The Care Continuum

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Technology Across the Care Continuum
“Continuum of Care is a concept involving a system that guides and tracks patients over time through a comprehensive array of health services spanning all levels and intensity of care.” (HIMSS Committees, n.d.). The continuum of care includes all levels of care during a person’s lifetime. The type of setting may include primary care doctor inpatient or outpatient.
Technology Across the Care Continuum
The care continuum selected to evaluate is the hospital setting on a telemetry unit. The unit admitted patients for a range of ailments from chest pain to hypertension. The telemetry unit needed healthcare technology systems to be updated to improve patient outcomes.
The telemetry unit utilized a telemetry
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Having the phones allowed for the nurse to be sent directly to the patient’s room. According to Turisco and Rhoads, (2008), the response to calls bells decreased.
Other changes in technology at the hospital was the heart monitors. The heart monitors were used to transmit data in real time to the telemetry tech. The telemetry tech printed several heart strips for each patient during her/his shift. Those strips were placed in the chart for each patient. The nurse or doctor caring for the patients could use the strips to treat the patient and track trends.
Central supply decided to track equipment in the hospital. The tracked equipment included heart monitors, IV pumps, tube feeding pumps, bladder scanner, wound vacuums, pedal doppler, and wheelchairs. “In a busy inpatient setting, just locating the necessary equipment is a difficult task, especially when the facility is spread out or the equipment is hidden or located over several floors.” (Turisco and Rhoads, 2008). Tracking down the equipment could take up valuable time that nurses needed to care for
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The biggest barrier is the lack of knowledge. Nurses must be educated on the new technology prior to using the devices. According to Cashin and Cook, (2010), another barrier is fear of altering routines or fear of the unknown. Issues with the phone technology included human error. Many times, nurses were issued a phone with a low battery. The issue was fixed by buying additional batteries for the phones and the batteries could be switched out quickly.
Current Nursing Informatics Theoretical Ideas
“The existence or lack of theoretical frameworks that support nurses to conceptualize the application of technology to practice is an emerging concern for nursing informatics.” (Francis, 2017, para. 7). Technology in nursing continues to use nursing informatics research to evaluate the need for new technology applications. One theory is to educate patients so that they can continue their care after discharge. Education can be provided over technology in the hospital setting. New technology applications can provide education over the computer or television in each room.

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