WK6RESPONSES.docx – Assignment:




HEALTHCARE 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.

BY DAY 6 OF WEEK 6
Respond to at least  two of your colleagues * on two different days, offering additional/alternative ideas regarding opportunities and risks related to the observations shared.

RESPONSE 1
General healthcare technology trends observed in use in my healthcare organization. 
There are several technology trends in the healthcare organization where I work, but two are primarily used. Electronic medical records (EMR) and telehealth are used daily. After reviewing the video in our required readings, I understand the reason for describing EMRs as electronic health records (EHRs). The outpatient facility where I work is still utilizing the EMR, which is outdated. We have IT working diligently to upgrade the programs, and we understand the importance of training the staff on those changes. “It is essential that EHR competency be developed if nurses are to participate fully in the changing world of healthcare information technology” (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2022, p. 294).
While the EMR is old, telehealth was incorporated during the pandemic and was very beneficial. The use of telecommunications helped improve the care and education of the patients. Staff members were able to provide more easily accessible, cost-effective care because of telehealth. A patient’s paper chart gets converted to digital form in an EHR. EHRs are patient-centered, real-time records that securely and promptly make information accessible to authorized users (HealthIT.gov, 2019). Although the EMR is outdated, it is a step in the right direction compared to paper charts.
 Potential challenges or risks that may be inherent in the technologies associated with trends
Risks accompany the benefits of telemedicine. Data breaches are among the leading risks of technology. There is a greater chance that cybercriminals will intercept sensitive, confidential information sent online by more doctors and patients. There is a great need for robust cybersecurity to decrease the potential risk of a patient data breach. EMR software has advanced and becomes more intricate over time, allowing less time to be spent communicating with patients and more on tedious computerized “paperwork.”
 A potential benefit and risk associated with data safety, legislation, and patient care for the technologies described
A potential benefit of data safety is that an immediate investigation is launched to engage third-party experts to determine the nature and scope of the breach. The investigation will occur if the organization has a robust security system. To reduce the likelihood of another incident occurring in the future, an effective IT team will need to go one step further to improve security, monitor issues, and further harden the system. The risk associated with the technology trend is that patient data can still be breached despite efforts to have a robust security system.
Healthcare technology trends that tend to be most promising for impacting healthcare technology in nursing practice, and why.
Telemedicine is the development in healthcare technology that is most likely to impact nursing practice significantly. The use of telemedicine will increase healthcare accessibility while reducing some of the pressure faced by nurses who are short on time. It also has the potential to reduce hospital stays and trips to emergency rooms since medical problems can receive regular check-ups and treatment before they become severe. For nurses, telemedicine has shortened the procedure so they can see more patients more frequently, and practitioners will be able to see more patients from their initial patient visit capacity. ‌According to the study by Dykes, et al. (2017), involving patients and care partners through web-based technology and organized patient-centered care training decreased the rates of some adverse events (AEs) and increased satisfaction. However, more research is required to determine whether a comparable program would be equally successful if it were to be tested over a more extended period and in other critical care settings (p. e812). 
Another promising healthcare trend is genetic testing. The outpatient clinic where I work utilized genetic testing in the past but could not get a unanimous decision among the practitioners, so it was discontinued. Results from the tests can assist practitioners and patients in making educated decisions about managing their healthcare by relieving uncertainty. The test also eliminates the need for prescribing ineffective medications. Patient care technologies are of great importance. According to Rao-Gupta et al. (2018), patients and families were encouraged to participate actively in pain treatment plans and evaluation of treatment outcomes by utilizing interactive patient care technologies (p. 221).
 Will this promise improve patient care outcomes, efficiencies, or data management? 
Telehealth or medicine will improve patient care outcomes by providing easy access to healthcare services and a convenient alternative healthcare method. Telehealth services drastically reduced the likelihood of contracting the COVID-19 virus, the flu, or a common cold during the pandemic. Patients did not have to enter the office and risk spreading a contagious disease. Since most healthcare facilities aim toward patient-centered care, telehealth aids in this process. The pandemic’s public health emergency compelled some healthcare professionals to adopt technological trends like chatbots and virtual visits. “Understanding telehealth and the potential use of telehealth technology in nursing practice is necessary for today’s changing healthcare arena” (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2022, p. 406). Society can function in a time of rapid technological growth, and the healthcare sector is unquestionably a priority. Through data management, the goal is to protect the privacy and security of the patient’s information, so the calls are placed over a virtual private network.
References
Dykes, P. C., Rozenblum, R., Dalal, A., Massaro, A., Chang, F., Clements, M., Collins, S. …Bates, D. W. (2017). Retrieved January 2, 2023, from  .  Critical Care Medicine, 45(8), e806–e813. doi:10.1097/CCM.0000000000002449
HealthIT.gov. (2019, September 10). What is an electronic health record (EHR)? Healthit.gov. Retrieved January 2, 2023, from 
McGonigle, D., & Mastrian, K. G. (2022). Nursing informatics and the foundation of knowledge (5th ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning
‌Rao-Gupta, S., Kruger, D., Leak, L. D., Tieman, L. A., & Manworren, R. C. B. (2018). Leveraging Interactive Patient Care Technology to Improve Pain Management Engagement. Pain Management Nursing, 19(3), 212–221. Retrieved January 2, 2023, from 

RESPONSE 2

Healthcare Information Technology Trends
              The use of technology is nothing new to healthcare. Technology is used for prescribing, diagnosing, educating, and monitoring patients. The use of telemedicine, remote patient monitoring devices, and the electronic health record (EHR) are some examples of technology trends in health care that have enhanced quality care. Telemedicine has revolutionized healthcare. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic mainstreamed the use of telemedicine for healthcare services. The facility I am employed allows telemedicine for primary care consultations and appointments. Prior to COVID-19, many appointments at my facility had to be in person. By utilizing telemedicine visits for patients, the facility has increased patient safety while reducing costs. Research shows telemedicine care is comparable to in-person care for many acute and chronic conditions (Shaver, 2022). Telemedicine has many benefits; it is both a cost-effective and convenient way of providing healthcare. According to McGonigle and Mastrian (2022), the primary benefit of using telemedicine is that it allows for better healthcare access. Telemedicine makes healthcare more accessible to those living in rural areas or individuals with mobility restrictions to receive care for acute and chronic conditions.    
            In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government loosened the restrictions on using telemedicine for Medicare beneficiaries. Prior to the pandemic, telemedicine coverage was limited to individuals living in rural areas only. Expanding coverage to individuals living outside of rural areas allowed more people to access medical care while limiting exposure to COVID-19 (Koma et al., 2021). Although more people could receive coverage for telemedicine services in light of the pandemic, not all services may be covered, which could lead to out-of-pocket costs (Watson, 2020).
            There are many benefits surrounding telemedicine, but some risks are associated with its use. Patient confidentiality and the safety of protected health information are always a concern while using telemedicine. All clinical staff must be trained in the safety and security of protected health information, and an informed consent is recommended to patients before telemedicine appointments to outline the security measures in place to protect their health information (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2022). There are also some limitations to patient care with the use of telemedicine. Necessary clinical assessment data may be overlooked because the provider cannot perform a physical exam, which could lead to a delay in treatment or misdiagnosis of certain conditions. There needs to be more research conducted to determine which conditions are better suited for telemedicine versus in-person appointments.
              I believe telemedicine and telemonitoring will impact healthcare technology the most. The COVID-19 pandemic has normalized telemedicine. I believe regulations surrounding Medicare coverage for telemedicine will remain long after the pandemic. New healthcare technologies will be created to support the use of telemedicine, like the development of a screening tool that advises patients on which type of appointment (telemedicine or in-person) would be warranted based on symptoms or need (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2022). Telemedicine and telemonitoring allow for the expansion of health services to many different people. The convenience of telehealth increases the likelihood of patients keeping follow-up appointments, thus improving patient outcomes. By being able to identify changes in a patient’s health remotely, telemedicine and telemonitoring improve healthcare efficiency and help reduce the rate of hospital admissions.
 
References
Shaver J. (2022). The State of Telehealth Before and After the COVID-19 Pandemic.  Primary care,  49(4), 517–530. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pop.2022.04.002
McGonigle, D., & Mastrian, K. G. (2022).  Nursing informatics and the foundation of knowledge (5th ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning
Koma, W., Neuman, T., & Cubanski, J. (2021, May 19).  Medicare and telehealth: Coverage and use during the COVID-19 pandemic and options for the future. KFF. https://www.kff.org/medicare/issue-brief/medicare-and-telehealth-coverage-and-use-during-the-covid-19-pandemic-and-options-for-the-future/
Watson, S. (2020, October 12).  Telehealth: The advantages and disadvantages. Harvard Health Publishing. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/telehealth-the-advantages-and-disadvantages

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