Advancements in information and communication technologies (ICT) have enabled healthcare professionals to develop new methods of addressing diverse health issues. Telehealth has become one of the most promising technologies making high-quality health care more affordable and accessible (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2017). The increasing use of this technology is an apparent trend at the Atrium Health hospital in North Carolina. Discharged patients receive diverse healthcare services using their devices, such as computers or even smartphones. One of the major benefits of this technology is the increased accessibility of high-quality care. Convenience is another positive feature of this kind of care, as patients do not need to wait long to receive the necessary information (Skiba, 2017). Rao-Gupta et al. (2018) note that effective communication has a positive impact on patient outcomes and patient satisfaction. However, some challenges still exist as it is critical to ensure data security, which can be difficult. The implementation of telehealth also requires staff training and the proper performance of cross-functional teams. Hospitals and communities with limited resources may find it difficult to use such technologies to their fullest potential.
Apart from the use of the ICT mentioned above, the Internet of Things (IoT) and expert systems/artificial intelligence are the technologies that will become common in the nearest future (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2017). These technologies can be instrumental in improving the performance of healthcare facilities through a more effective use of resources and a more efficient decision-making process. For instance, automated medication dispensing systems can be utilized to prevent errors and help patients receive drugs in a more convenient manner. Artificial intelligence can also be employed in treatment plan development or the management of resources at a hospital (such as beds, technology, staffing, equipment, medication, and so on). Clearly, more research is needed to make these changes and effective use of technology possible.
McGonigle, D., & Mastrian, K. G. (2017). Nursing informatics and the foundation of knowledge (4th ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Rao-Gupta, S., Kruger, D. Leak, L. D., Tieman, L. A., & Manworren, R. C. B. (2018). Leveraging interactive patient care technology to Improve pain management engagement. Pain Management Nursing, 19(3), 212–221. Web.
Skiba, D. (2017). Evaluation tools to appraise social media and mobile applications. Informatics, 4(3), 32–40. Web.