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With the rapid development of communication and information technologies, their integration into various fields of healthcare began. However, there exist many useful specialized technologies that are designed specifically to improve the effectiveness of versatile types of healthcare operations. For an organization to be able to enjoy the benefits of such technologies, it is necessary to research all the available options and select the most suitable technologies for every specific type of work and operation. In this paper, various tools that help to enhance the quality and safety of care will be discussed, and the tool recently adopted in my sphere of practice will be explored.
Quality Technology Tools
Many technology tools are currently applied in healthcare facilities for quality and safety improvement. For example, pagers have been used for decades as an effective communication tool that facilitated speedy information exchange between different healthcare practitioners (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2017). Some more examples of popular and widely used technologies are defibrillators, electronic thermometers, EHRs, and bar-coded ID cards that ensure the security of information and access to resources (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2017).
Moreover, the contemporary medical students are trained with the help of human patient simulations (HPS) that help generate scenarios and conditions similar to actual healthcare settings and provide more relevant professional experiences (Brewer, 2011). Wireless communication devices of various kinds are also frequently used in healthcare settings for the facilitation of communication within the staff and between healthcare practitioners and their patients (Guarascio-Howard, 2011). All of these devices are highly effective and help provide quality care and ensure safety.
A Tool Used in My Area of Practice
A tool that was recently adopted in my area of practice is called Vocera. This technology is used for the management of rounds. Its major benefit is its ability to optimize the processes and operations included in rounding. For example, with the help of Vocera, nurses can track rounding, flag the patients who require follow-up, view the previous history of rounding, register patient requirements and needs in real-time, and send service requests to other departments and teams (“Vocera rounds solution,” 2018).
This tool is highly advantageous for the practice because it allows automating some parts of rounding. By managing the information collected during the present and past rounds, Vocera facilitates a more efficient control of the patients’ needs and concerns. Wider use of this tool can help enhance the communication between nurses thus alleviating parts of their workloads and preventing burnout and medical errors. Also, Vocera improves the patient experience by enabling nurses to deliver more effective care.
However, some barriers to adoption can occur when integrating this tool into practice. For example, one of the major obstacles is the lack of training among nurses who are expected to use this technology. Another barrier may arise due to the lack of readiness to embrace this tool among practitioners. Both of these barriers can be overcome with the help of additional training and elaborate demonstration of how the tool works to inform nurses about the benefits Vocera can offer for their everyday practice.
Communication and information technologies are highly beneficial when used in healthcare settings. However, for the benefits to be realized, the practitioners who apply technologies are to be properly trained to work with them. Otherwise, instead of advantages, such technologies may turn into drawbacks slowing down operations and stressing out healthcare professionals. Vocera is a tool used in my organization, and its integration process took time and training so that this tool could show its potential to the fullest.
Brewer, E. P. (2011). Successful techniques for using human patient simulation in nursing education. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 43(3), 311–317.
Guarascio-Howard, L. (2011). Examination of wireless technology to improve nurse communication, response time to bed alarms, and patient safety. HERD, 4(2), 109–120.
McGonigle, D., & Mastrian, K. G. (2018). Nursing informatics and the foundation of knowledge (4th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett Learning.
Vocera rounds solution. (2018). Web.