Technology has not only permeated nearly every facet of the healthcare industry, but technology has enhanced it, as well. No matter what field, division, or specialty of healthcare you work in, healthcare technology only adds tools to your arsenal of patient care techniques. Plus, healthcare technology provides continuity throughout diverse patient care environments, helps prevent medical errors, speeds up research, and enables better collaboration with healthcare professionals in other locales.
But with emerging advanced technology, it can be difficult for healthcare travelers to keep up with the evolving methods of care. So, how can you navigate these new technologies while working a travel assignment? To answer that question, we must first look at the types of technology used in healthcare.
Types of healthcare technology
Technology and healthcare go hand-in-hand nowadays—you can’t have one without the other. Here are a few of the top healthcare technologies being used today:
Since healthcare professionals like doctors, nurses, therapy workers, and other allied workers are constantly on the move, it’s important they’re able to access patient information from wherever they are—and that’s exactly what portable monitors were made for.
This portable equipment allows healthcare travelers the power to check on patients’ vital signs, even if they’re doing something else. Nurses and other healthcare workers can use portable devices to monitor a patient’s ECG, respiratory rates, oxygen saturations, and more, and in the event of an emergency, receive an alert notification to their portable monitor. At the end of the day, portable healthcare devices can save lives.
Electronic health records (EHRs)
Paper filing is yesterday’s organization method. In today’s modern times, information is easily organized via technology, including patient health records.
EHRs allow healthcare experts to document patient care and retrieve information that can help prioritize care. Any information inputted into the EHR system can be accessed by other healthcare professionals on a patient’s care team, including doctors and patients themselves, when necessary. EHRs can notify nurses and allied travelers on further steps they need to take for a patient, monitor small condition changes, and provide immediate information as alerts or reminders.
One major concern with EHRs is privacy and security. All electronic health databases are held to HIPAA standards, meaning HIPAA laws ensure security and privacy of patient records are maintained by healthcare organizations. There’s also new technology like blockchain and cryptography that help ease privacy concerns among patients and providers.
Telehealth and healthcare apps
Telehealth has been booming since the infamous COVID-19 pandemic. Now that hospitals and clinics allow patients to virtually chat with a doctor or nurse, healthcare professionals can give quick diagnosis without an in-person exam. That way, patients can find out ahead of time if they need to come in for further testing.
This type of healthcare technology is changing the way clinics and facilities operate and how patients are cared for. Telehealth saves time and money for both patients and healthcare providers. Even more, it prevents sick patients from coming in and infecting others to their illness or disease.
Similar to telehealth are healthcare apps used to improve health. Healthcare apps and wearable technology allows nurses and other healthcare professionals to monitor patient vital signs without them in the office. Plus, these specialized apps can also help patients understand when they should reach out to a professional for help and when a simple over-the-counter medication will suffice. This, again, helps save patient and provider time and money. Increasing app and telehealth technology offers doctors, nurses, allied health workers, and patients themselves more control over their overall health.
Find resources for learning
So now that you know some of the top technologies used in healthcare today, let’s learn how you can navigate the systems while on an assignment.
First thing’s first, in order to find the best resources that work for you, you’ll have to do some digging into the topic. For example, if you want to know more about wearable technology, you should look to different types of resources like books, websites, professional experts, conferences, videos, etc. to learn more about wearable technology and its benefits in healthcare. Get creative and see if you can find any online courses, skills lab classes, or computerized simulations that can give you an in-depth understanding of the new technology.
Once you’ve found the right resources for your learning style, it’s time to deepen your knowledge. Dive into the educational resources and learn all you can about the new technology system. And don’t be afraid to phone a friend if you need an extra hand.
Practice, practice, practice
Now that you know more about the technology system, it’s time to practice using the system. You know what they say—practice makes perfect.
Get your hands dirty with the specific technology you want to learn more about and get the respective tools you need to gain control over it. Come up with practice patient scenarios to get a feel for how the healthcare technology works in the real world.
Put your knowledge to the test
So, you’ve done your research. You’ve practiced with the technology. Now what? Now it’s time to jump into real-life and put your knowledge to the test.
Venture into the patient sector of the healthcare facility and meet patients. Get to know them and their ailments, as well as what treatments work best for them so you can provide proper patient care. With the right healthcare technology, you have the power to make a positive and impactful difference in the lives of others. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to be the best healthcare worker you can be and learn how to navigate new technology systems in healthcare.
Technology has changed the way we view health and patient care all around. Healthcare technology benefits both patients and providers by saving time and money on both ends of the spectrum. Start exploring new means of healthcare technology like electronic health records, wearable technology and healthcare apps, or portable monitors and jump into a new era of healthcare.