Transforming Nursing and Healthcare Through Technology

Big Data Influence on Clinical Practice
            Improvement of patient outcomes does not depend only on the critical thinking and knowledge of nurses on the patient health problems in the clinical setup. The healthcare system benefits a lot when it relies on big data. The first benefit, in this case, is an improvement of the communication in the clinical set leading to improved patient outcomes. Patient-nurse communication improves with big data. An improvement in the interprofessional collaboration between the nurse and other healthcare professionals improves patient outcomes. For example, technology helps in the hand-off process which ensures that there by reduction of medical errors, especially in the critical care units. Poor hand-off procedure without the use of technology leads to more time for the patient to recuperate in the hospital. An example is where a complaint of a rash from a patient helps the nurse or the doctor to offer proper medication or lifestyle changes without necessarily going to the hospital. It also saves costs of care for the patients and the hospital as clients don’t have to come to the hospital to be treated. Another benefit of big data is that technology improves data management which improves diagnosis and treatment plans for the patients (Wang, Kung & Byrd, 2018). Patients improve their health outcomes when their data is retrieved and used properly.
            One of the challenges of using big data is the issue of confidentiality and safety of the data of the patients in the database. There are cases where third parties manage patients’ information and use it for malicious purposes. This consequentially discourages the management to use this platform knowing that the loss of patient data would result in lawsuits that would affect them negatively in terms of costs. The lack of enough nursing informatics and other technology professionals in the healthcare system also makes it difficult for them to overcome health complications in the healthcare system (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2017). This makes it difficult for management and patients to implement technology and improve patient outcomes.
            To mitigate or reduce the risk of losing data to third parties, it is essential to ensure that patient data is protected by everyone, and sharing of passwords should be prohibited. I think it is okay for the management to ensure passwords are staff specific, sharing of passwords should be discouraged.  Problems always come in when there is sharing of the password by many professionals even the ones that don’t attend to specific clients. Furthermore, it is essential to improve nurses’ knowledge on the need for the improvement in instituting security on the patient data and some of the repercussions of breaking such issues. It is also proper for the federal and state government to give out scholarships and incentives for more students to undertake nursing technology-related professional courses such as nursing informatics to increase the number of professionals in data management (Glassman, 2017). It will eventually reduce the shortage of professionals in healthcare which can improve analysis and implementation of technology in healthcare system.   

Glassman, K. S. (2017). Using data in nursing practice. American Nurse Today, 12(11), 45–47.
McGonigle, D., & Mastrian, K. G. (2017). Nursing informatics and the foundation of knowledge
(4th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning
Wang, Y., Kung, L., & Byrd, T. A. (2018). Big data analytics: Understanding its capabilities and
potential benefits for healthcare organizations. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 126(1), 3–13.

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