Technology: A Blessing and Curse to Patient Care

The combination of knowledge, experience, and skills are needed for nurses to meet the changing needs of their patients. A large demand of patient care and safety is based on the work of nurses. When care is sub par, because of certain inappropriate situations, nurses shoulder the responsibility. Having an understanding and engagement of strategies to improve quality of care and safety is paramount to a nurse’s work.

dlsA lot of factors affect the quality and safety of care provided by nurses such as environment, organizations, and systems. When teams function well and organization structures support their work, nurses are able to perform their job better with a high intensity of care.

In the past, nurses relied heavily on their senses to monitor their patients and look for changes. As time passed, inaccurate use of senses were replaced with precision-based technologies designed to detect changes to patient’s conditions. Over time, technology has become extremely helpful tot the nursing career.

While technology has potentially improved patient care and safety, it is not without risks. Technology has been accounted for bringing a solution and added problems for safer health care. Problems may rise based on the sheer number of new devices, the complexity and careless introduction in using them.

Although billions and billions of dollars have been spent every year on medical devices and equipment, nurses has paid little attention to technological implementation and integration.

Technology also has introduced many errors and unintended mistakes. For instance the use of bar code system. Many believe that the bar coding medication administration reduces the medication errors, it was also believed to decreased physician’s ability to accurately deviate routine administration sequences.

Another disadvantage of using technology is the associated expenditure. Not all hospitals can afford high-end equipments and devices. That is why more development is needed to more effectively introduce new technologies, reducing the risk to the patient care, and stress on nurses.

Strategies For Patient-Centered Care

Nearly 200 medical professionals from around the state gathered in Manchester to share their communities’ techniques to providing Vermonters with high-quality, patient-centered medical care. “With all the state and federal policy changes ongoing, medical service suppliers remain targeted on why we are so deeply engaged in this work, to create lasting improvements in patient care and community wellness,” says Bea Grause, President and CEO of the Vermont Association of Hospitals and Health Systems (VAHHS).

patient_careThe conference provided an opportunity for members to understand about colleagues’ experiences with new techniques to clinical care, finance and governance issues. The meeting’s centerpiece was a “town hall” session in which members shared ideas and strategies medical service suppliers are employing to ensure Vermonters receive high-quality medical care. The session also targeted on giving sufferers and families a voice in their care. “Patients want authentic engagement in care choices,” says Ben Chu, Board Chair of the American Hospital Association. “It’s exciting to understand about the efforts ongoing in Vermont that will interact with sufferers in a way that educates them about their options and respects their needs and values.”

The VAHHS Annual Meeting took place during a time of rapid and significant changes. Medical centers and other suppliers around the state are developing OneCare Vermont, a provider network established to eliminate unnecessary care, use resources wisely and interact with sufferers in their wellness and fitness. In October, many individuals and small companies will begin purchasing health insurance coverage through Vermont Health Connect, the state’s new online health insurance coverage market. The state is also beginning work on a federally-funded State Innovation Model (SIM) project to test new patient care delivery and payment models. “Vermont continues to lead on medical care reform,” says Raymond Hurd, Regional Administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). “We are excited that Vermont is using an innovation model as another way to improve high quality of patient care and individual experience while lowering the cost of medical care for its citizens.”

Home Patient Care

To corrupt an old quotation, there is nothing like a new transaction program to focus the mind of a medical center manager. The U.S. medical care program is seeing a surge of distribution program analysis, motivated by numerous transaction projects such as CMS’s medical center readmissions reduction program (established through the Affordable Care Act).   New patient care designs, such as the Presbyterian Healthcare Service’s “Hospital at Home” in Albuquerque, New Mexico and the Mercy Health “Care Transitions Program” in Cincinnati, Ohio are moving patient care out of the constraints of hospitals and medical centers and placing them to the individual’s houses. There, individual knowledge and care synchronization may be more effective, thus avoiding additional expensive medical center bills.

home_patient_carePreliminary data recommend that these programs work. Yet the record of the U.S. medical care program informs us that these interesting projects can crumple to perverse actions.  The execution of inpatient potential transaction in 1983 triggered the home medical market. However, along with improved patient care in houses came issues about sky-rocketing costs, excessive use, unsuitable use, and scams.

To find the ‘special sauce’ that will truly move our wellness care program from one targeted on dealing with illness to one targeted on health, we need to carefully assess these interesting new projects, in particular, looking at their impact on the greatest endpoint, population health.  The problem of paying for health rather than illness has been a traditional situation. As George Bernard Shaw mentioned in 1906, “That any sane nation, having observed that you could provide for the supply of bread by giving bakers a pecuniary interest in baking for you, should go on to give a surgeon a pecuniary interest in cutting off your leg, is enough to make one despair of political humanity.” If GBS were in existence today he might be very carefully buoyed up by the current initiatives to deal with this centuries old situation.

Patient Care and Technology

Today, suppliers can no longer go to work with a stethoscope and their well-trained mind and hands. In a medical center or a workplace, few of us need a black leather bag. But we do need information, and in methods we never experienced in our training. Technological innovation is fast changing how we approach patient care. Decision support tools are still in their beginnings. Within a very short time, I believe we will be using technology to help us improve the patient care methods we have not yet fully considered. There are two dimensions of technology that I believe will considerably improve patient care and the connection with our sufferers.

patient_care_technologyFirst, bedroom diagnostics, ultrasound evaluation has quickly become the standard of proper care for experts to place lines. Now, convenient ultrasound is available for the bedside physical evaluation. Most doctors currently usually spend most of their time on worldwide medical volunteer missions. They have a convenient ultrasound that is only a little bit larger than the normal smartphone. The sensor / probe looks like a tiny flash light. In towns in remote Nepal, they are able to ultrasound sufferers to help identify serious diseases that may require transportation to tertiary care organizations. As internet and mobile cell phone availability enhances throughout the world, there are places where they can deliver the pictures to radiologists in the United States to assist with decoding and making an analysis. I think the normal doctor in western world will soon carry a pocket ultrasound for use throughout the day, whether hospital or office-based.

Second are the incredible opportunities to use mobile phone technology to enhance the care of chronic diseases. The concept of “crowd sourcing” allows sufferers and their providers to share information that can considerably improve chronic illness. Ninety-one percent of people keep their smartphone within 3 feet of them 24 hours a day. An early experiment in patient care with inflammatory bowel illness has produced impressive improvements in the illness by tracking individuals’ activities through their mobile cell phone GPS and accelerometer and responses to scheduled text messages.