Here is an article that addresses one of the technological changes taking over how bedside care is done. Although this is a whitepaper issued by Samsung Business USA, the use of new communication technology is actually changing the way we care for our patients.
I think these changes are for the best and help us provide quality patient care. There is a reason, however, to be leery due to privacy issues. Fortunately, most hospitals and healthcare businesses are on top of this due to HIPPA.
I think using tablets and phones to communicate with both the patients and the treatment team makes for seamless care and facilitates a team atmosphere, with the patient included in the team.
The last time I was with a family member who was hospitalized, she could call her nurse on the phone instead of turning on a call-light. She had the telephone numbers to call every one of the treatment team if she needed them. She even had the number to call dietary to get her meals delivered.
This can only be a good thing. I can’t think of a down side. Can you? Please read the entire whitepaper and then leave me a comment here. I’d love to have a conversation with you about this issue.
Today’s hospital-based nurses are always on the go — moving from one room to another, caring for patients, coordinating care plans and ensuring patients have the resources they need to get and stay healthy. Thankfully, technology in nursing aims to help these highly mobile healthcare workers attend to patients more efficiently.
Mobile nurse technology including smartphones, tablets and wearables are transforming how hospital-based nurses deliver bedside care. Rather than relying on computers, pagers and landline phones to access health information and to communicate with colleagues, nurses can use these mobile solutions from any location, at any time, to deliver immediate care.
The Benefits of Mobile Technology in Nursing
By untethering nurses from fixed-location technology, these devices help to keep their focus on the patients. Mobile technology for healthcare also helps nurses:
- Streamline Communication
Communication breakdowns in hospitals can lead to delays in treatment, serious injury or even death. By providing nurses with a secure communication system that includes voice, text messaging, email and videoconferencing, mobile devices enable them to communicate the right information to the right team members in real time. Nurses can also receive text-based notifications if a patient’s condition requires immediate action, and these alerts can be redirected to other team members if the primary nurse is busy.
- Access Real-Time Patient Data
Nurses use clinical data to make informed treatment decisions and document patient care. But because desktop computers are often shared by multiple team members, nurses might not have access to data when they need it, or they might not be able to record treatments in a timely fashion. This can lead to clerical errors or communication breakdowns. Mobile solutions, such as tablets, that are integrated with electronic health records allow nurses to generate progress notes, document vital signs, review lab results and update treatment records from the patients’ bedsides.
- Engage Patients
The more patients understand about their conditions and care plans, the more likely they are to adhere to prescribed treatment and avoid readmission. Rather than handing patients a thick stack of papers at discharge, nurses can use mobile devices to engage patients in their care during each bedside encounter. This could mean using tablets to show patients what they’re doing and why, or providing patients with mobile devices that are preloaded with educational content about their specific conditions. Since hospitalized patients have plenty of time on their hands, this gives them a way to occupy their minds while learning more about their conditions.
These are just a few ways in which nurse mobile technology is transforming hospital workflows and patient care — and nursing professionals are eager to reap these benefits.
Securing Mobile Technology in Hospitals
As members of one of the most highly regulated industries in the U.S., today’s nursing professionals don’t just need more mobile devices — they need secure, trusted solutions. While most home health and hospice agencies provide workers with mobile solutions, many hospitals still haven’t equipped on-site nurses with the tools they need to streamline workflows and deliver top-notch care. Lacking access to these mobile solutions, nurses often use their personal devices to access patient data, communicate with colleagues and otherwise support patient care. This makes work more convenient, but it can also compromise patient data security. (read more here)