CURRENT AND EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES IN HEALTHCARE ESSAY

CURRENT AND EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES IN HEALTHCARE ESSAY

Emerging Technology on Nursing Practice
Question:

Discuss about the Emerging Technology on Nursing Practice.
Answer:
Introduction
The Nursing profession is one of the essential professions in the health care framework. While diverse forces are changing the face of contemporary healthcare, the nursing practices and trends are changing, which are also imposing significant impact upon the current nursing practices. The role of emerging technology and its impact upon the current contemporary health care context is highlighted in every part of health care settings (Drewsbury & Ballard, 2014). Technology is changing the world rapidly and the change it is rapidly changing the healthcare settings including the nursing facilities. Several emerging technologies have changed the view of nursing practices by enhancing the efficiency of the practices and the potential of the nursing professionals. Through these emerging technologies, nursing professionals gain several advantages. In essay, the impact of the emerging technologies on nursing practices would be analyzed from , political, economic, ethico-legal and professional perspectives. If there were any kind of issues resulted as an effect of emerging technologies, these would also be critically evaluated in this essay.

The nursing profession has been evolved along with the emergence of new and innovative technologies in the health care settings. Thus, several studies has been highlighted the impact of emerging technologies on nursing care facilities. Several reasons or driving forces influenced more research on emerging technologies that can help nursing faculties to deal with the complex health care practices. However, the trend evolved with the enhanced complications in the health care settings, which in turn enhanced with the changed lifestyle and environment surrounding the human society (Huston, 2013). From all three global, national and local viewpoint, ‘outcome vs. episodic success’ is one of the cause of technology advancement in health care setting. Previously, the focus of the medical practice was based on episodic success, which were efficient for removing the health issues from the root. To improve the situation, the nursing services are focusing towards value-based reimbursement with long-term goal setting form making incremental improvements of the interventions. The new emerging technologies now help nurses and physicians to directly communicate with patients through medical devices and telehealth services and reducing the necessity of coming to clinic for symptoms-based health care (Institute of Medicine, 2010). For several reasons, the emerging technologies are being incorporated into the , which include reduction of medication errors, improvement of patient safety and security, enhancing the accessibility of health related information to the patients, reducing nursing burnout, providing evidence for care plan decision making, empowering patient’s involvement into care practice, monitoring workforce as well as enhancing the coordination throughout the health care settings (McGonigle et al., 2014).

Cost is another significant cause. It has been seen in global perspectives that a number of people, from the remote areas, cannot access the expensive medical care, however, the new technologies are making the nursing care more accessible to the care users, by cutting cost. It has been reported by Miliard (2012) that United States have steadily risen the health care cost to about $3 trillion a year, which led to the creation of Affordable Care Act and telemedicine parity laws. It has been seen that clinical telemedicine is the only way of enhanced access to health care services with lower cost, thereby improving the sole outcomes. The emergency of information technology also drove the enhancement in technology development for improving medical and nursing care. As a reflection of an uncertain economy, available financing has shifted short-term, return-focused investors, to mid-capital and large-capital medical technology companies with a long-term interest in the healthcare future (Oren, Shaffer & Guglielmo, 2013). These established companies plan to stay in the medical technology business instead of current market condition and thus require innovation for progressing in their industry. Additionally, with the enhancement of research from innovators in different scientific disciplines and related understanding, a range of novel medical technologies evolved. The medical technology manufacturers attempt to create paradigm-shifting products, but end up with small improvements of existing technologies (Williams et al., 2012). However, continuous up gradation of existing technologies and advancement showed consistent value to the health care users, which also drove the technology advancement in health care. These are the causes of in medical field, which are implemented in nursing care.

Electronic health records have been developed as a result of emerging technology in nursing practice and it is related to one of the essential part in nursing, patient documentation. Therefore, the impact of electronic health record upon nursing practices would be discussed here with the help of different perspectives. The electronic health record is referred to the system that records patient’s data in digital form, which can be made with records from many sources including clinics, hospitals and other providers (HIMSS Position Statement 2011). This technology has both economic and social benefits. This is a user-friendly technique. It is accessible 24 X 7 days a week, thereby promoting better coordination between the patients and care providers as well as within the care providers. It also includes built-in safeguards for assuring patient’s confidentiality and security, regarding their personal information.

It has been seen that the technology helps to improve the connection between the care providers as well as the patients, which can be classified as the social impact of the issue on the nursing practice. On the other hand, very soon after the implementation of HER, the management of patient records in the clinics began to improve radically (Gastaldi et al., 2012). Nowadays, the clinicians are able to track and access patient’s records, as a result, the implementation of this technology reduced its transcription expenses dramatically along with the staffing requirement related to chart pulling, fitting and maintenance. The financial benefit has also gained by elimination of chart building for new patients, eliminating the requirement of chart storage space and the elimination of increased revenues through improved E/M coding. From the professional perspective, it has been seen that with the use of HER, the nursing staffs are able to reduce their professional mistakes and improved the quality of care provided by them (Shih et al., 2012).

In care settings, elimination of the misinterpretation also helps to improve the nurse-patient relationship, which is the key element of holistic nursing care. Additionally, the teamwork is also improved with the use of EHR. It has been revealed that this technology help to reduce the miscommunication within the health care professionals, by keeping all the patient’s data in a digital form. In the case of organizational perspectives, by reducing the misinterpretation of medication, patient’s data, and enhancing the communication efficiency within the professionals of multidisciplinary team, the EHR technology helps improve the service provided by the organization, thereby enhancing patient’s satisfaction and corporate image of the organization (Jensen, Jensen & Brunak, 2012).

In spite of facilitating several innovations in reforming health care, many legal, ethical and financial issues has been raise regarding the EHRs. The legal framework relies upon the standards and lags behind the implementation of “technologies like EHRs”, offer very few guidance for navigating the conversion from paper-based work to “electronic health records” (Beard et al., 2012). In spite of the fact that the technology addresses longstanding issues regarding misinterpreted of missing medical information, there is no standard for addressing the level to which professionals will be accountable for monitoring the data in a “community-based integrated HER” containing data from several resources (Hsu et al., 2012). On the other hand, EHR tend to enhance the legal responsibilities and accountability of the clinical nurses. Thirdly, the EHR system introduced new liabilities regarding the documentation related issues. Usually, EHRs include progress report templates, where the recent test results are incorporated automatically, thereby enhancing the professional liabilities (Middleton et al., 2013). Additionally, issues regarding quality, usability and reliability of the available EHRs enhanced the complexity of legal ramifications. For example, clause in many HER contacts hinders a clinician’s ability of reporting HER-related issues.

In addition to the above issues regarding HER, the increased portability and accessibility of patient’s data through EHR lift the ethical issues up regarding the ownership of protected information as well as the responsibility of clinicians about preventing and informing patients regarding the chances of privacy breaches. The digital patient’s health information breaches raise complex legal and ethical issues related to the suitability of current methods for addressing them. Thus, the institutions nowadays use audit logs as the evidence for accusing a person who is accessing the EHRs deliberately without authorization (Hammoud et al., 2012). In contrast, in paper-based documentation, privacy breaches are impossible to detect. It has also been revealed that the HER and state HIEs implementation in the health care framework is generating data resignng, which will further contribute in the rationalization of the health care delivery and payment mechanism; all of which are leading to ethical dilemma. Several ethical dilemmas surrounding privacy and control of electronic information are not resolved yet. For instance, with the increase of organizations participating in HIEs, issues related to reliability and uniquely recognizing the individual patients and the requirement of maintaining the patient privacy as well as data integrity will be enhanced (Huston, 2013). This legal issue imposes a significant barrier to adopt and use EHR and HIE, as current probabilistic patient’s data matching algorithms, in 5 to 10% cases, fail to match patient data correctly.

In spite of reducing the cost, there are some financial dilemmas regarding EHRs and HIEs. One key unresolved financial issue is “who should pay for the implementation and the use of EHRs and HIEs”. Additionally, using EHR is reducing the productivity of individual caregiver or a nurse upto 10 % (Huston, 2012).It has been also revealed that, the professionals are significantly concerned about the cost and resources required for implementing and maintaining EHRs in the institutions, which has been estimated to be approximately $40 000 to $50 000. Another issue is raised regarding the retention of records for longer period. However, paper-based charts can be kept in simple lockers, but the security of digital records through EHRs is difficult and expensive. It is unanswered that who will pay for the longer storage and maintenance of data, after the liableretires. Finally, reduction of health care cost is overdue; however, many people are concerned about the downstream effects of health care cost reduction through EHRs and HIEs (Yen & Bakken, 2012).

Electronic health records are shaping the way of managing health information, but the application of the technology is difficult, where the social and cultural issue should be addressed. Retaining the privacy and confidentiality through appropriate security is a critical challenge of adopting HER. The social issues include the person’s security and safety issues. A perfectly secure EHR is the one, which would not allow anyone to access the integrated data in the system. Thus, a balance between the access and security must be struck. However, the “correct” balance is not a scientific or technical issue, rather, it is a political and social issue and the answer of this “correct balance” relies on the values of participants, which varies widely (Huston, 2012). Whwreas, some people are trustworthy and use the medical records in a valid and ethical ways. However, some people are breaching the confidentiality and concerned about resisting such record-keeping.

Therefore, it can be said that, the EHR is one of the significant issue resulted from the nursing trend “emerging technology” and it has significantly affected the nursing practice positively. However, the issues raised from the adoption and use of EHR has been evaluated here, which needed to be resolved soon, for improving the outcomes related to the user-friendly technology HER (Beard et al., 2012). To reduce the legal issues regarding the privacy breach and related cases, while dealing with HER and HIEs and improving the accuracy of matching patient’s data from disparate resources, the establishment of a nation-wide, health care related unique patient identifier (UPI) has been proposed. In 1998, the Federal regulations and public protested regarding infringement on the human right to privacy thwarted development of the UPI mandated in 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which is known as HIPAA (Hammoud et al., 2012). A new and health national debate involving the key stakeholders is needed for addressing the ethical, legal and financial issues of an UPI along with the exploration of alternative solutions. These essential ethical, legal and financial issues should be addressed for achieving higher quality, lower-cost health care by widespread EHR use. A set of conversations should be started, culminating in the national forum or in global perspective, where lawyers, economists, informatics, policymakers, ethicists, clinicians and other stakeholders related to this issue, would participate. In these conversations, the goal should be set for recognizing and prioritizing solutions of these above mentioned key legal, economic, ethical and other social issues.

The issues regarding privacy, security and confidentiality have grabbed the attention of government regulators. In 2002, the “health insurance portability and accountability act (HIPAA)” has been implemented for restricting the inappropriate flow of medical information without affecting the medical care (Middleton et al., 2013). However, more effective interventions regarding technological, educational and policy related issues are required to be addressed by the HIPAA regulations. Overall nursing practice can be improved, resolving these disputes, thereby making the EHRs more accessible and reliable to be adopted and implemented in nursing care practice.

In conclusion, it can be said that technology has a significant contribution in enhancing the quality of nursing care through the reduction of errors and misinterpretations of health care facilities. The Future of Nursing report highlights that “Health information technology will fundamentally change the ways in which registered nurses plan, deliver, document, and review clinical care”. The emerging technology is a significant trend in nursing, which is continuously evolving with research advancement. Here, one of prevalent technology Her has been critically reviewed as a significant result of emerging technology in nursing. With its huge positive impact upon nursing practices, the issues rose with this technology and its impact upon nursing has also been reviewed. More tough regulations and more focus on the ethical and legal perspectives are required for getting results that are more effective.

Reference List
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Carol Huston, M. S. N. (2013). The impact of emerging technology on nursing care: Warp speed ahead. Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 18(2), 108.

Drewsbury, G., & Ballard, D. (2014). Emerging technology: nurse call systems. Nursing & Residential Care, 16(8), 446-449 4p.

Gastaldi, L., Lettieri, E., Corso, M., & Masella, C. (2012). in hospitals: leveraging on knowledge asset dynamics through the introduction of an electronic medical record. Measuring Business Excellence, 16(4), 14-30.

Hammoud, M. M., Margo, K., Christner, J. G., Fisher, J., Fischer, S. H., & Pangaro, L. N. (2012). Opportunities and challenges in integrating electronic health records into undergraduate medical education: a national survey of clerkship directors. Teaching and learning in medicine, 24(3), 219-224.

HIMSS Position Statement (2011). Position statement. Transforming Nursing Practice through Technology & Informatics, 1-10.

Hsu, W., Taira, R. K., El-Saden, S., Kangarloo, H., & Bui, A. A. (2012). Context-based electronic health record: toward patient specific healthcare.IEEE Transactions on information technology in biomedicine, 16(2), 228-234.

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Institute of Medicine. (2010). The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. Retrieved from www.iom.edu/Reports/2010/The-Future-of-Nursing-Leading-Change-Advancing-Health.aspx

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CURRENT AND EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES IN HEALTHCARE ESSAY

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