News :How Technology Helps Nurses Respond to Patients Faster
Posted on Sunday, December 27, 2009
Nursing is a fast-paced and rapidly changing profession, especially when it comes to patient response and interaction. As technology continues to advance within the medical field, it is helping nurses to more effectively aid and assist their patients.
For instance, nurses are replacing their beepers and pagers with smartphones and Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs). Smartphones and PDAs offer advanced functionality with e-mail, text messaging, Web, capabilities, and more. They also allow for instant communication with other nurses, access to a calendar or day planner, and the ability to confer with doctors and other colleagues as necessary.
Some smartphones even have direct connect or walkie-talkie capabilities, allowing nurses to be alerted automatically and respond quickly when a patient pushes a call button.
In fact, the University of Minnesota Medical Center has given each of its 225 nurses a wireless Internet handset. These smartphones provide patients, doctors, and other nurses with direct access to the nurses who carry them. When a patient hits the Call button from a hospital bed, it speed dials up to three nurses’ smartphones, cutting the response time from up to 10 minutes to just seconds.
This is just one of the ways that today’s tech-savvy nurses are using the latest technology to provide safer, more effective, and more efficient care for their patients. Below are some other examples of how technology is helping nurses optimize the level of care they are able to provide their patients:
· Some medical schools now require all first-term students to have PDAs, which are armed with up to six reference books.
· More hospitals are asking their nurses to wear Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags during their shifts. This helps the nurses station track who is on the floor with which patient. It can also help to track wheelchairs, EKG machines, and other portable medical equipment.
Technology breakthroughs, led by the early adoption of smartphones, PDAs, and RFID tracking devices, are taking nursing to new levels of productivity. Everyone from nurse supervisors to hospital administrators are seeing the reduction in response times by providing nurses with faster, more effective, and more efficient service to their patients’ bedsides.