Technology and data sharing have becoming a vital part of the healthcare industry. Information technology has made many strides in the areas of patient care, communication and record storage (Funk, 2015). In the past, retreiving a piece of health record would take an extensive amount of time and records were at risk of being lost on paper files.
Healthcare Technology Trends and Benefits
Through information technology, physicians are able to perform laparoscopic surgeries and bypass invasive procedures. This not only cuts the cost for the patient and facility but in turn decreases the amount of complication the patient could receive from a more extensive surgery (Funk, 2015). In terms of patient care, we are introduced to the electronic medical record. Health team members are able to view patient information and clinicals, even from a remote area. This has expedited patient care as providers are able to make prompt decisions and capable of amending the treatment plan from any location (Funk, 2015). In terms of communication, each discipline has the capability of documenting the patient’s progress to regression and communicate this information to the rest of the healthcare team.
Potential risks that could ensue from these trends pose a major threat to the patient’s safety. Through electronic medical record, patient’s personal information and healthcare information at risk for theft (Funk, 2015). Many organizations try to manage theft by only allowing data to be transferred over secured networks only (Nash, 2013). Organizations also spend a lot of time on staff education on keeping data safe and recognizing threats such as malware, viruses and hackers that could cause a threat to the information system (Nash, 2013). With providers gaining access to document from remote locations this increases the risk of others outside of the healthcare team viewing the information. It is up to the provider to maintain privacy and keep the patient’s records confidential. In the area of record storage, organizations invest a lot of money into securing these documents and protecting patient information. When patient’s information moves from paper to electronic, the risk for theft and hacking of the information systems increase (Sheffer, 2017). On the other hand, electronic storage of medical records allows easy retrieval of the records which is why it is highly sought after.
The risks involved in using technology in patient care comes from the increased radiation from some very high-tech procedures and less patient care which is result of healthcare members spending too much time on technology and less on actual patient care (Funk, 2015). It appears that the increased pressure placed on healthcare workers to keep up with electronic documentation has cause healthcare workers to spend less time at the bedside and more documenting.
The one trend that could impact nursing care would be that of documenting from remote areas. At this time, only providers have this benefit in my organization but I believe it could be helpful for nurses to be able to view patient records, check labs and orders and possibly get prepared for their day ahead all by accessing data from a remote area.
Funk, M. (2015). As Health Care Technology Advances: Benefits and Risks. American
Journal of Critical Care, 20(4), 285–291.
Nash, D. B. (2013). Technology Trends in Healthcare. American Health & Drug Benefits, 6(1),