Throughout history, technological advancements have appeared for one purpose before finding applications elsewhere that lead to spikes in its usage and development. The internet, for example, was originally developed to share research before becoming a staple of work and entertainment. But technology—new and repurposed—will undoubtedly continue to be a driver of healthcare information. Informaticists often stay tuned to trends to monitor what the next new technology will be or how the next new idea for applying existing technology can benefit outcomes.
In this Discussion, you will reflect on your healthcare organization’s use of technology and offer a technology trend you observe in your environment.
- Reflect on the Resources related to digital information tools and technologies.
- Consider your healthcare organization’s use of healthcare technologies to manage and distribute information.
- Reflect on current and potential future trends, such as use of social media and mobile applications/telehealth, Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled asset tracking, or expert systems/artificial intelligence, and how they may impact nursing practice and healthcare delivery.
Post a brief description of general healthcare technology trends, particularly related to data/information you have observed in use in your healthcare organization or nursing practice. Describe any potential challenges or risks that may be inherent in the technologies associated with these trends you described. Then, describe at least one potential benefit and one potential risk associated with data safety, legislation, and patient care for the technologies you described. Next, explain which healthcare technology trends you believe are most promising for impacting healthcare technology in nursing practice and explain why. Describe whether this promise will contribute to improvements in patient care outcomes, efficiencies, or data management. Be specific and provide examples.
Technological advancements have played a crucial role in the evolution of healthcare. From electronic health records (EHRs) to telemedicine, healthcare technologies have been instrumental in managing and distributing health-related information. One of the most significant trends in healthcare technology today is the increasing use of mobile applications, social media, and telehealth. The proliferation of these tools has the potential to revolutionize nursing practice and healthcare delivery, but it also poses some challenges and risks.
In my healthcare organization, we have been using EHRs for several years now. These digital tools have streamlined our documentation processes, allowing us to access patient records and communicate with other healthcare providers more efficiently. However, we have also noticed an increasing use of mobile applications for healthcare purposes. For example, patients can now use mobile applications to track their blood glucose levels, blood pressure, and other vital signs. These apps can also be used to communicate with healthcare providers and to schedule appointments.
One of the potential benefits of using these mobile applications is that they can help patients become more engaged in their healthcare. Patients can take an active role in monitoring their health and can communicate more effectively with their healthcare providers. This can lead to improved patient outcomes and increased patient satisfaction. However, one potential risk associated with these apps is the security of patient data. If these apps are not secure, patients’ personal health information could be compromised, leading to privacy concerns and breaches of confidentiality.
Another trend that is gaining traction is the use of IoT-enabled asset tracking systems in healthcare. These systems use sensors and other tracking devices to monitor medical equipment, medications, and other healthcare assets. The potential benefit of these systems is that they can help healthcare organizations manage their resources more efficiently, reducing waste and improving patient care. However, there is a risk that these systems could malfunction or be hacked, leading to equipment failures or data breaches.
One promising healthcare technology trend that I believe will have a significant impact on nursing practice is the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and expert systems. These tools can be used to analyze large amounts of health-related data and to identify patterns and trends that would be difficult for humans to discern. For example, AI could be used to identify patients who are at high risk for certain conditions or to identify the most effective treatments for a particular patient. The potential benefits of AI in healthcare are significant, including improved patient outcomes, increased efficiency, and reduced costs.
In conclusion, healthcare technology trends are constantly evolving, and healthcare organizations must stay on top of these trends to remain competitive and to provide the best possible patient care. While there are risks associated with these technologies, the potential benefits are significant. As healthcare providers, we must continue to embrace new technologies and use them to improve patient outcomes and to provide more efficient and effective healthcare.