It is 2017 so I guess we shouldn’t be surprised with all the advancements that are being made. Every time we think we are learning one piece of technology the newest model shows up.
In terms of medical professionals this is no different, we also have to get used to new technologies and advancements being made all the time. These technologies are put into place with the idea that they are making the lives of medical professionals easier.
Some of these technologies are proven as beneficial to medical professionals and their patients. While other technologies are questionable to whether they are beneficial or not. I am going to discuss three of these technologies and give my opinions on them.
The question I ask here is do they really make the lives of medical professionals easier or are medical professionals spending more time learning how to use these technologies than on patient care?
The first medical technology is Electronic Health Records, also known as EHR. This system allows all patient information to be added into a database and be reviewed by medical professionals. The information that is added into this system includes:
Basic patient information
Past medical history
Lab and x-ray information and results
Notes on patient visit
Benefits of this system include:
Cutting back on paper since all patient information is entered on this database instead of being hand written.
Allows patients to review their records online through the patient portal.
Allows medical professionals to coordinate care by sending patient information to each other.
Saves space that is required to store paper medical records and allows this space to be used in better ways.
Allows 24 hour 7 days a week access.
It saves time and money.
Some cons of this system include:
Not all patients are tech savvy and won’t benefit from this system.
Like with all online systems EHR systems are at risk in regards to cyber hackers and malicious hackers. This means extra diligence is necessary to prevent patient information from being accessed by unauthorized users.
If the system is not updated regularly it can cause issues with the use of the system.
If the internet goes out in a facility than this system is useless.
In my personal opinion I feel this technology is beneficial to medical professionals, as well as patients. It allows patients to be involved in their care by having access to their information instead of feeling they are in the dark and not know what’s going on with their care.
This system also has many advantages for medical professionals. One big one is they have more time to communicate with their patients instead of having to spend a lot of time reviewing and charting patient care. I also feel it prevents clutter that may that happens with paper records and reducing the mistakes or errors of medical professionals.
The second medical technology is Infusion Pumps. Infusion pumps are used to deliver fluids, nutrients, and medications to patients. This device helps deliver controlled amounts of fluids to the patient’s body.
Some of specific uses for an infusion pump include delivery of:
IV fluids if a patient is dehydrated.
Insulin or other hormones.
Some specific benefits to these pumps include:
The can be set so the patient only gets the amount of fluid, medication, or nutrition need.
They are easy to use.
They provide wireless drug library and pump data.
Some cons to these pumps include:
There are insufficient updates and upgrades.
Weight based dose checking only allows maximum weight to be entered.
I feel that these infusion pumps are good for patients. On the other hand I feel there needs to be some improvements made to these pumps to reduce error and to offer more update and upgrades.
The third medical technology is the Unique Device Identification Tracker, which is also known as the UDI. This technology is an implant and implantable device tracking software designed for use in an operating room. This device is Internet based and is used to manage and track of all implants.
Some specific implants that this device tracks includes:
Any other type of implant
Some specific benefits of this device include:
It allows hospital system integration, which improves workflow.
Provides expiration date alerts, which improves patient safety and reduces waste.
Provides supplier regulatory status, which allows you to view AATB, FDA, and state licenses.
Provides barcode scanning and labels to save time finding what you’re looking for and eliminates error prone data entry.
Provides notifications on recalls.
Some cons of this device include:
If a professional scans the wrong item it can lead to major issues.
If the facility using this system does not offer proper training on this device it can lead to major issues or misuse of this device.
I feel this technology is very useful to medical professionals and their patients. It allows for the medical professional to focus more time on patient care and less time on paperwork.
Which makes patients feel they are a priority and that their medical teams truly cares. This device also improves safety for patients since it helps make sure any implants being used meet all requirements for safe implantation.