5 Ways Technology in Nursing is Transforming Patient Care

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Technology in nursing is helping to impact and transform patient care by reducing human error, enhancing monitoring capabilities, expanding access to healthcare, streamlining administrative processes, and identifying preventive care opportunities. See how nurses make use of key technologies to improve care.

nurse writing in binder

As healthcare professionals on the frontlines of care, nurses spend the most face-to-face time with patients. This puts the nursing profession in a unique position to utilize technology and shape the realities of patient care in several key ways. Patients can access higher-quality care more consistently. At the same time, nurses can reach more people than ever before, reduce errors that might impact care, and respond sooner to changes in a patient’s condition.

We designed Marquette University’s Second Degree Direct Entry Master of Science in Nursing Program to put students in contact with the technologies they will use as professionals while educating them to become excellent practitioners who can work in various settings. This post will explore how technology in nursing education and patient care technology impacts patient care.

nurse smiling and shaking hands with coworkers

See how an MSN degree can help set you up for success in your future career.

1: Reducing Human Error

Within the healthcare industry, nurses spend some of the most time directly providing care, monitoring patients, and ensuring the smooth operation of healthcare services. With their role, integrating technology into nursing practices presents a significant opportunity to reduce human error, enhance patient care, and improve overall healthcare outcomes. Their ability to access and use electronic health records (EHR), which have replaced paper records, helps to keep patient information updated and accurate. With documentation so vital to patient safety, gaining familiarity with electronic health records is an essential aspect of training to become a nurse. Luckily, Marquette University’s collaboration with Epic, a leading global EHR company, means that our students will be the first in the nation to have access to an educational version of the same EHR software used in many hospitals.

Additionally, technology such as barcode medication administration (BCMA) systems and automated dispensing machines help ensure the “five rights” of medication administration: the right patient, the right drug, the right route, right time, and the right dose.

2: Enhancing Monitoring Capabilities

Nursing technology also helps nurses better monitor patient status inside and outside a traditional clinical setting. Inside the hospital, integrated technologies allow nurses to monitor, document and intervene in patient care scenarios. Modern-day hospital technologies are efficient but require a high level of integration to be successful. From smart pumps to telemetry monitoring systems viewable via phone, nurses can make use of these monitoring capabilities to practice more effectively.

nursing students in simulation lab

Outside the hospital, remote patient monitoring systems still enable nurses to track patients’ vital signs, such as heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen saturation levels, in real time. This technology helps manage chronic conditions like heart disease or diabetes, and continuous monitoring enhances the efficiency of care while empowering patients to manage their health more proactively.

3: Expanding Patient Access to Healthcare

Vulnerable populations, including older adults, individuals with disabilities or compromised immune systems, and members of isolated or disadvantaged communities, often face significant challenges in accessing traditional healthcare services. Patient care technology, including telemedicine, can help bridge that gap and provide better, more consistent care to those traditionally left on the periphery of the health care system. From detecting issues earlier to directing patients to the appropriate care services without needing an in-person visit, nurses have an invaluable role in expanding healthcare access.

4: Streamlining Administrative Processes

We have already touched on some nursing technologies that help streamline administrative processes, including electronic health records and barcode medicine administration systems. Still, technology has touched practically every area of nursing administration.

Data analytics helps organizations examine their care on a macro and micro level. Automated scheduling systems help to free up nursing resources while also making the process smoother for patients, and many advancements in time tracking or reporting can help administrators run organizations more smoothly.

See more about the difference you can make with these critical nursing leadership skills.

nurse standing arms behind back smiling at camera

5: Helping Identify Opportunities for Preventive Care

As the industry shifts toward a more preventive and proactive approach, technology in nursing is playing a pivotal role in identifying opportunities for preventive care. Organizations can work to enhance patient outcomes while also reducing long-term healthcare costs, helping nurses continue to work in the areas where they are most critically needed.

Analytics can help to flag warning factors for chronic conditions, allowing for interventions before more drastic treatment may be required. As nurses collaborate and continue to communicate the importance of preventive care, intervening before a condition worsens has become more achievable.

Key Innovations in Patient Care Technology

As we have just explored, technology in patient care is helping to create a more effective and more equitable nursing future. But what key innovations have helped us create this new frontier of care? Let’s look into some of the most important areas of technological development in nursing.

Marquette nursing student using stethoscope on manikin

AI-Driven Predictive Analytics

Integrating Artificial Intelligence (AI) and predictive analytics into nursing offers a powerful new capacity for enhancing patient care, streamlining workflows, and predicting health outcomes. At the core of AI-driven predictive analytics is the ability to analyze vast amounts of data and identify patterns that may not be immediately apparent to humans.

In nursing, this means predicting changes or potential health complications before they occur. Care can be better tailored to the individual, and faster interventions can create better outcomes for the patient. This new field continues to develop, but its potential could mean a seismic shift in how care is addressed.

Remote Patient Monitoring Devices

Wearable technologies like fitness trackers and smartwatches have become ubiquitous today. This technology sector benefits care providers and patients, offering a dynamic way to monitor and promote health and wellness. These devices and dedicated medical devices provided as part of a care plan provide nurses and patients with valuable data on physical activity, sleep patterns, and heart rate, among other metrics.

By analyzing this data, care providers can identify health trends and behaviors that may indicate a risk for chronic diseases or a downturn in condition. This technology fosters a collaborative approach to health management, where nurses guide patients in making informed lifestyle choices to prevent health issues.

Marquette nursing student putting on gloves

Are You Ready to Enter the Rapidly Evolving Nursing Field?

If you are ready to enter this field and access a rewarding career benefitted by technology in nursing, Marquette University’s Direct Entry MSN program could be your best option to learn via state-of-the-art teaching methods and enter the field after 5 or 8 semesters as a master’s-educated nurse. To learn more, contact an admissions adviser and begin a conversation about your nursing future.