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Emerging Technologies and Healthcare Delivery
As new technologies and innovations are adopted in healthcare organizations, it is helpful to consider how these innovations can impact nursing, support evidence-based practices, and patient education. Throughout this course, you have been exploring the many ways nursing informatics enhances and supports nursing practice. In this section, you consider how informatics also supports evidence-based practices.Informatics can greatly enhance a nurse’s ability to employ evidence-based practices. Nurses can use informatics to locate research findings that address a particular health problem or concern. They can also use those findings to educate patients and to improve patient care at the bedside.Nurse informaticists can also use informatics tools to support EBP. For example, using the correct tools, a nurse informaticist could research best practices for a certain procedure or health issue and determine what other organizations have tried compared to the current research and recommend best practices to prevent adverse events.Informatics tools, such as clinical decision support systems also can enhance the application of evidence-based practices by providing up-to-date information entered into the system’s database, which is then made available to nurses at the bedside.As health technologies, research, procedures, and innovations continually change and grow, it is important for all nurses to have a least a basic ability to explore databases and become familiar withresearch available in their specialty area. For this reason, more schools of nursing are making informatics competencies a part of all nursing programs. Nurses who take advantage of these opportunities and become competent in the use of evidence-based practices will be major assets to their organizations, will feel more confident in their abilities, and provide a higher quality of patient care.As cutting-edge information and healthcare technologies continue to emerge, it is an exciting time tobe a nurse. New technologies have the potential to help nurses perform their duties faster and with greater accuracy and to employ evidence-based practices, thus promoting a greater level of patient safety. Emerging technologies that will be discussed in this section include:Simulators/SimulationsRoboticsNanotechnologyM-healthWearable devicesPortable and Cloud Data StorageSimulators and Simulation
Innovations in healthcare technologies include the improvement and use of various types of simulators and simulation in education and training of healthcare professionals. As noted, healthcare professionals need to possess informatics knowledge and skills to improve patient safetyand quality of care. Studies show that simulation can help nurses gain the necessary preparation by allowing them to use informatics in an authentic, realistic learning context. Simulations can also involve using humans (often paid actors). Simulators are mechanical or electronic devices. Both