Health Information Technology Trends
Throughout history, technological advancements have appeared for one purpose before finding applications elsewhere that lead to spikes in its usage and development. The internet, for example, was originally developed to share research before becoming a staple of work and entertainment. But technology” new and repurposed will undoubtedly continue to be a driver of healthcare information. Informaticists often stay tuned to trends to monitor what the next new technology will be or how the next new idea for applying existing technology can benefit outcomes.
In this Discussion, you will reflect on your healthcare organization’s use of technology and offer a technology trend you observe in your environment.
Reflect on the Resources related to digital information tools and technologies.
Consider your healthcare organization’s use of healthcare technologies to manage and distribute information.
Reflect on current and potential future trends, such as use of social media and mobile applications/telehealth, Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled asset tracking, or expert systems/artificial intelligence, and how they may impact nursing practice and healthcare delivery.
Post a brief description of general healthcare technology trends, particularly related to data/information you have observed in use in your healthcare organization or nursing practice. Describe any potential challenges or risks that may be inherent in the technologies associated with these trends you described. Then, describe at least one potential benefit and one potential risk associated with data safety, legislation, and patient care for the technologies you described. Next, explain which healthcare technology trends you believe are most promising for impacting healthcare technology in nursing practice and explain why. Describe whether this promise will contribute to improvements in patient care outcomes, efficiencies, or data management. Be specific and provide examples.
Technology keeps on improving every day, which significantly affects how people do things. The healthcare system relies on various types of technology that help in patient care and management. Since the invention of the computer, there has been a great technological push to ensure that technology plays a significant part, including diagnosis, treatment, care coordination, and management of patients after discharge. The use of the technologies has boosted the effectiveness and safety of patient care. This paper analyzes information technology use at the organizational level and the future trends.
There are numerous aspects of technology in the organization that the healthcare team and the patients use in engaging and communicating positively. One of the information tools is the electronic health records (EHR) system. The EHR system provides a point of connectivity between the patients and the healthcare providers and among the healthcare providers for effective coordination of patient care (Baumann et al., 2018). In our organization, the patients use the EHR system to inquire from healthcare providers about their health concerns, report their health progress, request care appointments, and provide test results for continuous monitoring without necessarily moving to the hospital. The nurses also use the EHR system to communicate with physicians or other nurses on the level of patient care and thus coordinate for timely and effective care. Through the EHR system, the healthcare providers provide patients with information for disease management as they recover. There is a great risk of using the EHR system due to breaches of personal privacy and data theft as the hackers are continuously growing their technology.
Social media is sparingly used in the hospital in linking with patients for general care. Some nurses and physicians engage with the patients through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to maintain contact to advise the patients on their treatment and recovery processes. According to the healthcare providers who embrace the technology, social media lessens the official atmosphere on the other platforms, thus making them freer to express their concerns. This can be proven through a study by Smailhodzic et al. (2018) that established that social media in healthcare improved self-esteem, emotional balance, personal expression, and utilized network support. This contributed to enhanced self-management, psychological well-being, and diminished subjective well-being. Despite being a successful platform, the use of social media technology in healthcare has a big risk of developing social media addiction to both patients and healthcare providers and loss of privacy, especially to the healthcare providers who complain of being stalked by the patients (Guo & Brian, 2019). There is a significant risk of the communication being unlawfully tapped by hackers and used against the patients or the healthcare providers.
Integrating artificial intelligence into healthcare is the most promising impact of healthcare technology. Artificial intelligence in healthcare encompasses the general use of technology in diagnosis and decision-making levels of patient care management. Machine learning is an AI tool that helps predict patients’ effective treatment based on their makeup (Davenport & Kalakota, 2019). This, when used in expert systems, helps the healthcare providers in making timely decisions on the treatment processes, thus reducing the risks of making errors or delaying the diagnosis and treatment processes. The future of AI in healthcare is that people will effectively engage with the machines on platforms such as the EHR system without necessarily the presence of people. Despite these positive future promises, there is a great threat to data safety and patient privacy due to high levels of data hacking and destruction technology. HIPAA requires that any communication tool of patient data storage be compliant with data safety and patient privacy standards, and these breaches may lead to institutions being sued by patients. The use of computer robotics in diagnosing and answering patient questions may reduce the human to human interaction, which may lessen trust in the healthcare system.
Baumann, L. A., Baker, J., & Elshaug, A. G. (2018). The impact of electronic health record systems on clinical documentation times: A systematic review. Health Policy, 122(8), 827–836. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.healthpol.2018.05.014
Davenport, T., & Kalakota, R. (2019). The potential for artificial intelligence in healthcare. Future Healthcare Journal, 6(2), 94–98. https://doi.org/10.7861/futurehosp.6-2-94
Guo, Y., & Bian, J. (2019). Social Media-Based Health Interventions: Where Are We Now?. In Social Web and Health Research (pp. 15-30). Springer, Cham. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-14714-3_2
Smailhodzic, E., Hooijsma, W., Boonstra, A., & Langley, D. J. (2018). Social media use in healthcare: A systematic review of effects on patients and their relationship with healthcare professionals. BMC Health Services Research, 16(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-016-1691-0