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The nursing profession has a very rich history that dates back to ancient times when women used to provide nursing care without prior training. Since then, the profession has changed a lot. Over the past two decades, the nursing profession has undergone numerous changes, such as the uptake of information technology. This has resulted in the development of nursing informatics as a branch of nursing.
Nursing informatics involves the integration of information science, computer science, and nursing science. Such integration is aimed to facilitate the identification, collection, processing, and managing of data and information in order to support the nursing practice, expand nursing knowledge, and improve research and education (Staggers and Thompson 260). The integration of informatics in the nursing profession has resulted in better provision of nursing care services. Also, patients’ outcomes have improved, in comparison with past decades. However, we still require developing the nursing profession further.
The uptake of new technologies such as electronic medical records (EMR), computerized charting and electronic health records (EHR) have revolutionalized the nursing profession. As a result, nurses can now provide better nursing care services. This has led to an increased level of efficiency in the nursing profession, in addition to reducing the degree of human error. Before the new technologies had been adopted by the nursing profession, patients used to experience lengthy delays as they waited for the processing of X-ray films and medical records.
However, all this has been and patients can now easily access their medical records online. Furthermore, it has also become easier for nurses to access patients’ medical records. The purpose of the paper is to explore the development of nursing practice and its relevant significance to society. To achieve the desired purpose, the paper shall make use of literary materials such as journals. The target audience for the report is a government agency that is interested in nursing development.
Development of New Technologies
The healthcare sector has adopted new technologies and information systems in the last few decades and this has really changed the way professionals in the sector share, manage and communicate health information and clinical data. Staggers and Thompson (260) have carried out research work in which the authors have endeavored to document the evolution of information technology. According to Effken (316), the nursing profession has really embraced science and technology, and this has seen the profession adopt new technologies and developments.
Consequently, this has changed the way the nursing profession functions. The adoption of new technologies by the healthcare sector has helped to drive the provision of nursing services to a totally new direction. Based on the definition of nursing informatics, information technology, nursing science, and computer science have all been integrated with the objective of improving nursing services (Sunderman and Johnson 2).
In addition, the integration of new technologies into the nursing profession is aimed at ensuring that the profession remains at par with the other departments in the healthcare system by improving efficiency and effectiveness.
In addition, the adoption and integration of new technologies in the field of nursing are aimed at facilitating proper communication and management of patients’ data among healthcare professionals (Sunderman and Johnson 2). In addition, such integration also allows nurses to share knowledge and information, resulting in better provision of healthcare services.
For example, new technologies have led to the development of computerized charting. Using electronic medical records (EMR) and electronic healthcare records (EHR) nurses can be able to share information. Such information can then be presented on charts supported by other mobile computer stations and transcription software (Rivers, Blake and Lindgren 1). As a result of the development of new technologies, there has been a resultant transition from paper documentation to computerized documentation.
Turpin (61) adds that the transition from paper documentation to computerized documentation has not been easy owing to financial challenges like the inability to finance new systems and train nurses in information technology. On the other hand, nursing informatics has led to the documentation of healthcare records. In order to facilitate better-computerized charting, the healthcare sector has had to adopt new technologies such as personal data assistants (PDAs), POC barcoding, and immediate internet. These new technologies ensure that nursing professionals have easy access to information (Rivers, Blake and Lindgren 1).
PDAs have taken over the traditional process of documentation. PDAs have proved to be very effective in assisting nurses with the analysis of lab tests. In addition, PDAs can also b used by nurses to calculate patients’ dosages, checking drug interactions, conducting prescription of drugs, and scheduling of procedures, among other activities (Rivers, Blake and Lindgren 1). All these tasks have been automated the relevant information stored. However, it has to be transmitted to major databases so that computerized charting for each patient can be performed.
The use of PDAs has enabled nurses to abandon the traditional system of having to book patients’ appointments and organizing patients’ details. PDAs enable nurses to use modern methods of accessing patients’ information with relative effectiveness and ease. In addition, PDAs enables nurses to easily collect and transmit data to electronic medical records (EMR) and electronic healthcare records (EHR). All these changes are associated with the development of nursing informatics in the wider field of nursing.
Significance of nursing
As acknowledge by Staggers and Thompson (260), nursing informatics has emerged as a branch of nursing and it has paved the way for the development of evidence-based research. The integration of evidence-based research in nursing has resulted in the improvement of nursing care services. As a result, nursing specialists have found it easier to improve the management of patients’ data. Through nursing informatics, nurses can easily collect data and information, in addition to carrying out research, thereby leading to the provision of quality services.
In addition, through the development of structures, processes, and tools, nurses can manage data which in turn supports the nursing care services offered to patients (Staggers and Thompson 260). This statement has been supported by Rivers et al. (1) who also note that the transition to new technologies (nursing informatics) is fundamental in the staffing of nurses, dissemination of information, and budgets.
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The application of evidence-based research in the field of nursing has led to improved research techniques in healthcare, in addition to aiding in the provision of valuable solutions to numerous problems and challenges facing the healthcare sector (Rivers et al. 1; Thede 1). In addition, the adoption of the latest technology by the nursing profession will undoubtedly lead to the improvement of the lives of many American citizens.
Also, it will have a positive impact on the healthcare system in general (Woods, Barragry and Scheponik 1). It also contributes positively to expanding nursing knowledge and the education sector (Staggers and Thompson 260). It is important to note that evidence-based research can be used by nursing students and government agencies to implement various nursing policies.
The major purposes of basic nursing include health promotion, caring for patients, assisting with patient recovery, meeting the needs of patients, and improving patients’ quality of life (Salmon 11). This has been made possible through the use of new technology. For example, electronic medical records (EMR) and electronic healthcare records (EHR) allow nurses and other healthcare providers to share important information related to the welfare of patients’.
In addition, collected data and information stored in EMR and HER enables nurses to carry out computerized charting. This increases efficiency and decreases human errors, thereby promoting the overall health and wellbeing patients. Hospitals are no longer crowded with patients waiting for results or medical records. They can easily access their medical records and history through the internet and mobile phones.
According to Rivers, Blake and Lindgren (1), the new technologies have replaced pencil and paper charting with computerized charting. Subsequently, duplicate documentation and charting have been eliminated. This has increased the level of accuracy and reduced errors, thereby allowing nurses to be flexible in providing healthcare to the public. Hospitals are cutting down their costs since manual work is no longer required. In addition, EMR and EHR keep patients’ information safe thus reducing any probability of lawsuits in case of death as medication errors can now be prevented.
Personal data assistants (PDAs) have eliminated the possibility of purchasing lab and drug books necessary for reference purposes. Nursing tasks have been automated in order to increase efficiency, reduce errors and increase patients’ safety. Through the synchronization of their PDAs, nurses can retrieve important information related to drugs prescriptions procedural preferences and nursing diagnosis (Rivers et al. 1). Universities and colleges have also benefited from these new technologies as they can now easily connect with hospitals and use available research materials.
Research organizations such as Control Disease and Center (CDC) have also benefited immensely from new technologies such as computerized charting, EHR and EMR. For example, CDC can easily access information required for research on issues related to the health of people. Also, data related to pregnancy, childbirth, and death rates can be collected with relative ease from hospitals and used to chart the relevant information.
This can be of immense benefit to organizations and government agencies in the health sector in making health-related policies. According to Thede (1), Effken (317) and Rivers et al. (1), hospital administrators can easily implement policies related to health, financing and research funds. This has increased the level of transparency and accountability in the healthcare sector.
The nursing profession has adopted new technologies, and this has helped to transform not just nursing as a profession, but the health sector as a whole. The adoption of new technologies in nursing has led to the emergence of nursing informatics. Some of the new technologies adopted by the nursing profession include EHR, EMR, and PDAs, among others. The adoption of computerized charting has also transformed the documentation process from the traditional pen and pencil charting. This has helped to promote patients’ health and recovery.
The major significance of nursing development is in evidence-based research which has been quite instrumental in improving the quality of life, assisting in patients’ recovery, meeting the needs of patients, and assisting in the education sector. Evidence-based research also provides nursing knowledge which can be used in the implementation of policies and practices in the nursing sector. It also provides the information required by government and government agencies such as the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in making effective decisions relating to health, financing and research funds.
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