see is overuse of some patients in communicating with their treatment team which can bog the team down with providing care to patients in front of them.
One major benefit for patients is the ability to receiving necessary documents from their treatment team without requiring a formal appointment. This can save time for both the patients and their providers. Due to facial recognition technology and password saving patients could have others gain access to their records that they may not necessarily want. Another potential risk is patients being assigned educational applications. Sometimes these can take a moment to understand the importance of participating in and how to use. If data are being exchanged, our patients must comprehend what data will be collected and where, when, and with whom it will be shared (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2022). Due to some mistrust in some populations with healthcare it is important to understand that some patients need extra time to be educated.
The most promising technology trends are those that provide easy and simple access to care and knowledge. In my personal life, by using the hospital application, we have been able to avoid visits to ERs and Urgent cares or avoided long urgent care waits when having to go for our children. This can keep patients and their families at home in comfort and prevent overcrowding waiting areas in both urgent care and ER settings. Applications and the tools and workflows offered patients a method of communicating a primary goal for receiving care, submitting questions regarding the care plan, and viewing their medical problems and goals of care (Dykes et al., 2017). Being able to wait at home in comfort prevents the spread of bacteria and viruses to others waiting in the lobby. This was especially useful during COVID and getting tested. It made going into the Urgent Care and Hospital less daunting as we were able to check in and receive care within minutes. We prevented exposing others unnecessarily as well as prevented our own exposure unnecessarily.
Healthcare technology trends
Information technology has taken healthcare delivery services to a higher level of development thereby making the workflow smarter and easier. There are so many healthcare technological trends in use in the healthcare delivery system. I can mention but a few, the automatic/smart IV Pump machine, portable monitor, smart bed, chair alarm, electronic health record, Patient health records, Telehealth, and apps. We use most of these trends but the one that is highly used in my organization and is commonly used in a different healthcare organization that is safe, efficient, lower cost, and better documentation with the reduction in medication error, is the electronic health record. Health IT ( 2017) electronic health record is a digital version of a traditional paper chart that is a real-time, patient-centered record that makes information available instantly and securely to authorized users. No one can use, view, or document in the EHR except authorized users. One must undergo training and orientation by the nurse informatics and be given a username and a password to use to sign in to use the EHR. EHRs is a very delicate application that contains patients’ Name, DOB, patient medical history, diagnosis, insurance, treatment plan, immunization dates, allergy, laboratory results, and other investigations. This information needs to be protected and secure according to the health insurance portability and accountability act (HIPAA). EHRs allow access to an evidence-based tool that the providers can use to make an informed decision about patient care and also allows the automatic streamline of provider workflow
Challenges or risks
Even though electronic health record has potential benefit, they as well as a risk because anything that has an advantage must have a disadvantage. But sometimes electronic health record design, customization, or configuration can contribute to patient harm (AMA, 2018). Some of the information stored in the EMRs can be hacked if there is no sufficient security, and if the information is not backed up might be lost. Some of the challenges according to AMA (2018). Includes 1. date of entry: impossible to enter the desired EHRs data. Sometimes the dose of medication might change and both orders will be populated in the electronic medication records. Also, when a medication is ordered as a start dose or once only and it passed 2 hours of the order, that medication can not be pulled out from the pyxis except is re-ordered. 2. Alerting, some of the alerts are incorrect. 3. system automation and default, EHRs automate or default to information that is unexpected. 4 . workflow support, if there is a mismatch between the end user’s intent and the EHRs, the workflow will not support example, the provider orders a test and the lab staff did not do it because the staff did not see it
Benefits and risks associated with data safety, legislation, and patient care
The use of health information technology has improved our performances; a complete task with less mental effort promotes Patient and workplace safety and satisfaction. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (2017), Usability refers to the quality of a user’s experience when interacting with products or systems, including websites, software, devices, or applications. Usability is the satisfaction of a user with a particular product/ process in a particular environment/system. It is easy, effective, efficient, and satisfies the user.
Nurses will need to understand and initiate cost containment, resource allocation, patient advocacy, and interdisciplinary collaboration to ensure the delivery of quality patient care. Nurses as a leader and managers in the health system continuously adapt to these evolutions of changes to enhance quality care. The major concern of the PHR is the provision of portability, privacy, and accuracy of the data populated by the provider. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, a Personal Health Record (PHR) is controlled by the individual and can be shared with others, including caregivers, family members, and providers. Is easy to use access and well secured. The adoption of EHRs in support of the ultimate goals of improving the quality of patient care and reducing health costs
I still believe that electronic health record is the most promising for impacting healthcare technology in nursing practice. Tasks are easier done, errors are easily noted and action is taken to prevent complications and the patient collaborates with the provider toward a shared decision. EHRs allows us to collaborate on patient care with other team members, carry out diagnostic investigation on our patient discover more information on the condition that will help us to plan and execute action/ intervention using evidence-based practice for positive results/outcomes
Health information technology includes a wide range of technologies, from simple ones like keeping records to more complex ones like helping people make decisions and integrating with medical technology. Health information technology offers many ways to improve and change healthcare, such as reducing human errors, improving clinical outcomes, coordinating care, making practices more efficient, and keeping track of data over time (Alotaibi & Federico 2017). In my organization, electronic health records were the first to be used as mobile devices for nurses while administering medications. This improved quality and prevented medication errors because changes were made as they occurred compared to paper charting used in the past.
There is a lot of care coordination, especially after hospitalization upon discharge. Sign-out or “hand-over” communication is passing information about a patient from one caregiver to another, from one team of caregivers to the next, or from caregivers to the patient and their family. This ensures that the patient gets safe and consistent care (Alotaibi & Federico 2017). An electronic health record (EHR) is like a patient’s paper chart, but it is kept on a computer. EHRs are real-time, patient-centered records that allow authorized users to get information quickly and safely (HealthIT.gov. 2018).) Electronic health records are shared with what was done at the hospital, what treatment was provided, and what needs to be continued or discontinued. My organization also uses the Teams app to avoid HIPPA violations and no texting information through mobile phones. Teams have been an excellent tool for internal communications, even with providers.
Technology improves patient care; the team involved with patients can access medication records, diagnoses, medications, and other treatments. Through technology, Patients and their care partners can use an online portal to look at health information, participate in the care plan, and talk to providers (Dykes et al. 2017).
In a connected care environment, more people use mobile apps and social media to participate in their health care. Since more and more people are getting involved in their healthcare, it is essential for healthcare professionals to have the knowledge and skills to evaluate digital tools and recommend the best ones (Skiba, 2017). Smartphones enabled patients to access their providers, especially during the pandemic when it was difficult to get appointments. However, the struggle remains since some patients have difficulty accessing smartphones and may be at risk of exposing their information to unwanted parties.
Healthcare Technology Trends
Electronic Health Records (EHR) are digital health records containing all the information you would find in a paper chart and much more. The majority of healthcare facilities now use EHRs. Past medical history, vital signs, progress notes, diagnoses, prescriptions, vaccine dates, allergies, test results, and imaging reports are all included in electronic health records. They may also include other pertinent data, such as data imported from personal wellness devices, demographic information, and insurance information (Practice fusion, 2021). EHR is a technological data system that is rapidly spreading throughout the healthcare industry. It is being used in hospital settings, doctor’s offices, and lab results. EHR was developed to eliminate mistakes that result from paper charting or errors due to lack of information.
Potential Challenges and Risks
Adapting to change is one of the difficulties people encounter. Resulting from the adoption of the EHR system. Most individuals find it difficult to adjust to change, especially if they are accustomed to the old methods of doing things. Patients’ and workers’ capacity to accept, adapt, and assimilate change is referred to as EHR It is therefore challenging for the majority of people to change their daily routines. When I was a CNA, I worked privately for an elderly woman who practiced medicine. Because she was used to writing on paper, she found it very challenging to adjust to the new way of entering her blood pressure and blood sugar level into her electronic system. Additionally, it has been observed that elderly nurses have a hard time adjusting to the new digital way of doing things because they are used to utilizing their paper charting method and most of them despise this new technology (Laureate Education, 2018).
Potential Benefits and Risks
The use of an EHR system has a lot of advantages. The system stores information like issue lists, prescription lists, and test results that would often be on paper in a chart. Additionally, results management in an EHR enables you to electronically get lab results, radiology reports, and even X-ray pictures while preventing test duplication. Additionally, ordering is now simple as prescription pads are no longer needed. Using safe e-prescribing technology, all of your orders and prescriptions are processed automatically (Practice Fusion, 2021). Medical staff no longer need to contact or visit a lab to obtain a result before determining what to do with a patient; instead, all they need to do is click a monitor screen to obtain all they want thanks to EHR. Additionally, patients now have access to their medical records and may see them from the convenience of their own homes.
Risks associated with EHR include the possibility of new medical errors emerging as a result of patient data exposure. EHRs offer accessibility to exposure of their medical record by allowing access to significant information in a matter of seconds. Since patient information is secure in the digital world, there are others who may hack such information for either immoral or selfish reasons. The majority of hospitals have robust protection programs in place to safeguard patient data, but these programs do not include locations where patients can access their own medical records. Intruders can readily obtain patient information if they are not in a secure or private location since patients can access it from anywhere (Raposo, 2015 ).
Employees and patients have reaped enormous benefits from HER systems. Due to how much easier it has made working with so many people, the majority of healthcare environments now use EHRs. For instance, patients now receive therapy on a timely and correct basis rather than battling informational gaps (Patel, 2019). I’ve worked in settings where clinicians weren’t given the right information on patients or when delays caused a ripple effect, which might sometimes be harmful. For instance, if a patient is scheduled for surgery but the surgeon’s office hasn’t received her preoperative test results or her physical clearance, that alone may significantly delay the patient’s care, with potentially serious repercussions. The EHR will combine all of the patient’s providers’ information into a single system, making it easier to manage patients and improving patient outcomes (Morad Abdulah & Ali Perot, 2022).
As technology continues to advance there are multiple opportunities with the use of technology (Ng & Frith, 2018). Technology and informatics continue to revolutionize and “technology continues to push the envelope” (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2022, pg. 612.).
Knowledge and data are key components to possess as a nurse to guide a nurse’s decision-making process. Technology has allowed nurses to be able to give the highest quality of care. I know that it seems to be a repetitive topic but one of the main technological advances that I have observed in healthcare is advancing from paper charting to electronic health records otherwise known as EHR.
The electronic medical record system has improved the quality of care given and the efficiency of care given by allowing providers to see real-time patient information. Providers are able to share information safely and quickly. Patients are able to get care efficiently without a delay in care.
As technology evolves, there have been trends in using smartphones and wearing smartwatches. Technology has improved smartwatches. Smartwatches use to be only able to tell time and determine how many steps you have taken during the day. Now smartwatches can also determine your heart rate, how many calories you have burned, your oxygen saturation, your sleep pattern, shows ECG rhythm, sends and receive messages, etc.
I have also observed Telehealth blow up in the healthcare industry. Telehealth has become a more popular and available option to access healthcare (Wang, et al., 2018). Telehealth became more popular with the Covid pandemic outbreak. Many doctors’ offices were closed and not seeing patients due to the pandemic. Many doctors in the hospitals also were not going into patients’ rooms that were infected with Covid but they needed a way to see the patient without being contaminated.
As technology has advanced there are benefits but also negatives. One downfall of technology is the lack of knowledge and usability amongst some populations. For instance, the older population so not find change as easy as the younger population. Some elderly people still don’t own a cell phone or don’t know how to use applications on the phone that would give them access to their personal health information. Another risk in technological advancement is the potential of HIPPA, personal health information to be hacked into and shared. Healthcare facilities have had to pay a lot of money to invest in security software to protect the public from breaches.
The healthcare industry and giving the best possible treatment to patients rely heavily on the latest developments in healthcare technology. When it comes to patient care, technology is only going to become better in the years to come. Patients’ most significant potential results are increasingly dependent on integrating technology into all aspects of patient care and experience (PR Newswire, 2018). The most recent transition to electronic medical record (EMR), the introduction of a robot to deliver prescriptions for the pharmacy, and the opening of a patient access portal are examples of the healthcare technology in use at my institution. The electronic medical record (EMR) has many applications in treating patients daily, and almost everyone in the institution uses it. New graduate nurses must have a foundational knowledge of electronic medical records (EMRs) and informatics as part of their nursing competencies (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2022). As more technologies, such as the pharmacy robot and the patient access site, have been brought to many institutions thanks to the EMR, it has also acted as a gateway. When the nurse requests a drug from the patient’s medication record in the EMR, the pharmacy robot is activated to deliver the medication to the nurse. The robot has dramatically aided the pharmacy’s ability to supply medicines on demand. One drawback of using a pharmacy robot is that it sometimes becomes jammed, delaying the delivery of medicine to the nurse. Patient access portals are another emerging piece of healthcare technology. Patients may access their medical records and information about the doctors treating them via the site. Patients may use the site to check their prescriptions, watch films about their diseases, and get in touch with their doctors. The patient’s lack of medical knowledge might lead to inaccurate interpretations of the portal’s medical data, which is a drawback. Improved patient outcomes and more cost-effective healthcare delivery depend on cutting-edge IT developments (Fichman et al., 2011). Security in cyberspace will play an increasingly important role in healthcare delivery and the protection of individual patient data. The confidentiality of their patient’s medical records is paramount; thus, healthcare professionals must pay attention to cybersecurity measures (Kruse et al., 2016). If patients have confidence that their data is secure, they are more likely to engage in the testing of cutting-edge medical devices.
When we talk about the depths of technology, we must give the most honorable mention to the internet. In this modern day era of technology, the usage of the internet, to search for health information reflects the actions of various consumers who are progressively count on the internet for health-related information. The challenge, both healthcare professionals and consumers face, is the abundance of data on the internet and how necessary it is to be able to distinguish between accuracy and efficient to the circumstances at hand (McGonigle et al., 2022). Patients are wanting additional flexibility and convenience and “user friendly” tools, regarding their healthcare diagnoses, treatments, and medical record (Van De Putte, 2019). According to HIMSS, 79% of consumers are more prone to opt for a healthcare provider that permits them to oversee healthcare interactions online or on a mobile device (2021).
The most recent trend of technology in the healthcare sector is telehealth or telemedicine. Telehealth comprises health care services provided by means of audio and video technology. The terms telehealth and telemedicine are often used interchangeably. Telehealth is a subset of e-health and is the use of telecommunications technology in health care delivery, information, and education. Telemedicine is considered to be under the umbrella of telehealth and denotes precisely to clinical services. Telehealth and telemedicine support parallel services, including medical education, remote patient monitoring, patient consultation via videoconferencing, wireless health applications, and transmission of imagery and medical reports (Gajarawala & Pelkowski, 2021). In addition, telehealth technologies are progressively being embraced and implemented as an efficient and cost-effective means for providing and accessing quality health care services and positive patient outcomes. Research also shows that telemedicine has the possibility to lower America’s healthcare spending by reducing difficulties like medication misuse, unwarranted emergency department visits, and persistent hospitalizations. Telehealth also provides access to tools and quality care to deliver services in rural areas or areas with provider scarcities and improve efficiency without higher net costs, while reducing patient travel and wait times, and allowing for comparable or enhanced quality of care. In addition, telehealth also increases access to care, convenience, reduced stress and increase patient approval (Gajarawala & Pelkowski, 2021).
Challenges of telehealth and telemedicine include limitations with performing comprehensive physical examinations, possibilities for technical difficulties, security breaches, and regulatory barriers. Additionally, telehealth may negatively impact endurance of care (Gajarawala & Pelkowski, 2021). Critics argue that online interactions are impersonal and unsafe in that the virtual providers do not have the benefit of a comprehensive history and physical examination to help with diagnosis and treatment. Moreover, telehealth also faces various legal and regulatory obstacles. These difficulties include substantial modifications in rules, regulations, and guidelines for practice. Critics say this adds to the uncertainty for providers involved in the practice of telehealth. Healthcare workers should keep risk management approaches in mind and acquaint themselves with potential telehealth legal consequences and inferences (Gajarawala & Pelkowski, 2021).
Virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and machine learning are vital in the healthcare system. Patient-focused initiatives are promising for patients to make information readily available, better decision-making that leads to positive patient outcomes. My employer, Department of Corrections, utilizes the Coris offender system that stores data about the offender, the crime, gang activity, escape information, sex offender information. For medications, we utilize the Sapphire electronic health record. Most Department of Corrections utilizes telehealth and remote patient monitoring. Telehealth is vital, because it allows all health information securely shared with clinicians and providers in real-time. Many institutions utilize the electronic health records which are a digital version of a patient’s paper chart. EHRs are real-time, patient-centered records that make information available instantly accessible and securely to authorized users. EHRs are vital to health IT. The advantages of technology, allows institutions to facilitate care, resources, and time management and better decision-making, that reduce costs and provide services to all individuals involved. Patient portal contains valuable information, which leads to better outcomes for patients. Technology can deliver a wide range of communication tools to minimize errors by avoiding mistakes in prescribing due to illegible or incomplete forms for dosage, routes, allergies, and interactions.
Data Risks and Challenges
Privacy and security concerns are prevalent to technology due to sensitive information being transmitted through the Internet, and personal information can be hacked (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2022). Data can be intercepted which creates an atmosphere of uncertainty. Clinical informatics has challenges in developing muti-perspective evaluations that integrate quantitative and qualitative methods. Some facilities rely on WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communication), it has restricted environments that has browser, plug-in, and network issues. The legacy devices and systems are not compatible with the new technologies. Data privacy and regulations puts a burden on data fluidity and make it more difficult to adopt new technologies that involve data. Lastly, user experience presents challenges when organizations are considering changing or upgrading new technology in the workplace. For example, if Vanderbilt University Medical Center had the overriding mechanism in place, that prevents clinicians from overriding the systems, Radonda Vaught case would have been totally different.
Emerging Technology includes Robotics, artificial intelligence, smartphones. Digital technologies are enabling more people to make informed decisions about their everyday health. New technologies for example, apps, health trackers and artificial intelligence (AI) platforms are making it possible for anyone to better understand their symptoms, be proactive about preventative care, and find the best self-care options. Digital health are changing lives locally and globally. There are potential benefits as well as risks in terms of data security, legislation, and patient care. Having information readily available, along with advice, medications, individuals can make informed decisions regarding their health. Smart technology impacts all individuals such as smart watches, fitness trackers, ECG monitors, blood pressure monitors, centralized communication centers, EHRs, will provide faster and more accurate data, improved access to care, better diagnostics and improved relationships with patients.
Most healthcare industries adopt new technologies that enhance their services and increase efficiency, and effective healthcare delivery, improving the quality of life for patients and enhancing healthcare access. It is becoming increasingly in demand in every sector of the economy, particularly healthcare. As technology becomes increasingly “clever,” staff will shift from direct face-to-face contact to non-face-to-face contact with remote sensors carried on the patient transmitting clinical information to a center that will act as a hub for appropriate interventions (Lewin et al., 2010Links to an external site.). In our organization, Electronic Health Records (EHR) are the current and most influential technology that the company adopted. All information from dialysis machines is captured and automatically transferred to the computer and stored in patient records during treatment. EHRs have made patients’ medical information more accessible to read and available from almost any location in the organization. Still, they have also changed the format of health records, thus changing health care.
Describe any potential challenges or risks that may be inherent in the technologies associated with these trends you described.
One challenge in electronic health records is that sharing medical information from one facility to another has become more frequent. Many medical organizations have implemented EHRs and health information exchange (HIE) networks where the privacy of patient information is at risk. The record should be securely protected, which providers, patients, and healthcare facilities demand assurance. Informed consent is needed to use, retrieve, and get access to patient data to control the dignity of the patient maintain. As the medical record has become electronic, this field has transitioned and increasingly overlapped with informatics. There are no comprehensive laws or procedures regarding patients’ access rights to EHRs. Data stewardship has emerged to balance the rights of individuals to have their personal information protected and their desire for improved health, more effective health services, and a strengthened and sustainable health system.
The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2009, which was signed into law as part of the “stimulus package,” represents the largest US initiative to date that is designed to encourage the widespread use of electronic health records (EHRs). The HITECH Act requires that providers adopt EHRs and utilize them in a “meaningful” way, which includes using certain EHR functionalities associated with error reduction and cost containment. For example, data from medical devices such as ventilators, infusion pumps, bedside, and portable monitors, and others are interfaced with EHRs through custom interface applications.
The challenges included compatibility with existing systems, functionality, data security, and cost, which they managed through careful contracting and phased implementation following an invitation process to practices. They noted that the implementation had high transactional costs comprising many hours of donated time by ‘highly skilled professionals’ some of whom were presumably nurses.
Indeed, the introduction of electronic health records and electronic health information exchange is not without its challenges, as illustrated by Goroll et al.’s (2009)Links to an external site. implementation report of the Massachusetts eHealth. The electronic health record will require all nurses to demonstrate computer literacy of varying sophistication depending upon the electronic health record functionality in the healthcare organization.
Trends in Healthcare Technology
Healthcare technology is increasingly becoming integrated within the healthcare workplace. The observed trends as far as the integration of technology in the workplace in the healthcare industry are concerned mainly revolve around ensuring proper data handling, including data sharing in real-time and accurately. Some of the leading technological inventions as regards data handling in healthcare include electronic medical records, blockchain systems, medical devices, telemedicine, and artificial intelligence (Dash et al., 2019). Analysis of the observed patterns as regards the integration of technology in healthcare shows that the future of the health industry is data-driven. Within my specific workplace, for example, one of the technological innovations that have been increasingly deployed across the board is the use of medical devices and telemedicine. Telemedicine comprises a wide range of related technologies for collecting, analyzing, and relaying data between the patient and the health facility (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2022). It allows patients to coordinate with healthcare service providers remotely. During the coronavirus pandemic, there has been an increased emphasis on the need to utilize telemedicine to reduce instances of actual patient visits within health facilities (Luo et al., 2021).
Potential Benefits and Risks of Healthcare Technology
The introduction of data-based technologies in healthcare has been accompanied by a wide range of related risks and challenges. One of the prevailing risks hereby is the issue of data safety. Healthcare organizations are required to operate within a well-confined and secured safety structure, which entails protecting patient health records from irregular access in a way that contravenes several data safety laws, including the Health Insurance Portability and Privacy Act. For healthcare organizations holding data that is sensitive, such as patient health records, processing and transmitting the same across an electronic health record or electronic medical record system, the prevailing risk of a data breach is prominent (HealthIT.gov., 2018c). Another challenge associated with the use of telemedicine within the healthcare workplace is the fact that the technology requires proper integration of digital technology among all parties involved, especially the healthcare facility and the patient (Rao-Gupta et al., 2018). Cases where patients do not have access to the necessary facilitative technologies, including internet connectivity, computers, as well as lacking the technological know-how on the use of the telehealth system, may imply a huge gap in the utilization of the technology. This challenge particularly affects patients in rural areas and areas where internet coverage is not stable (Cohen & Mello, 2018).
One of the potential benefits of adopting telehealth technology in healthcare is the fact that health facilities have an opportunity to enhance patient experience while minimizing the operational costs associated with health care service provision. In this regard, healthcare facilities that have integrated telehealth technology can provide patient follow-up in a more seamless manner without the need to have the patients visit the facility in person (Monaghesh & Hajizadeh, 2020). The only mandatory patient visit is the first visit, after which the patient can be fitted with or told how to utilize medical devices, which can capture data and relay it back to the health facility automatically. This eliminates the need for patients to make in-person visits in the health facilities. One of the key risks associated with telemedicine, as explained above, is the data safety risks, particularly in cases of serious data breaches that may occur because of illegal exposure or hacking of the system by unauthorized entities. Healthcare data breaches amount to serious legal issues, which can attract repercussions involving millions of dollars worth of compensation and fines.
Contribution to Improvements in Patient Care Outcomes
I think the coronavirus pandemic has exposed the need to adopt the telemedicine aspect of healthcare service provision and, therefore, I believe that this technology is bound to have huge positive trends in the future. Telemedicine reduces congestion within health facilities and particularly reduces the risks of patients being exposed to negative care outcomes, such as healthcare-associated infections. The observed promise or potential as far as demand and need for telemedicine is concerned will contribute to huge improvements in patient care outcomes, especially since more patients will be satisfied with the concept of receiving healthcare services from home. In terms of efficiency, the technological concept will help health facilities to become more efficient when it comes to patient care.
My hospital’s communication systems are reliable, instantaneous, and notably successful in aiding healthcare staff to provide patients with the finest quality care. At the nurses’ station alone, we monitor patients continuously via screens. From mobile devices to mobile PCs to electronic/digital signage.
My unit requires timely replies and detailed data. Nonetheless, I have occasionally noticed a breakdown in this centralized communication because of the usage of pagers, encrypted chats, voice-over, vocera, etc. These platforms allow physicians, nurses, and support staff to interact, cooperate, and share information to treat patients. It improves coordination across hospital divisions and responsibilities.
The vocera badge communication mechanism needs to be improved in all our communication systems. Vocera’s advantages mostly rely on the user’s current communication needs and goals, but the “Vocera badge” communicator is an audible system…similar to a speaker phone. This is an effective communication technique, for example, between two nurses seeking to communicate. The disadvantage becomes apparent when a medical professional aims to express a patient’s precise treatment requirements. This should not be done in “speaker phone mode” to protect patient confidentiality since it is a blatant breach of HIPPA. Frequently, HIPAA is referred to as a privacy rule. The Vocera badge makes it a lie. This breach is why Sobel (2007) advocates that HIPAA is a disclosure regulation in practice, and it has successfully weakened the moral and legal foundations of patient confidentiality. By enabling extensive sharing of patients’ medical ventures and information via systems like vocera, without audit trails for the bulk of disclosures, medical ethics and the effectiveness of medical care have been harmed. Vocera boasts an outstanding encrypted messaging/paging program and a plethora of useful functions. Still, I need headphones to protect the confidentiality of the message and assist in the closure of the communication loop.
On the other side, the fast growth of healthcare technology is driven by patients’ expectations that their healthcare experiences conform to their increasingly digital-first lifestyles. In addition, enhanced in-person medical care, remote patient monitoring, and telemedicine services are necessary.
The “Kaiser member app” is the real deal, and I’ll explain why.
Due to its HIPAA compliance, user-friendliness, and dependence on cloud-based applications, it increases efficiency in the hospital setting. All healthcare communications are condensed into a single, streamlined cloud application provided by a single worldwide network/application. Voice and audio chatting, appointment scheduling, messaging, meetings, and material exchange are all controlled by a single application, which indirectly decreases capital expenses by consolidating and optimizing network components.
Streamlining how patients and physicians can maintain continual communication may significantly enhance the quality of care and improve patient care while saving time and money with HIPAA-compliant telehealth technologies that enable virtual encounters.
In healthcare, as in all areas of life, technological advances are being made constantly. As these technological advancements are made, and our lives become more heavily intertwined with these technologies, healthcare facilities are often forced to keep up with the latest trends in order to remain competitive in the healthcare market. One of the biggest trends that I have witnessed recently at my current facility, is the integration of mobile technology.
Particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, we as a society became more reliant than ever on mobile technology, and the healthcare sector was no different. Many healthcare providers began to shift toward telemedicine to accommodate “virtual patient visits”, where patients were met with on a video conferencing platform, allowing for a close facsimile of a face-to-face interaction. While this format doesn’t allow for the same level of physical assessment as an in-person visit, it negates the risk of disease transmission, while being suitable for many basic health concerns and medication management checks (Sharma et. al., 2022). Health care technology has also strived to take a more “familiar” approach to interacting with patients. These measures include things like social media integration, utilizing a text-messaging based service during inpatient hospitalization, allowing EHRs to be imported into mobile health apps and conversely allowing health data collected by wearable devices to be shared with the healthcare facility (Skiba, 2017).
While there is no denying the degree to which we have come to rely on mobile technology in our day-to-day lives, there is still some debate as to how well it integrates into the healthcare environment. On one hand, one study showed that the implementation of web-based patient engagement technology in the ICU setting resulted in notably decreased adverse events and increased overall patient satisfaction (Dykes et. al., 2017). To the converse, there are obvious concerns about the security of protected health information, and the difficulty that comes with allowing health information to be transferred and integrated across various platforms, which may or may not have the same security protocols in place as the originating facility.
I believe that telehealth is going to play an ever-increasing role in the delivery of healthcare. As video conferencing and wearable technologies evolve and allow for the remote assessment of vital signs, ECGs, sleep data, respiratory data, and other information, practitioners will be able to assess patients from literally anywhere in the world. With a population that is constantly growing in both numbers and years of age, healthcare is on the brink of a looming crisis, where there will be a shortage of practitioners and facilities, making it difficult for patients to access health care. By increasing the scope of available telehealth practices, we may be able to help alleviate some of these access issues.
Healthcare Technology Trends
The healthcare industry will continue to experience growth in the use of technology. One trend that has grown by leaps and bounds and is expected to hold strong is the use of digital health. Digital health encompasses a range of technologies such as electronic health records (EHRs), electronic medical records (EMRs), mobile health apps, wearable devices, telehealth, telemedicine, and other platforms that allow healthcare professionals and patients quick access to data (U.S. Food & Drug Administration, n.d.). Each one of these digital options has proven beneficial in the improvement of patient care and data management. Nurses can monitor and assess patient vital signs in real time with wearable devices. Wearable and monitoring devices allow nurses to assess patient status anywhere and anytime. Telehealth and EHRs are essential digital health tools that are required to do my job. The increasing use of telehealth has allowed my organization to live up to its claim of meeting clients where they are at.
The use of telehealth has significantly increased industry-wide since the beginning of the pandemic. It allowed for continued care during the period of time when in-person doctor visits were severely restricted in order to avoid exposure to COVID-19. The increase in telehealth usage has paved the way for improvements in information exchange and expanded access and integration of technology (Bestsennyy et al., 2021). It has also ensured treatment continuity for vulnerable populations, such as those struggling with substance use disorders.
Prior to the pandemic, the use of telehealth in healthcare was restricted by federal and state laws and health plan policies. Medicaid programs placed numerous limits on when and how telehealth could be used making the option seem more of a hassle than a benefit. Certain laws, such as the federal Ryan Haight Act, made it impossible to provide specific services, such as medication-assisted treatment, without first conducting an in-person medical evaluation. Telehealth reimbursement was also lacking and varied greatly between states. As the industry moves forward, many are investigating the impact of temporary changes made to laws and regulations during the pandemic to determine the benefits or lack thereof, and if the changes should be made permanent. As with anything in healthcare, these restrictions were put in place out of concern for safety, fraud, quality, and cost (Drake et al., 2020; Mark et al., 2022).
Healthcare organizations intending to incorporate telehealth as a treatment modality will need to invest in the necessary infrastructure. Not all individuals seeking substance use disorder treatment will have access to the means to participate in telehealth. With the proper infrastructure and availability of equipment, providers have the opportunity to reach a greater number of individuals in need (Drake et al., 2020).
Potential improvements through the use of telehealth include, but are not limited to:
- Increased convenience for routine care through integration of e-triaging solutions
- Improved access to behavioral health and specialty care
- Improved care models and health outcomes for those with chronic conditions and post-acute care through integration of remote monitoring (Bestsennyy et al., 2021).