Is Technology the Answer?
By Ibby Smith Stofer
Is technology the answer to future efficiency and enhanced quality of life?
Technology has improved our productivity and satisfaction. It is difficult to imagine what our day would be like without a computer or smart phone. We use technology to communicate, discover answers, and send us reminders. These simple technological advancements are so ingrained into our process that we no longer see them as advancements.
However, does technology actually simplify life and work? Individuals in the healthcare industry face that question daily. This is because healthcare clinicians continually monitor bedside machines, enter duplicate data entries into multiple systems, and view screens that are difficult to see and messages that may not be their primary language.
Look at the picture above of a typical ICU bedside.
How many devices or machines can you count? Multiple monitors, tangled IV lines running through multiple infusion devices, a computer at the bedside, and a medicine cabinet surround the patient. Orders and alerts are coming electronically to the clinician. Data is being sent to the patient’s electronic health record. The data sequences, abbreviations, and complex messages fall to the clinician’s interpretation.
Just like the smart phone industry, it is imperative that as medical device companies introduce new technology they consider size, ease of use, and interaction with other bedside devices. Clinicians and patients deserve that consideration. Clinicians should not have to trip over or move devices to get to the patient. The integration of “smart” technology can improve patient care and outcomes. Data can be well-organized and simple to view and act upon.
Technology users must think about how they use the technology and consider what might make it better. Share your feedback and ideas with the developers. If you are a healthcare professional, let the device manufacturers know what works, what doesn’t, and your ideas on how to improve their design or application. On the other hand, technology designers must think beyond efficiency and profits. Let your customers use the proposed changes to the devices and then provide you with feedback.
Technological advancements require healthcare providers to continually update and upgrade equipment. Med One Capital recognizes that need and provides facilities with the option to have the latest versions and new products.
Expect to utilize technology in your daily life, no matter what your profession is. Your input will make your life and the life of others better if assessments and desires are shared. Technology changes without user feedback can result in frustrations, errors, and other issues.