Technology is an integral part of nursing today. Not only do nurses use advanced medical equipment and electronic health records (EHR), they can also incorporate mobile software applications (apps) into their practice to enhance patient care. Nursing apps go beyond study aids used by nursing students. There are apps that help nurses determine diagnosis and treatment options, as well as facilitate communication with other healthcare professionals.
Why Are Apps Important in Nursing?
Nurses rely on effective communication and the latest proven clinical knowledge to provide optimal care. Apps allow nurses to streamline their work and retrieve vital information for patient care.
How Do Apps Help Nurses?
Using mobile apps, nurses can reduce documentation, medication and clinical errors. Rather than fill out paper forms for manual entry into a desktop computer, nurses can input information or look things up on a mobile device without leaving a patient's room. Here are some advantages that apps offer:
- Accurate identification of patients
- Quick access to patient data
- Instant notification of patient vital signs
- Speech recognition for hands-free patient documentation
- Ability to receive warnings about a patient's deteriorating condition
- Timely notifications on patients and work-related issues
- Proper dosage determination using drug reference tools and calculators
What Are the Benefits for Patients?
With apps, patients can be proactive in their own healthcare. New products and apps are available today that do more than track fitness. Innovative wearable devices monitor heart rates and glucose levels so patients can manage chronic conditions. In addition, some devices may detect signs of distress or the potential for an illness. Nurses can take the data from a patient's app or device and use it to develop a care plan. These wearable devices offer a glimpse at the future of healthcare:
- iTBra — Non-invasive detection of breast cancer
- KardiaMobile and KardiaBand — Heart health tracker
- L'Oreal UV Sense — Measurement of exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays
- TempTraq — Patch for babies and adults sends temperature alerts to mobile device
What Are 6 Apps for Nurses?
A multitude of apps exists for nurses. Nurses should consider online tools that simplify workflow, decrease the likelihood of mistakes, provide education about current practices and expand clinical expertise. Here are six useful nursing apps:
- Diseases Dictionary - A free app on disorders and diseases. You can reference symptoms, treatments and medical terminology. Android; Apple
- Medscape - The WebMD app includes drug identification, disease and condition references, news, image collectors, a medical calculator and a dictionary. Android; Apple
- Nursing Central - This mobile resource offers disease, drug and test information. You can type in symptoms and obtain a list of conditions. Android; Apple
- NurseGrid - A scheduling and communication app for nurses created by nurses. Nurses can message coworkers in their department. Android; Apple
- Nurse's Pocket Guide - The app includes a search index for 440 medical conditions with associated nursing diagnoses and care plan guides. Android; Apple
- Pill Identifier - A fast way to identify over 12,000 medications by imprint, shape, color or drug name. Android; Apple
The proliferation of handheld devices is changing healthcare delivery. Mobile apps are becoming popular in nursing because they afford nurses a variety of ways to improve patient care. Through the use of electronic devices and apps, nurses can perform their duties more efficiently. Combining experience and knowledge with technology enables nurses to continue advancing the nursing practice.
Learn more about NSU's online RN to BSN program.
Sources:Aetna: Wearables, Technology: Changing Health Care From Reactive to Proactive
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