About the SeniorAdvisor.com 2014 In-Home Innovation Scholarship: We started the scholarship program to bring awareness of the unique benefits and challenges of in-home caregiving for seniors to younger generations. The questions posed by the scholarship encouraged our nation’s future caregivers to present solutions for improving home care in the United States. College-aged students were required to answer one of the three essay topics below and provide a short bio as part of their scholarship application. Read the winning essays here.
How can the healthcare industry use technology to improve in-home care for American seniors?
Essay response by Alexis Thrasher, Auburn University
Technology is changing the whole world every day. But how can that change the in-home care system for American seniors? Imagine if nurses could spend less time on the phone and sifting through paperwork, and more time focusing on their patients. Not only can technology decrease the amount of time a nurse uses to update patient charts, but it can also allow a quicker access to an array of information. These two improvements by technology can change the dynamic of in-home care by giving nurses more time and information with their patients.
First, technology can allow nurses to spend less time on filling out paperwork and charts. New systems can be implemented to make documenting information easier and quicker. New devices, such as a hand-held or tablet, could make inserting results and patient information much quicker than having to flip through and chart and write it down. These electronic charts can also allow nurses to send and share information immediately, as well as fast access to charts. These new technologies will not only make documentation easy, but it will also give nurses more time with the patient caring for them. Nurses will have more one-on-one time with patients, helping them with their everyday activities. Technology would improve in-home care significantly by making charts more accessible and allow nurses to spend more time caring for their patients.
Second, technology can give nurses more access to information, such as drug and medical record information. Paper charts limit the amount of people that can get information on the history of a patient, and technology can improve this. In addition, technology can help give instant feedback on a patient’s results, such as blood pressure or blood sugar. Technology would make it easier for nurses to send this information to the patient’s physician and make it quicker to discuss treatment plans with the physician. Another way technology can improve this aspect of in-home care is to allow nurses to access medical information on drugs or patient results to improve a nurse’s decision making when treating a patient. This is important because it allows nurses to draw more accurate information and maximize treatment. It can also give nurses real-time monitoring of their patients, which can give nurses more accurate results. Therefore, technology can greatly improve the way nurses treat their patients.
Overall, technology can greatly improve in-home care. It provides an easier way to update and access a patient’s chart and medical history. Technology can give nurses a quicker way to analyze vitals and make better decisions for treating their patients. In-home care has greatly improved the way that seniors live, and is a great way for them to live their life while having the assistance that they need. Technology, though, can greatly improve this already helpful health-care system. The future of in-home care will be very bright if technology can be implemented.
Alexis is a sophomore at Auburn University. She is studying Biomedical Sciences with a concentration in pre-medicine.