Karen Bravo, Ph.D., MSN, RN
What effect does artificial intelligence have on the practice of clinical or educational nursing now or in the future?
Artificial intelligence has been an intriguing topic in the field of nursing which has been used in many areas of nursing education. Nursing schools integrate artificial intelligence into the curriculum through clinical and virtual simulations that allow students to experience scenarios similar to the real world. It is also essential to assess the knowledge of learners about artificial intelligence to make sure that they are able to learn and feel comfortable in the given setting.
The material that is learned in class can be incorporated in a controlled environment like clinical simulation to evaluate student performance which nursing instructors to provide constructive feedbacks. Clinical simulation and debriefing sessions that use artificial intelligence offers a safe environment for students to improve their critical thinking skills and allows them to practice non-technical skills like collaboration and communication (Harmon et al., 2021). It helps to practice learned skills and build confidence with hands-on experience without the fear of harming the patients. Based on my clinical simulation experience, the mannequins used in the simulation were able to talk, answer questions, and even show signs of distress like screaming in pain. With such advancement in technology, I was also able to assess the mannequin’s vital signs like pulse, respiration, and blood pressure which felt like assessing and interacting with a real patient.
Likewise, artificial intelligence has been making a huge impact on nursing care through robots that are designed to improve nursing practice by reducing tasks for nurses. Physical assistive robots like “Carebots” named Robear looks like a polar bear which has the ability to assist patients with ambulation and move patients from beds or wheelchairs (Watson et al., 2020). Some patients can be difficult to lift and ambulate which can cause risk for falls and may also hinder the safety of both patient and nurse. With the use of such robots, nurses can take a huge breath of relief because it reduces the stress of moving patients around which allows nurses to save their energy and concentrate more on providing direct patient care. In the near future, nurses might be able to delegate various tasks to robots using their clinical judgement which can reduce burnout to a greater extent and improve patient-centered care.
Therefore, the use of artificial intelligence can be beneficial for both future and present nurses as it can provide opportunities for learning, improving patient care, and promoting better outcomes. Clinical simulation and virtual reality are a great platform for student nurses to gain more experience and apply their knowledge to practice. It can also be accessed from the comfort of an individual’s home which allows for better flexibility. The outcomes can be measured efficiently, and feedbacks can be given quickly for improvement. Similarly, nurses should be mindful of what tasks can be delegated to artificial intelligence like robots and closely monitor the outcomes to maintain patient safety. With time, artificial intelligence has the potential to evolve more which can be used for the advancement of nursing care.
Harmon, J., Pitt, V., Summons, P., & Inder, K. J. (2021). Use of artificial intelligence and virtual reality within clinical simulation for nursing pain education: A scoping review. Nurse Education Today, 97, N.PAG. https://doi-org.ezproxy.uta.edu/10.1016/j.nedt.2020.104700
Watson, D., Womack, J., & Papadakos, S. (2020). Rise of the Robots: Is Artificial Intelligence a Friend or Foe to Nursing Practice? Critical Care Nursing Quarterly, 43(3), 303–311. https://doi-org.ezproxy.uta.edu/10.1097/CNQ.0000000000000315
What technical applications (wearable devices, phone applications, etc.) do you think are most important to nursing and why?
In my opinion, I think wearable devices like smartwatches are important to nursing because it can be used to monitor health and wellness of both patients and nurses by tracking heart rate, physical activity, and sleep patterns. Smartwatches are also easy to wear on wrists and provides a user-friendly interface which makes it simple to use.
Wearable devices like smartwatches can provide updated data on patient activities which can be transmitted easily that allows nurses to promptly identify problems and implement interventions to prevent readmissions or negative outcomes (Bove, 2019). Patients can also monitor their health from home and recognize how their sleeping patterns, eating habits, and exercise can directly affect their health condition. Nurses can also teach patients about the difference between normal and abnormal values and instruct them to contact health care providers or nurses if they get abnormal findings. Similarly, nurses can use the data generated from patient’s smartwatch as a component of their assessment which can be made accessible in the electronic health record and recorded as a part of findings (Bove, 2019). This will maintain patient-centered care as nurses will have detailed information about the patient’s daily activities.
Personally, I use Apple watch which reminds me to perform physical activity, encourages me to walk more steps, monitors my heart rate, electrocardiogram (ECG), blood oxygen level, and also reminds me to breathe deeply whenever I feel stressed. The watch is directly connected to my phone which allows sharing of data and allows me to view my overall progress. An interesting aspect of Apple watch is that it enables individuals to produce a single lead ECG that can be used to screen for arrhythmias like atrial fibrillation (AF) which has also been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (Wang et al., 2021). With this potential of Apple watch, patients will be able to detect changes in their heart rhythm and seek early treatment.
Similarly, smartwatch applications have also been designed to monitor medication intake with a goal to increase medication adherence. The developed Android smartwatch application has a sensor data collection system which provides contextual information of patient’s behavior that includes medication intake, feedbacks, and even reminds patients of missed doses (Fozoonmayeh et al., 2020). Better medical adherence can lead to better health outcomes which will minimize hospital visits. In conclusion, the use of smartwatches and smartwatch applications can be fruitful for patients as it provides health insights and can also be cost effective if health issues can be detected early.
Bove, L. A. (2019). Increasing Patient Engagement Through the Use of Wearable Technology. Journal for Nurse Practitioners, 15(8), 535–539. https://doi-org.ezproxy.uta.edu/10.1016/j.nurpra.2019.03.018
Fozoonmayeh, D., Le, H. V., Wittfoth, E., Geng, C., Ha, N., Wang, J., Vasilenko, M., Ahn, Y., & Woodbridge, D. M. (2020). A Scalable Smartwatch-Based Medication Intake Detection System Using Distributed Machine Learning. Journal of Medical Systems, 44(4), 1–14. https://doi-org.ezproxy.uta.edu/10.1007/s10916-019-1518-8
Wang, L., Nielsen, K., Goldberg, J., Brown, J. R., Rumsfeld, J. S., Steinberg, B. A., Zhang, Y., Matheny, M. E., & Shah, R. U. (2021). Association of Wearable Device Use With Pulse Rate and Health Care Use in Adults With Atrial Fibrillation. JAMA Network Open, 4(5), e215821. https://doi-org.ezproxy.uta.edu/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.5821
What is the importance of informatics in or to nursing education or clinical nursing?
Informatics in nursing education is important because technology is evolving every single day, and knowledge of informatics can be helpful for students to be successful in their professional roles. Nursing informatics contains information sciences which helps to identify and manage data information in the practice of nursing (Vottero, 2017). Informatics combined with nursing education can help future nurses become competent in the field of nursing care that heavily relies on technology.
The digital age comes with its own risks and benefits, and it is important for nursing students to learn about both the good and bad sides of technology. Even though many nursing students are familiar with using technology, it is important for nursing educators to invest their time in informatics education to make sure that students understand the application of information technology in patient care which will allow them to be competent to join the health workforce (O’Connor & LaRue, 2021). The use of health information system such as electronic health records can provide easy access to patient records, and document assessment findings. In my clinical experience, I have seen many hospitals use a software tool called “Epic” that allows nurses to find information like patient history, diagnosis, medications, care plans, doctor notes, and also allows nurses to document findings. With the availability of computers with software tools in patient rooms, nurses can easily chart and update patient records while providing nursing care to the patients. It saves time and also offers quality care to the patients.
Although informatics in nursing education is gradually growing, there are still some barriers that affect the implementation of informatics. One of the barriers include lack of faculty proficiency in area of informatics and lack of agreement on how concepts of informatics should be taught in nursing education programs (O’Connor & LaRue, 2021). It is an emerging issue because a lack of expertise in the area of informatics can pose a risk to the quality of health care which directly affects the patient. It can be addressed by providing specific training to the faculty members and emphasizing to follow the trends of the rapidly advancing technology. Currently, technology has the capacity to boost quality and safety in health care and understanding the role of informatics promotes critical thinking associated to the purpose of technology in nursing education and career (Nes et al., 2021). It is also important for nurse educators to assess level of knowledge of students about the use of technology and informatics to get an idea on how to proceed with teaching methods.
Therefore, informatics in nursing education encourages students to learn about the usage of technology to enhance patient care and safety at workplace. Proper training and education on informatics can make patient care easier by saving time, reducing costs, increasing accuracy, and improving decision making skills.
Nes, A. A. G., Steindal, S. A., Larsen, M. H., Heer, H. C., Lærum-Onsager, E., & Gjevjon, E. R. (2021). Technological literacy in nursing education: A scoping review. Journal of Professional Nursing, 37(2), 320–334. https://doi org.ezproxy.uta.edu/10.1016/j.profnurs.2021.01.008
O’Connor, S., & LaRue, E. (2021). Integrating informatics into undergraduate nursing education: A case study using a spiral learning approach. Nurse Education in Practice, 50, N.PAG. https://doi-org.ezproxy.uta.edu/10.1016/j.nepr.2020.102934
Vottero, B. (2017). Teaching Informatics to Prelicensure, RN-to-BSN, and Graduate Level Students. Nurse Educator, 42 (5S), S22-S26. doi: 10.1097/NNE.0000000000000414.
How can current electronic health records utilized in hospitals be updated to become more user-friendly, timely, and accurate?
Electronic health records have been a great asset in healthcare because it provides liberty to health care members by providing complete data and quick access to patient records, enabling faster documentation, and sharing secure information. Current health records utilized in hospitals can be updated by adding artificial intelligence to electronic health records.
Artificial intelligence has a great potential to accentuate electronic health records due to its effective functionality. Artificial intelligence reply to questions asked by evaluating evidence-based data on variety of illnesses as a part of electronic health records and provide data like drug dosage, reactions, and interactions (Bhavaraju, 2018). In this way, it provides credible information quickly and also saves time. Similarly, addition of speech-to-text technology, voice recognition tools, and scroll-down menus to enter data can also be added to electronic health records to make it more user-friendly (Bhavaraju, 2018). Voice recognition with direct documentation into the electronic health records seems like a great idea to make it timely and accurate. According to findings, it has been shown tharat voice recognition in addition to the correction time was five times faster than a normal keyboard entry (Wheatley, 2017). However, with these newer progress in electronic health records, security and confidentiality must also be maintained to prevent invasion of patient information.
Likewise, manual data entry in electronic health records can be time consuming and may cause errors. Automatic data entry tools in the electronic health records can help to reduce data errors and allows nurses to get more time for direct patient care (Bauer et al., 2020). In my recent clinical rotation in a wound clinic, nurses had to take different wound measurements as a part of nursing assessment. They wrote the collected data on a piece of paper, and later transferred it to the electronic medical record. In my opinion, the use of automatic data entry tool and voice recognition at the same time can help nurses document the measurements directly on the electronic heath records which can be user friendly, saves time, and eliminates chances of errors. According to findings, it was shown that the use of automatic data entry tool reduced data errors from nearly 20% to 0%, and also data shifting times were lowered by 5 minutes to 2 hours for every measurement (Bauer et al., 2020). These findings indicate improvement in quality of job, nursing care, and management of time.
In conclusion, the use of artificial intelligence, voice recognition tools, and automatic data entry tools with electronic health records can make it more user-friendly, timely, and accurate. It can help nurses to manage time, provide safe patient care, and improve patient outcomes. It can also increase job satisfaction as nurses will have more time in hand to interact with patient and provide direct patient care.
Bauer, J. C., John, E., Wood, C. L., Plass, D., & Richardson, D. (2020). Data Entry Automation Improves Cost, Quality, Performance, and Job Satisfaction in a Hospital Nursing Unit. JONA: The Journal of Nursing Administration, 50(1), 34–39. https://doi-org.ezproxy.uta.edu/10.1097/NNA.0000000000000836
Bhavaraju, S. R. (2018). From subconscious to conscious to artificial intelligence: A focus on electronic health records. Neurology India, 66(5), 1270–1275. https://doi-org.ezproxy.uta.edu/10.4103/0028-3886.241377
Wheatley, C. (2017). Hands-free charting…As good as it sounds? Nursing Management, 48(11), 25–28. https://doi-org.ezproxy.uta.edu/10.1097/01.NUMA.0000526066.48135.84