Progression of technology in Healthcare

Despite one video taking place in the past and the other in the “possible” future, they both seem pretty far fetched. Starting with the 1960’s EMR video. Before watching this video and starting this class which prompted reflection on informatics in healthcare, I thought technological development in healthcare was relatively reasonable. But the more I think about it and learn, I don’t think I can say that anymore. Having watched this video and learning that over 50 years ago a goal was set to eliminate nurses and doctors paperwork I have to reconsider. Here in 2019, technology has come so far in so many ways yet seems to be lacking in the healthcare industry. Where I work, luckily we have WOW’s and electronic charting. But we have only had them for 5 years while “everyday” computers have been around since the 80’s and the internet since the 90’s. And even with that resource we still have certain tasks that require paper charting. From my social connections and general knowledge of the healthcare industry, it appears there are many places that do not have this “luxury”. At the end of the video, it states their hope is to eliminate medication errors, some of the paperwork and correlation of diseases. I would say we have made a step in that direction but a leap is needed. They achieved such success in such a short time. Yet over 50 years later we still have a great deal of paperwork, and medication errors. I would expect that after 50 years and with such growth in technology that we would be a lot farther ahead. It seems to take the healthcare industry substantially longer to catch up, and I can only assume that has to do with government funding, as well as difficulty in implementing change in such a delicate industry.

In regards to the “Future Vision” video, I watched it twice. The first time I watched it I thought it was great, and somewhat feasible. I watched it again about an hour later and saw it through a completely different lens. As I sit here at the nurses station at work, watching this video, and having an understanding of the current healthcare system I can only conclude that this “future vision” is mostly too far-fetched and a marketing ploy. At least in my lifetime or my children’s’ lifetime. If it took 50 years to barley get electronic charting started in such a technology driven world, I can’t imagine this “vision” coming to fruition any time soon. Aspects of the video I think could be possible was the use of the digital wallet and the prescription refill “kiosk”, the doctors use of ipad’s at the bedside, and the devices they used to either communicate with each other, store data, track progress, and set reminders (aka phones/computers). We can already see these ideas in use in today’s world and I believe development of these ideas will only continue to grow. Aspects of the video that seem far fetched include using the iPad to locate a medical device in a room like it can see through a wall or being used as a map, and the medication reminder table where the patient is responsible for administering their meds. Not only do these ideas seem ludacris, I don’t see the purpose of them. I don’t believe we need technology to locate a device or patients room for us, we should be more than capable of doing that ourselves. In reference to patients administering their own medications, I don’t see that ever working. How would you control this? Where are the regulations in regards to narcotics? Who is accountable if an error is made? When the hospital is responsible for the life of a patient I don’t believe allowing them to essentially “perform” their own procedures is a step in the right direction. We wouldn’t allow them to perform their own surgery would we? I just don’t see how that would be possible. Although this video has some interesting ideas, in the end it plays out as a marketing ploy.

Technology utilized by myself, as an RPN

WOW – here at STEGH we use a WOW for electronic charting, medical administration

Powerchart/Cerner – software used for electronic charting, EHR, medication administration

Kronos – software used for work scheduling resources

Equipment – ECG machine to perform ECG’s, bladder scanner to assess bladder fullness, fax/phone/copier, vitals machine, IV pump for IV medication administration, vocera (communication device amongst co-workers), ADC (medicine dispensing cabinet), glucometer used to test patients blood glucose, VAC therapy


Simulation lab – computerized mannequin used for patient simulations

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