Information Technology in Nursing Practice

Subject: Nursing
Pages: 3
Words: 573
Reading time:
3 min
Study level: College

With technological innovations entering the world daily, more and more people have to change their roles within their professions. For instance, at present, nurses have also acquired the role of knowledge workers because they have to learn daily how to use new technologies and to apply this knowledge in practice. Information technology can tangibly enhance nursing practice by making the nurses able to organize and operate information about the patients, to carry out tests beyond the laboratories, and to treat the patients distantly; technologies that make these processes possible contribute greatly to the nurses’ knowledge work and help them to be most effective in their role.

First of all, information technologies make it possible to store, organize, and easily operate patient information. One of the technologies assistants in this is electronic health records the primary purpose of which is to reduce workload (Dragon, 2008). EMR allows accurately storing the data about the patients and easily using them every time they are needed. Additionally, electronic health records have been shown to ensure patient safety because they significantly reduce medical errors (Parente & McCullough, 2009). They help the nurse access patient’s history thus significantly reducing the instances of malpractice.

Another important contribution of information technologies into the sphere of nursing is presented by point-of-care systems which make it possible to make certain tests far beyond the laboratories. A great example of such technology is Precision XceedPro, a blood testing system that allows testing patients’ blood outside the laboratory. This saves time and expenses, as well as it is almost vital for patients suffering from insular diabetes. The acquisition of this technology, just like those similar to it, requires certain skills from nurses, thus contributing greatly to their knowledge work.

Finally, information technologies allow treating patients distantly, which is more than important. Such systems as videoconferencing or telenursing help treat the patients who are unable to get to the hospital. Besides, they are irreplaceable in case of complicated operations where they enable the surgeons to consult other doctors worldwide. With the help of telenursing, the nurses are able to diagnose the patients at distance and institute corresponding therapy in time. This is of great contribution to patient safety and, since this issue is of top priority for all the hospitals (Pratt, Thomas, & Atkins, 2005), this technology is especially valuable for the sphere of nursing.

It is worth mentioning that the tools used in all these applications significantly help nurses in their knowledge work. Using each of them demands certain skills and experience which can be gained only in the process of learning. The knowledge that nurses get from using these tools is then applied in healthcare decision-making. Taking this into account, I would emphasize that currently there is no need for me to acquire new technology skills unless another innovation emerges soon; all I need is to constantly upgrade my skills and knowledge to stay and become more effective in my role as a nursing professional.

Taking into consideration everything mentioned above, it can be concluded that information technologies have indeed changed the role of a nursing professional. These technologies have positively impacted nursing because they significantly increased patient safety and facilitated storage and use of patient information, as well as making it possible to do tests beyond the laboratories and treat patients distantly. All this, however, demands thorough training from the nursing professionals, thus, making them not only medical but knowledge workers as well.

Reference List

Dragon, N. (2008). e-Health leaving the paper trail behind. (Cover story). Australian Nursing Journal, 16(1), 22-25.

Parente, S., & McCullough, J. (2009). Health information technology and patient safety: Evidence from panel data. Health Affairs, 28(2), 357-360.

Pratt, N., Thomas, L., & Atkins, P. (2005). Measure patient harm in real time. Nursing Management, 36(11), 16-19.