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Information Technology Utilization in Nursing

Introduction

The use of innovative technologies is inevitable in the modern world. At the same time, it is practically impossible to state that they are harmful if used properly. Being the Director of Nursing for an outpatient (ambulatory) Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Center, we use Macpractice software for keeping and analyzing data. There are a lot of advantages of the use of this software which are going to be considered below based on the Macpractice software used in my practice.

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Some benefits of information technology for nursing

The use of information technology in the hospitals helps cope with a number of problems, increase the quality of the care, “service delivery, HIPAA/security compliance, and financial/billing operational efficiency” (Moen, 2005, p. 27). On the basis of my personal experience, I can state that the use of information technologies (we use Macpractice software) in hospitals is beneficial. First of all, the time for dealing with papers is reduced. Second, doctors have an opportunity to access data from each department, room, and even from their IPods when they have o dictate something to the patient being far from the hospital. Third, any medical record is put in the personal account of each patient from blood test to diagnostic test, so, there is no necessity to check numerous papers for searching the necessary information. Moreover, each patient has an opportunity to check data, the last prescriptions, the day of the last visit, etc.

The use of information technologies in nursing practice is an opportunity to reduce the space for keeping papers in archives. At the same time, some people refuse to trust our system of information keeping and prefer to get hard copies of their diagnoses and the lists of prescriptions. The Macpractice software we use, does not allow us to schedule staff and follow their responsibilities and the scope of done work, still, the use of the information technologies in practice is beneficial as it allows us to access information fast, which is one of the main desires of each nurse.

Can information technology help reduce or control health care costs and issues of access or quality?

The information technologies may help cope with the following problems, personnel administration, ordering medication and other useful issues. Still, some scientists point to the wrong use of electronic health records and think that their direct use should be following the patients, the information about their diseases and prescriptions, not the staff monitoring (Information technology, 2009). The research conducted by Andrews, Pearce, Ireson, and Love (2005) shows that access to information via electronic sources is a necessity. It increases the quality of serving the patients and reduces time on information search when patients wait for some data devoted to their health history. But, along with the number of the advantages, the use of innovative technologies in practice may increase costs, as the software should be purchased and further servicing is also required (Andrews, Pearce, Ireson, & Love, 2005). Moreover, some people point to the violation of the privacy right, even though the system is properly protected and only doctors and another limited number of staff has access to the patients’ data (Stoil, 2004). However the cost of the installation of the innovative technologies is high, they are still considered to be beneficial as they reduce time on information search and accessing data devoted to numerous tests, previous prescriptions, problems, chronic diseases, etc. Time for diagnosing is reduced as well.

Reference List

Andrews, J. E., Pearce, K. A., Ireson, C., & Love, M. M. (2005). Information-seeking behaviors of practitioners in a primary care practice-based research network (PBRN). Journal of the Medical Library Association, 93(2), 206-212.

Information technology: Is long-term care leading the way? (2009). Long-Term Living: For the Continuing Care Professional, 58(6), 53.

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Moen, M. D. (2005). Is it time for new information technology? (cover story). Nursing Homes: Long Term Care Management, 54(1), 26.

Stoil, M. J. (2004). Technology as a solution – and a policy problem? Nursing Homes: Long Term Care Management, 53(5), 12.

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