RE: Discussion – Week 6
As we continue in the issue of COVID, I have seen a great deal of changes that have occurred in the health care field specifically related to technology. In the eating disorder clinic, I work at as a RN, due to the inability of patients meeting in the clinic setting on campus, all therapy sessions, including group and individual, as well as visits with the Psychiatrist, had to go virtual, by the use of zoom. Thrive works (2020), discusses that multiple individuals are looking into Zoom Counseling, and other online counseling services, due to the fact that it is the most convenient and comfortable counseling option, as it maintains value that can be found in in-person counseling. I may have to disagree with this statement, as I find that in-person would serve as the most appropriate and effective way. I find that “internet” counseling is very impersonal and depending on where it is taking place, it could potentially risk a violation of privacy.
One of the potential benefits of using zoom technology, as a way for counseling, is the fact that not everyone has the ability to drive somewhere for in person therapy sessions, or for any type of psychological or medical appointment for that matter. Zoom creates an easy way for providers to communicate with their patients without having to disturb their entire day of possibly at home responsibilities or work. Zoom can be easily done at any type of device which contains internet accessibility. The risk, as mentioned in the first paragraph, is always a potential violation of privacy. The patient does not specifically know if the provider is in a secure location where either their co workers can not hear, or if the provider is seeing patients in their own home, there is no sure way family members can not hear the discussion.
Although I am grateful for the many accomplishments which have occurred in the health care field dealing with technology, I am much more “old school”, if you will, dealing with some of the past ways we have done things in health care. Even so, one of the advances I would say which has improved healthcare practice, and the safety of patients, is the need to scan the patients before delivering medications in the hospital setting. A study was conducted on the benefits of implementing eMAR and BCMA technology for reducing administration of medication errors. This took place in a 415-bed hospital in New England. Results showed a decrease in transcription errors, which was likely due to the eMAR implementation. There was not a high finding for decreased rates of administration errors, although, findings indicated a significant decrease in rates of harm caused to patients (Truitt et al, 2016).
There are up to 7,000 deaths a year attributed to adverse drug events (ADE) from medication errors. Bar code and radio frequency identification (RFID) systems can prevent many of the errors which occur, due to the ability to provide accurate, and a convenient way to collect and share real-time information in a patient-care setting (Data Ray USA, n.d.). In order to combat the ADE’s, which occur not only in our nation, but worldwide, I believe it is very beneficial for wrist scanning of patients to continue in efforts to decrease unnecessary patient deaths.
Data Ray USA. (n.d.). Statistics. Retrieved from https://datarayusa.com/resources/stats/
Thrive Works. (2020). Zoom Counseling: Receive Telehealth for Your Mental Health By Video. Retrieved from https://thriveworks.com/online-counseling/zoom/
Truitt, E., Thompson, R., Blazey-Martin, D., NiSai, D., and Salem, D. (2016). Effect of the Implementation of Barcode Technology and an Electronic Medication Administration Record on Adverse Drug Events. Hospital Pharmacy, 51(6), 474-483, doi:10.1310/hpj5106-474
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RE: Discussion – Week 6
The general healthcare technology trend I have observed in many healthcare organizations is the use of patient portals. I have explained information on patient portal access and its purposeful usage while working in the emergency room upon discharge. Also, I access my health information and communicate with my primary care provider through a patient portal. “A patient portal is a secure online website that gives patients convenient, 24-hour access to personal health information from anywhere with an Internet connection” (HealthIT, 2017).
The potential challenges in using a patient portal are getting patients to set up access. Frequently patients will ask if their test results and information can be seen from their PCP while being treated in the ER, primarily when they cannot provide accurate information. Assessing their awareness of patient portals, they verbalize understanding but remain reluctant to sign up. “They aren’t thinking ahead to that unplanned emergency department visit where a portal would let them pull up their medication, allergy, and problem lists on their phone for the doctor to see” (Adler, 2015). Another challenge is understanding how to use the patient portal and maneuver throughout the app. Literacy can be due to the patient population’s diversity because it will include immigrants, older patients, and people with limited literacy skills per Kooji, Groen, & Harten, 2018. Informing a patient of the availability of the app is not good enough, “if apps are prescribed for patients, then it is our responsibility to educate the patient and/or family on proper use” (McGongile & Mastrian, 2017).
One potential benefit associated with data safety is the availability to provide patient data readily. “Governed by the rules of HIPAA regarding sensitive health information, these portals are designed for security and hosted on a secure site ” (Boost Medical, 2019). For patient safety, they have availability to verify accurate data input. “because patients have access to their medical records, it is easy for them to spot inaccurate information and bring it to their provider’s attention” (Boost Medical, 2019). Risks to data safety and patient care are the use of internet services to access a patient portal. It poses dangers to leakage of patient information. “The biggest concern is the security of a patient’s sensitive medical data” (Medical Boost, 2019). An additional risk is healthcare provider verifying patient identity online using the patient portal. Lewis, 2020 supported that Healthcare organizations are not required to adopt any one cybersecurity framework or authentication method under HIPAA; however, increasing cybersecurity and implementing multifactor authentication for access to patient portals certainly helps as a security rule.
Patient portal access impact nursing practice in terms of quicker responses. Nurses can provide faster answers in a portal versus long phone wait times, which prolong office patients’ care. The ability to provide written material for patient information such as disease process, procedures and medications versus verbal explanations over the phone offers a significant risk for forgetfulness or office visits. Also, with nursing shortages, the use of patient portals potentially decrease office visits for small issues. McGonigle & Mastrian, 2017, stated, “a significant increase is expected in the use of information technology tools in nursing venues in the coming decades.”
An increase in the use of patient portables will contribute to improvements in patient care outcomes, efficiencies, and data management because it allows the communication between patients and healthcare providers to happen in a timelier manner than awaiting office visits or returned phone calls. “Patient portals allow you and your office staff to quickly deliver lab tests and confirm appointments without repeated phone calls” (Boost Medical, 2019). For example, a patient having critical lab results is unavailable to reach via phone; therefore, a voicemail is left for urgency to access the patient portal without HIPPA violations. The provider communicated actual lab results and urgency in the patient portal to seek further care at the emergency room. These actions decrease patient care delays in awaiting next day information versus an immediate trip to the emergency room to provide additional patient care.
Adler, K.G. (2015). Patient Portals: The Good, the Bad, and the Inevitable. Journal of Family Practice Management. 2015, Jan-Feb;22(1):4. Retrieved from https://www.aafp.org/fpm/2015/0100/p4.html
Boost Medical. (2019). 10 Benefits of Patient Portals You Can’t Miss for Your Practice. Retrieved from https://www.boostmedical.com/benefits-of-patient-portals/
HealthIT. (2017). What is a patient portal? Retrieved from https://www.healthit.gov/faq/what-patient-portal
Lewis, J. (2020). The National Law Review, Vol.IX, No 212. Retrieved from https://www.natlawreview/article/your-patient-portal-secure-study-shows-healthcare-organizations-traditional
McGonigle, D., & Mastrian, K. G. (2017). Nursing informatics and the foundation of knowledge (4th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning