The field of nursing is rarely static. Being aware of the driving forces in any field helps individuals find a competitive edge in research, academics and their careers. Three current trends in nursing relate to technology, preventive care, and nursing education, all of which are interconnected and interdependent.
To improve patient outcomes, many hospitals have launched their own clinical decision support systems (CDSS) to provide appropriate, relevant, person-specific data. The CDSS is a tracker that improves the administration of pharmaceuticals, allows faster reactions time to adverse effects, and keeps better track of outcomes to inform future decisions. Such gains in technology affect many aspects of nursing, including the methods healthcare professionals use to prevent the spread of disease, keep data secure and protect patient privacy.
Prevention has been especially popular for U.S. policymakers for its ability to cut costs. With a relatively low upfront cost and a long-term ability to reduce chronic illness, preventive healthcare is one of the biggest trends in nursing. Today, technology has become one of the leading factors for disease prevention. Wearable technology and CDSS come together to give healthcare professionals the information they need to prevent an acute problem from becoming chronic. Nurses will need to understand the value of this technology, how to use it, and how to protect patient privacy.
The introduction of the Affordable Care Act brought additional patients into the healthcare system; patients who may have once relied on the emergency room for help can now schedule regular visits with a primary care provider. These changes are placing greater demands on the healthcare system, which will therefore require a larger labor force, making nursing education more important than ever.
The current trends in nursing are interconnected; to be a truly successful nurse, one must understand each trend and the underlying dynamics. The changing demographics of the patient population have put a strain on the healthcare system, increasing the demand for solutions. Improved nursing education teaches nurses how to use new technology and protect patient privacy. Ultimately, the use of technology to improve patient outcomes along with preventive healthcare measures are some of the best vehicles for reducing healthcare costs.
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