Over the past few years, there have been many developments in healthcare that improve quality of care and help streamline workflows for nurses. These include ways to communicate more effectively with other professionals, new technologies designed to aid in patient assessment and diagnosis, as well as tools to monitor and manage patients’ health conditions.

Many of these innovations were inspired by technology already available, but improved upon to make life in the workplace easier for nurses. Others came about because of an understanding of how hospitals and clinics operate, and how this impacts the efficiency of their services.

Overall, technology has made it possible to provide higher quality care while also saving time and resources. This is particularly helpful in times of crisis when nursing staff are stretched very thin.

Here we will discuss six ways technology has positively influenced the field of nursing. Read on to learn more about each one!
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Bullet point: Use real-time video chat to connect with colleagues

This feature is called interactive voice response (IVR) or presence detection, and allows users to view one another directly across computer screens or mobile devices.

Nursing equipment

how has technology improved nursing

For example, back in the day nurses had to manually check vitals for each of their patients by looking at their pulse, blood pressure cuffs, and checking for signs of breathing. They also had to physically assess each area of the body to determine if there were any changes or abnormalities.

Nowadays, technology has made it possible to completely automate this process. Pulse oximeters measure the amount of oxygen in your blood by detecting red cells that have oxidized (or broken down) as they consume oxygen. This allows us to get an accurate picture of how well your heart is working and whether you are experiencing poor circulation.

Blood pressure monitors use sensors to detect fluid in the arm which can indicate dehydration or lack of sleep, both of which can affect blood pressure. Weight scales can tell you if your patient is wasting away due to disease or medical issues, such as cancer, diabetes, or kidney failure.

These gadgets make our jobs easier because we no longer have to spend time doing manual tasks. We now have quick and easy ways to check important pieces of your patient’s health.

Communications technology

how has technology improved nursing

Recent developments in communications technology have allowed for more efficient, effective and productive ways to connect with other people. Teams now have access to virtually unlimited communication tools that can help them stay connected and keep track of everything going on.

Teams no longer need to rely on passing messages back and forth or waiting until everyone is free to talk before having a conversation. They can instead use various apps and software to chat, email, call, video conference, and take group conversations anywhere they have mobile phone service!

This is especially helpful when you are working outside of the office, where there may not be an open computer or wifi connection. Now you do not have to worry about being disconnected because you did not have cell coverage or enough bandwidth to maintain a good signal.

Some examples of these new technologies include texting, voice calls, video chats, and push-email systems. A text message does not require a phone number as a way to send a message, which means you do not have to have your phone with you to communicate.

Evidence-based practice

how has technology improved nursing

A lot of things get said about how technology is changing the way we live, but most lack strong supporting evidence. For example, there are always new gadgets coming out that tout their ability to help you work faster or improve your productivity.

A few, however, have actually been verified as helping us do our jobs more effectively and efficiently. Some make headlines because they seem like cool toys, so people buy them in large quantities (remember those e-books? 🙂 ).

But did you know that some of these “professional” tools were designed with professional nurses in mind?

Many now use such software to perform tasks that nursing professionals pay close attention to every day – gathering patient data, performing routine checks, and recording observations and results from exams and tests.

Software can also aid in documentation, making it easier to find the information you need later. This saves time spent searching through paper charts, and helps ensure all important details are preserved.

Research methods

Recent developments in nursing include strategies to better assess patient health, diagnose symptoms, and evaluate outcomes of treatments. Technology has made it possible to do these things more efficiently and effectively.

Research is integral to determining what works and doesn’t for different therapies in healthcare. There are many ways that technology can be used to gather research information, from systematic reviews or studies conducted in a controlled environment like an experiment to surveys which ask people about their experiences with a treatment.

A review is an examination of all published studies on a topic to determine whether there is enough evidence to prove or disprove a hypothesis. Systematic reviews typically use specific criteria to identify studies for inclusion so that results are not influenced by personal biases or assumptions.

Surveys can be done via phone, online questionnaire apps, or even using paper questionnaires if you’re able to find someone to help design them. The benefits of using survey tools is that they are much less expensive than conducting experiments and/or paying participants, and you get a lot of data quickly.

Leadership in the hospital

how has technology improved nursing

As technology has improved, so have career opportunities for nurses. With every new tool that is designed to help manage or improve their work, there are new leadership positions requiring such tools. For example, as mentioned earlier, using computer software to aid with patient care can lead to clinical nurse leader (CNL) roles.

A CNL is like a chief nursing officer (CNO), but instead of overseeing departments, they oversee units or areas that include staff members who provide direct care to patients.

These individuals typically hold at least an associate’s degree in nursing and have demonstrated proficiency in administering medications, leading team meetings, and other similar responsibilities.

The success of these professionals depends largely on the staff under them, so it is important that they create open communication channels and use appropriate technologies to do this. Telehealth services may be able to help with this!

Another emerging position is medical director. These individuals coordinate all aspects of the department, including physicians, administrative personnel, and even external vendors.

They usually have at least a master’s degree in medicine and health sciences, along with several years of successful experience working in related fields.

Quality of care

how has technology improved nursing

In this era of technology, there are never enough tools to keep up with all of the ways that nurses can improve the quality of patient care. Tools such as computerized physician order entry (CPOE) systems, barcode medication management, automated alerts for low blood glucose levels or abnormal vital signs, and electronic health records (EHRs) have become common practice in hospitals.

These technologies help ensure that the right treatments are given at the right time, while reducing chances of errors due to poor documentation. They also allow for more efficient workflows and tracking of patients’ conditions.

Furthermore, many of these technological advances actually reduce the amount of time needed to deliver high-quality healthcare. For example, CPOEs decrease paperwork by replacing paper orders with coded instructions entered into software. This cuts down on the need to re-enter prescriptions in a manual process which could be error prone.

Overall, technology has improved the quality of nursing by saving staff members time and helping them do their jobs better.

Professional development

how has technology improved nursing

A career in nursing is not guaranteed to pay well, which can limit your opportunities. However, there are many ways that technology has improved the profession for nurses by offering various courses and training programs. You can choose whether to take an online or classroom-based course, and you do not need to be enrolled as a student to benefit from what these classes have to offer.

Many hospitals and professional organizations offer certification or degree programs. These range from earning certifications such as Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) to obtaining your master’s or doctorate degree. There are also a variety of continuing education courses available at no cost or low cost to participate in.

These courses vary in content and length depending on if they are clinical, academic, or both. They can focus on issues related to your job position, things to look out for while working, or general concepts about health and wellness. Some only require one week to complete, while others can take weeks, months, or even years to finish.

Tech tips

how has technology improved nursing

Over the past few years, there have been many improvements to technology designed specifically for nurses. These are often referred to as nursing-specific tools or applications because they help you in your job as a nurse.

You can find all sorts of apps, software, and gadgets that make your work easier. Some cost money, but most do not. There are even some free ones available!

Here are several tech tips that can be helpful for nurses at any level. Check out these and other ways to improve your career by reading our article below!

Take notes more efficiently with an excellent note taking app

Many nurses use pen and paper to take notes during rounds, meetings, and shifts. With the ever-growing amount of content people have access to via media, phones, and computers, this is no longer a good way to organize information.

Most smartphone apps now allow you to record and edit recordings directly from the device. This cuts down on having to use another tool like a computer to do it later.

Some of the best note taking apps for smartphones also feature smart organizational features such as an easy way to sort through notes, flag important messages, and create folders to fit your style.

Caroline Shaw is a blogger and social media manager. She enjoys blogging about current events, lifehacks, and her experiences as a millennial working in New York.