Technology can help nurses improve patient care, engagement, and outcomes. And, nurses themselves can benefit from technologies that streamline workflow, help reduce errors, and provide greater access to educational opportunities.
The personal health record (PHR) is a portable, digital version of the paper medical chart. Healthcare informatics, the storing and retrieving of health information, makes it easier for nurses to access a patient’s medical history, even if the patient is new to them.
As defined by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, there are two basic types of PHRs: standalone and tethered. A standalone PHR is set up and maintained by the patient. A tethered, or connected, PHR is linked to a specific doctor’s or healthcare organization’s system. Nurses can help patients create their own PHRs or show them how to access a healthcare organization’s patient portal.
It’s more than social media. A nurse or nurse mentor can use Twitter to share information with peers; learn from other nurses, healthcare advocates, and research organizations; and even to find out about career opportunities.
Also known as telehealth, a nurse can use telemedicine to connect remotely with other healthcare professionals and with a patient in real time. This is particularly useful if a patient is far away from a healthcare facility. An advanced practice register nurse (APRN) might use telemedicine to diagnose and manage a patient’s condition.
Nurses can use customer relationship management (CRM) systems to establish and maintain relationships with suppliers and other medical teams and organizations. CRM technology can also help nurses communicate with their patients and learn their wants and needs, including how they prefer to be contacted.
Many hospitals have their own patient education channel. From monitors in waiting, exam, and hospital rooms, to tablets and laptops, nurses can use this technology to educate their patients. Nurses and nurse educators also can use these tools to educate themselves and to teach other staff members.
No matter what path you follow in your nursing career, it will likely involve some level of expertise with technology—and healthcare technology is constantly evolving. That means your skills and knowledge must evolve as well. Earning a Master of Science in Nursing from an online MSN program at Walden University can help you keep your skills current and move your career ahead.
Walden University is an accredited institution offering a Master of Science in Nursing degree program online. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.
Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.