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Advancing Technology and the Nurse's Role

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The computer is a valuable tool in the healthcare setting, impacting the way nurses practice in the clinical and non-clinical setting. Checking patient identification and medications using bar codes, and entering data into a computer database are commonplace today. Does this move forward with technology actually create an environment which is more effective, efficient, and satisfying for the patient and the nurse? This paper will take a high level look at how technology and the computer impact the nurse, the benefits associated with advancing technology, and some responsibilities the nurse has in today’s increasingly technological arena.

Hebda and Czar (2009) note “The way that nurses and other healthcare providers work is changing for many reasons. There is a shift away from tasks to knowledge work and the demand for best practices. This change in clinical thinking is likely to continue its evolution” (p. 26). Pen and paper at the nurses’ station have been replaced by a computer in the patient’s room. By recording data immediately, the risk of errors from transcribing can be decreased. Utilizing bar code identification ensures that the right medication is given to the right patient. Utilizing technology in these ways has created a safer environment for patients as well as greater efficiency for the nurse.

Bar coding and immediate entry of data are not the only benefits of technology in the clinical setting. Other information system tools which promote safety and efficiency include: computerized physician order entry, decision-support software and e-prescribing (Hebda & Czar 2009, p. 23-25). Hebda and Czar also list the advantages of an information system as;

better access to information, enhanced quality of doc...

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...is essential. They also need to be actively involved as technology advances to advocate for information systems and technology tools that promote safe, effective and efficient nursing practice.

References

Halley, E., Sensmeier, J., & Brokel, J.. (2009). Nurses Exchanging Information: Understanding Electronic Health Record Standards and Interoperability. Urologic Nursing: Special Issue on Nursing Informatics, 29(5), 305-13; quiz 314. Retrieved November 23, 2010, from ProQuest Nursing & Allied Health Source.

Hebda, T., & Czar, P. (2009). Handbook of informatics for nurses & healthcare professionals (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.

Kleiman, S. & Kleiman, A.. (2007). Technicity in Nursing and the Dispensation of Thinking.

Nursing Economics, 25(3), 157-61. Retrieved December 4, 2010, from ProQuest Nursing & Allied Health Source.
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