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

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.

Promising Trends

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.

References

Funk, M. (2015). As Health Care Technology Advances: Benefits and Risks. American 

Journal of Critical Care20(4), 285–291.

Nash, D. B. (2013). Technology Trends in Healthcare. American Health & Drug Benefits6(1),

1–2.

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