The general public has a strong belief in a health technology that has the potential of improving healthcare efficiency, safety, quality, and cost. However, there are those who consider these technologies have the potential to introduce medical errors and adverse events. Currently, there are more than 1000 types of medical devices that are utilized by healthcare providers around the globe (Daniels et al., 2015). Nevertheless, despite of the fact that health technologies hold much promise, the benefits of a given health technology may not be realized as a result of various challenges such as inadequate maintenance of the health technology, poor technology interface with the environment or patients, ineffective plan for implementing a new technology into practice and poor technology design that does not comply with both ergonomic principles and human aspects (Casey & Lopez, et al., 2015).
Electronic health record (HER) has in the recent years become highly complex, transforming the conceptualization and delivery of care services. Prior to extensive use of technology, healthcare providers heavily relied on their senses of touch, sight, hearing, and smell to monitor the condition of the patient as well as to detect changes. However, over time, healthcare provider’s unaided senses were replaced with new technologies such as pulse oximetry that has the ability to detect physical changes in patient condition. Patient care technologies that are of interest to healthcare providers range from simple devices such as syringes and catheters to highly complex devices such as barcode medication administration systems and electronic health records (Daniels et al., 2015).
Healthcare is among the personal services offered in our society, yet to provide this service, scores of personnel need to have access to intimate patient information. To received quality and appropriate care, patients are required to feel free to reveal their personal information. in return, healthcare providers are required to treat patient’s information confidentially and protect its security (Casey & Lopez, et al., 2015). On the other hand, the use of patient care technologies has enabled healthcare organizations to have an immediate access to patient’s information needed in the delivery of quality, appropriate, safe and effective patient care. However, there are policies such as confidentiality of patient information have been established to protect the accessibility of patient information and incorporate ethical principles and standards for the use of health and information technologies. While information technology can improve the quality of care by enabling the instant retrieval and access of information through various means, including mobile devices, and the more rapid exchange of medical information by a greater number of people who can contribute to the care and treatment of a patient, it also can increase the risk of unauthorized use, access and disclosure of confidential patient information (Pan et al., 2015). Within healthcare organizations, personal information contained in medical records now is reviewed not only by physicians and nurses but also by professionals in many clinical and administrative support areas.
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) report 2001 provides various specialties for nurses that enable them to make use of health technologies and information on education patient and families. For instance, Nursing Informatics (NI) enables nurses to support the decision-making of patients through the use of information processes, technology, and structures in healthcare settings (Pan et al., 2015). Other technologies enable healthcare providers in drug medication, coding, drug-formulary checks as well as the provision of electronic syndromic surveillance data to the general public and other public health agencies.
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