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Medical Technology and Its Impact on Patients

Patient safety is a basic standard of health care. It is a new medical care discipline, which stresses on giving of the right information, examination, prevention and control of medical mistakes. Medical mistakes mostly lead to detrimental healthcare events. After realizing that health care mistakes affect one out of ten patients in the world, the World Health Organization declared patient safety an endemic alarm or concern.

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In fact, patient safety has come up as a different medical care discipline that is accepted and supported by growing scientific structure. Knowledge on patient safety emphasizes on the development efforts like, application of studies learned from industry and business, embracing of new technologies, improving of mistake-reporting systems, educating health care providers and clients and improving of innovative economic incentives (Palmieri, Delucia, Peterson, Ott &Green, 2008, p.40).

This paper focuses on two aspects of medical technology that impact positively on the quality of healthcare, patient satisfaction and patient safety. Some of the things that contribute to errors and injuries in the medical care are, entry of orders manually, illegible handwriting, handwritten reports and non-standards abbreviations. With medical technology, it is possible to prevent the above-mentioned medical errors. Examples of the medical technology include implementation of electronic medication ordering, electronic medical records and use of bar code system to dispense drugs (Institute of Medicine, 2001, par.2).

Medical technology is one of the health technologies that influence a wide variety of medical care products. Moreover, it influences monitoring, diagnosis and treatment of all illnesses or diseases that affects human beings. Proper use of medical technology that leads to earlier diagnosis, quality treatment and rehabilitation, improves the quality of medical care and patient safety. Before the development of medical technology, healthcare providers like nurses depended mostly on their senses of smell, sight, hearing and touch to observe the status of the patient and identify any changes.

Currently, medical technology has replaced the senses and it identifies all the physical changes that a patient undergoes during treatment. Though medical technology is part of the health solution, it has challenges or risks. For example, health care providers may rely too much on the electronic data and fail to identify important delicate changes in the clinical conditions (Nelson & Patterson, n.d, par.2).

The two aspects of medical technology that impact positively on the quality of healthcare, patient safety and patient satisfaction are, the use of electronic health records and use of complete safety medication system. Complete safety medication system is a consistent bar code structure for giving out or dispensing drugs. This bar code system prevents 25% of drug mistakes. Use of bar code system in prescription is beneficial because it leads to reduction of common mistakes committed by the health care providers.

For example, errors committed by the doctors like drafting prescriptions that could interfere with other drugs taken by the patient, nurses giving out the wrong medication or dose and pharmacists giving out 200 milligrams drugs instead of the prescribed 100-milligram pills. Despite the fact that bar coding and electronic giving out or dispensing of drugs minimizes the medication mistakes, implementation of this technology by the health care providers and health facilities in the United States has been slow. This is because of the concern of interoperability and agreement with the future national requirements of the United States.

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The health care providers need to acquire skills on how to use the bar code system effectively that will assist them in rendering quality heath care leading to patient safety and patient satisfaction (Kaufman, 2006, par.6).

The other aspect of medical technology that influences the quality of health care provision is the use of electronic health records (EHR). EHR minimizes several kinds of mistakes like, drugs prescription mistakes, errors in preventive care, laboratory tests and theater procedures. The features of EHR are allergy checks, patient information, automatic drug-to-drug contact checks and regular drug dosage.

In addition, EHR systems give continuous alerts to remind the health care providers on the intermissions for preventive care, recommendation and laboratory tests outcomes. When clinical instructions for illness management are available and accessible through the electronic records, they demonstrate benefits both to the health care provider and to the patient during treatment process. Improvement on the health information and the implementation of interoperable EHR gives the health care providers an opportunity to access to the records of the patient at any health care facility (Kawamoto, Houlihan, Balas & Lobach, 2005, par.1).

In summary, medical technology is beneficial if all the health care providers and patients could understand the dangers or risk associated with medical errors. In addition, knowledge, attitude and practice play a major role in the effective use of the medical technology. This is because if both the health care providers and patient have enough information on safe and unsafe practices, implementation of the medical technology will be easy. Hence, there will be medical errors reduction, effective patient care, patient safety, and the patients will be satisfied with the services provided. Moreover, to the health care providers, there will be reduction of workload and provision of quality health service.

Reference list

Institute of Medicine, (2001). Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century. The National Academies press. Web.

Kaufman, M. (2006). Medication Errors Harming Millions, Report Says Extensive National Study Finds Widespread, Costly Mistakes in Giving and Taking Medicine. Web.

Kawamoto, K., Houlihan, A., Balas, A. & Lobach, F. (2005). Improving clinical practice using clinical decision support systems: a systematic review of trials to identify features critical to success. Information in Practice, 330. Web.

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Nelson, L. & Patterson, S. (n.d). Patient Care Technology and Safety. An Evidence- Based Handbook for Nurses. Web.

Palmieri, A., Delucia, R., Peterson, T., Ott, E. & Green, A. (2008). The anatomy and physiology of error in adverse health care events. Advances in Health Care Management. Web.

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