Telehealth and Beyond

Technology in Healthcare

Technology is central in the healthcare industry. Technology has immensely transformed and advanced healthcare by enhancing efficiency and patient outcomes. As technology revolutionizes the healthcare industry, a shift to home care is inevitable. The subsequent sections of this paper will discuss the National Patient Safety Goals (NSPG) for home care, an article about technology and home care, and the impact of the shift of technology to home care on nursing practice.

 Telehealth and Beyond

Patient Safety Goals for Home Care

The complexity of homecare systems necessitates patient safety. Patient safety aims to avoid and diminish risks, errors, and harm that occur to patients during care provision. Patient safety is essential in ensuring quality healthcare services. The NSPG aims to improve patient safety with an emphasis on problems in healthcare safety and how to address them.

The five current NPSG goals for home care include identifying patients correctly, using medicines safely, preventing infection, preventing patient falls, and identifying patient safety risks (Home Care: 2023 National Patient Safety Goals, 2022). Nurses can ensure these safety goals for home care are met through safety checks.

Regarding the correct identification of patients, nurses should use at least two patient identifiers. For instance, a driver’s license, name, date of birth, address, and last four digits of social security number, among others. This way, nurses will prevent mislabeling and hence ensure patient safety.

Secondly, nurses can ensure medication safety through medication reconciliation. Nurses must verify doses, route, frequency, and purpose of the medication to reduce adverse events. Healthcare-associated infections burden the healthcare sector. Consequently, nurses must practice infection prevention measures such as effective hand hygiene to reduce this risk. The fourth goal involves reducing the risk of falls.

Nurses can achieve this goal by evaluating patients’ history and assessing for the risk factors that contribute to falls, such as medications, previous history of falls, visual impairment, and abnormal gait, among others. Finally, patient safety risks must be identified and documented.

Nurses can achieve this goal by incorporating a home risk assessment into patient education. For instance, nurses should identify and document whether the patient has smoke alarms, whether or not the patient stays alone, the cognitive ability, and whether individuals smoke in the home (Home Care: 2023 National Patient Safety Goals, 2022).

Article

Power, L., Dunnett, S., & Jackson, L. (2019). Technology-assisted risk assessment in-home care. Proceedings of the 29th European Safety and Reliability Conference (ESREL). https://doi.org/10.3850/978-981-11-2724-3_0910-cd

According to Power et al. (2019), patients discharged to their homes have an increased risk of readmission of transitioning to home care. Nevertheless, the home environment hinders the ability of healthcare providers to predict and mitigate this risk which limits timely interventions.

Technology can resolve this concern via data collection. Power et al. (2019) examined the essential observations for forming effective risk assessments and interventions at home using remote monitoring through Bluetooth low energy (BLE) sensors for the common causes of hospital readmissions, including observed difficulties in activities of daily living (ADL), heart rate fluctuations and falls.

The findings of this remote monitoring access demonstrated patterns within sensor data that could be used in a home environment to structure an effective patient risk analysis and subsequent care plan to evaluate outcomes and the possibility of readmission.

How will this shift to home care impact your day-to-day nursing practice?

The shift to home care impacts day-to-day nursing practice in several ways. Technology shift to home care will facilitate effective communication, interprofessional collaboration, and care coordination which will enhance nursing care by improving patient care (Booth et al., 2021).

Additionally, this shift will enable nurses to assume greater roles in the outpatient setting with regard to informatics, geriatric care, transitioning from acute care to home, and coaching. Finally, this shift will enable nurses to acquire novel skills and expertise in relation to the evolution of the healthcare system and the emergence of more complex chronic conditions.

References

Booth, R. G., Strudwick, G., McBride, S., O’Connor, S., & Solano López, A. L. (2021). How the nursing profession should adapt for a digital future. BMJ (Clinical Research Ed.)373, n1190. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.n1190

Home Care: 2023 National Patient Safety Goals. (2022). Jointcommission.org. https://www.jointcommission.org/standards/national-patient-safety-goals/home-care-national-patient-safety-goals/

Power, L., Dunnett, S., & Jackson, L. (2019). Technology-assisted risk assessment in-home care. Proceedings of the 29th European Safety and Reliability Conference (ESREL). https://doi.org/10.3850/978-981-11-2724-3_0910-cd