The use of computers in nursing has been significantly increased. The innovation in computer technology and development in medicines has provided many improved techniques in the nursing field. The nurses along with doctors can make detailed plans for the patient’s healthcare. The computers have helped in the monitoring of the patient within any location of the organization. Better diagnosis techniques help in the early detection of diseases. Advance labs with computer-assisted technology have played wonders in diagnosis and detection.
Healthcare has become inseparable from computer-assisted technology and so in nursing. Nursing requires computer aid for better care and treatment of the patient.
What are some common uses and applications of computers in nursing and health care?
- To track the health progress of the patient
- To use Personal Digital Assistant (PDA)
- To communicate with different department
- To perform a complicated surgical procedure
- To manage the inventory of health clinics
- To provide offsite care to the patients
- To provide information through websites
- To account for bills and receipts
- To perform Data Analysis of Medicines
- To assist in therapy
Top 5 Uses of Computer in Nursing (Infographic)
The nursing sector is one of the places where computers are integrating to assist the healthcare and treatment of patients. There are various uses of computers in different industries that increased their growth exponentially in less than a decade.
First, let’s discuss Top 10 uses of computers in nursing in greater detail.
Use of computer to track health progress
The computers in nursing are used to track the health record of the patient and then provide suitable treatment based on reports.
Many instruments are attached to the body of the patient for monitoring the heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen levels, and many more. All these instruments are then attached to specialized machines that provide real-time data for the same. The reports that are generated by all the specialized machines are provided to the computer system.
The computer system then has the data from all the specialized machines and the computer system stores these data in a database. Therefore, all the necessary data of all time of every patient is saved in a database. This data then helps the doctors and nurses to track the progress of each patient and based on these data only the doctors prefer the medication to be continued on the patient. Any major improvement and degradation in the performance of the patient’s health can be brought into the light and then required actions can be taken immediately.
Use of computer as Personal Digital Assistant (PDA)
Personal digital assistants (PDA) are handheld computing devices that provide information related to medicines, procedures, etc. and also it helps to calculate multiple items such as IV rates, doses or weights, etc.
The personal digital assistants are similar to any smartphone which is highly customized for nursing and medicines. The personal digital assistant can perform a wide variety of tasks that can range from communication, searching for the right medicine to prescribe, calculating any specific metric that is required in medicines. Also, the PDAs are connected to the world wide web that helps the doctors and nurses to search for reference within professional journals or study the research article by other experts.
Use of computer to communicate within the organization
The computer in nursing can help to establish communication between various departments within the organization.
The computers help the communication of the information within different departments of the same organization without any barrier. The patient’s test reports (eg. an X-ray scan) when processed by the Laboratory department can be uploaded under the name of the patient which has unique numbers allotted to them, then the doctors in another department ( eg. respiratory department) can access these reports and then provide the suitable medication on those reports. Similarly, different nurses can track the reports of the patients that are provided by the different department’s doctors and laboratories, and then keep track of patient daily medications and requirements.
Communication within different locations in the organization is possible with the help of an intranet (a network of computers within the organization). In the intranet, some main computers have higher permissions and grants than other computers. The main computer can control the services and functionality of other computers. Many software applications work on these intranets and provide the interface for communication.
Use of computer to perform the surgical procedure
Computers are very important in surgeries as a surgeon relies on computers for monitoring the patient in real-time.
The computer is an essential part of surgical procedures. There are many surgeries where the surgeon has to depend on live medical imaging so that the surgeon can monitor the equipment inside the internal organs closely. In such cases, the surgeons are provided the live feeds from devices that are present inside the body and the live medical images that are provided by this equipment are magnified on the computer screen. This is required so that surgeons can know the accurate position of the surgical instruments inside the body.
Also, if anything goes wrong during the procedure the equipment that is monitoring the various body levels will alarm the surgeon so that they can revert the situation or halt the procedures. All these complicated procedures are only possible with the help of computers.
Use of computer for inventory management
The computers in nursing are responsible for inventory management which is necessary for hospitals and health clinics.
The inventories are places where the large stocks and supplies of medicine and equipment are stored. If some medicine in the clinic is not available the person will then check its availability in the hospital inventory with the help of computers and if the person does not find the medicine in the inventory then the person can tag that item as “empty” and this will be reflected in every clinic in each department with the organization.
The IT companies can design specialized inventory management software based on the requirement of the organization.
Use of computer for offsite care
The computers provide the medium to monitor the patient from outside the organization.
There are times when the doctor or nurses have to be outside the organization and if some patient requires a doctor’s attention for some medication then in such cases the doctor can access the organization network and analyze the report of the patient and then provide the accurate medications.
The offsite care can only take place when the organization network is connected to the internet and the doctors or nurse can access this network from the internet.
Use of computer to maintain the organization site
The computers are used to maintain the information related to organizations that are made available to the public through the organization’s website.
The organization website is a great place to obtain information about various health-related topics from the industry leader. The organization can use the website to provide information about important events and dates in an organization.
The website can be specifically designed for their user role such as a patient can view the records of medical expenses on the website with the help of ID and password, the doctors can view the performance on the patient with allotted ID and password.
The website of the organization also provides information about health-related articles and the authenticity of these articles is verified by other industry experts. The other industry expert can cite those articles and increase the authenticity of the organization website,
Any research work is done by the doctor and is made available to the public on the organization’s website and the more citations to the research by other people can make the work of a doctor to be more valuable.
Use of computer for billing & receipts
The computers can be used for calculating the cost of clinical evaluation and medical expenses.
Various bills are generated from medical evaluation and these bills and receipts are stored and maintained within the computer database. Also, the accounting of bills requires adding various taxes therefore in this case the computer helps to calculate the bills and provide the receipts based on these bills to the patient.
Use of computer in Data Analysis of Medicines
There is a large amount of data that is present in the computers which are used for data analysis of medicines in medical research.
This data can be compiled from various sources such as many organizations (eg. WHO) makes their data public to be available for medical research. The statistical tests are applied to this data such as t-test, ANOVA, Chi-square Test, etc. These statistical tests provide greater insights into the data and help the researchers to detect patterns.
Earlier these statistical tests were done on pen and paper with a calculator. Today, various statistical packages are available online for free. There’s a lot of calculation in these statistical tests and we can perform these calculations with the help of computer packages that are available for these tests.
The use of computers in data analysis of medicines has increased the accuracy and reduced the time taken for these tests.
Use of computer in Therapy
The computers are used in therapy for regulating the medicine concentration and dosage regimen.
The computers assist the nursing by providing information on the dosage of the medicines and how these medicines are affecting the performance of the patient. This helps in monitoring how the medicine is affecting the therapy and further planning of the dosage can be done on this basis.
Frequently Asked Question (FAQ)
Why do we use computers in healthcare?
The computers are greatly used in healthcare for a variety of purposes such as providing communication and sharing reports with different departments, checking the status and conditions of the patients, sharing and improving upon medical researches, and many more.
What computer is important in nursing?
The computers are important in nursing as they provide quick access to the status of the patient, prepare treatment plans for computer-generated reports, nurses can access information from labs and provide treatment to patients, etc.
Do nurses need to be knowledgeable on the use of computer technology in relation to nursing?
The nurses should know the basics of computer technology concerning nursing. The nurse doesn’t require a computer degree but good computer skills help the nurse to be more efficient and productive.
What computer skills do nurses need?
There are various computer skills and assisted technology that can help the nurses such as knowledge of electronic medical record systems, personal digital assistants, e-prescriptions, etc.
Aayush Kumar Gupta is the founder and creator of ExploringBits, a website dedicated to providing useful content for people passionate about Engineering and Technology. Aayush has completed his Bachelor of Technology (Computer Science & Engineering) from 2018-2022. From July 2022, Aayush has been working as a full-time Devops Engineer.