In the past, your primary care provider served as the central hub for all of your medical records. Ideally, you would go to your general doctor and get referrals to see specialists as needed.
The information would then get forwarded back to the primary doctor, so you could make the best decisions about your healthcare needs. Now with increased technology, the way we do healthcare is changing and becoming a lot more streamlined.
Improving healthcare through information
In the past, it could take a long time for all your patient records to reach the right medical professional. If you were working in a hospital, you might need vital information about your patient in a hurry to give them the best treatment possible. Now, with electronic health records, it's possible to get a comprehensive report that makes treating patients easier, wherever they are.
The goal of IT in healthcare
Information Technology used to be a career that focused simply on setting up the systems needed to store and collect information in a single location. As technology has improved, they have been required to provide additional services that are geared more to improve the quality of patient care. Hospitals that have more advanced systems show fewer problems with care, and tend to have more successful recoveries. This is because doctors are able to see the history of the patient and diagnose and correctly treat problems specific to them.
How nurses lead the charge
Students looking to become nurses will now get advanced training in managing and working with electronic records. Whether you go through an RN to BSN program online or more traditional medical school, technology is becoming part of curriculums everywhere. This puts you in a position of authority in your hospital since you know what is required by the new laws, and how to effectively implement new techniques. IT is no longer limited to the professionals who come in and set up networks, nurses are increasingly becoming a part of that network to ensure patients get treated properly.
Simplifying the process of record gathering
Since nurses now spend less time gathering records and obtaining information about patients, it's possible for a registered nurse to spend more time making sure the patient is being treated well. This ensures everyone gets the right treatment, and greatly reduces the possibility of a patient receiving an incorrect diagnosis. Registered nurses are freed up to help assist doctors more effectively, and there is less need to question patients about their medical history during each visit.
As IT continues to make it easier for people in healthcare positions to treat patients, it's becoming increasingly important for nurses to have advanced training. Schooling is one of the best ways to get that training, and it can help you get the job of your dreams.
Image source: Shutterstock/Carlos Amarillo