Like many other fields, nursing is evolving rapidly in today’s world. Specifically, technological innovations are helping to propel the field to the next level and make nurses more effective in their roles.
One incredibly significant innovation in the field of nursing is that of data analytics. Essentially, this innovation is helping nurses be more accurate while streamlining their duties in many ways.
This change is having a significant impact on nursing education across the globe and the approaches taken to preparing nurses for the field.
This being the case, aspiring nurses should be prepared to dive deep into data analytics on their journey to becoming qualified healthcare professionals.
Here is the role of data analytics in nursing education.
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The Growing Role of Data Analytics in Healthcare
Over the last decade, healthcare has experienced several significant changes. Many of these advancements have come from new technology finding meaningful applications in the healthcare space.
In today’s world, data analytics alters healthcare processes in various impactful ways. These changes are helping healthcare professionals perform their roles more effectively and provide more patients with positive health outcomes.
Some key ways in which data analytics impact healthcare include:
- Remote patient monitoring: Given technological innovations, various devices can now monitor patient health remotely. Using analytical data related to health, these devices can notify healthcare professionals when they detect anomalies that could mean a more significant health issue is occurring.
- Crafting treatment plans: One of the most critical and challenging parts of treating patients is creating health plans. However, machine learning technology can utilize analytical data to craft a treatment plan efficiently based on specific patients’ symptoms and personal information.
- Reducing human error: While nurses and other healthcare professionals are highly trained, the fact remains that all humans sometimes make errors. Unfortunately, when it comes to the realm of healthcare, these errors can harm patients and, in extreme cases, even lead to death. Fortunately, data analytics are helping to guide nurses and other healthcare professionals in their duties and, as a result, reduce instances of human error.
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How AI and Machine Learning are Making Data Analytics More Accessible and Useful
As noted, AI and machine learning technology are helping healthcare professionals take advantage of health-related data in impactful ways. One specific way is crafting treatment plans for patients based on various factors.
Essentially, machine learning software considers patients’ symptoms and personal details. It then scours big data sets to see how other individuals with similar traits have been treated and which treatments have been the most effective.
This information is then synthesized and presented to healthcare officials, who can use it to guide how they treat their patients.
Despite nurses, doctors, and other healthcare officials having a profound and impressive understanding of human health, they can’t retain the information found in large data sets.
In addition, it would take even the most adept and skilled humans a valuable amount of time to scour big data sets and generate these insights.
As such, AI and machine learning technology perform tasks that are nearly impossible for humans to perform and do so efficiently and streamlined.
This highlights one of the most significant ways that data analytics impacts the work of nurses and other healthcare professionals in the modern era.
The Rise of Nursing Informatics
A new field called nursing informatics has arisen amid innovations involving data analytics in healthcare.
This field blends nursing with data analytics and uses data-related technology and processes to improve patient experiences and outcomes.
Nurse informatics specialists hold a specific and unique role they train for, meaning registered nurses can’t simply become nurse informatics specialists without extra training, showcasing a significant shift in healthcare.
Namely, data is now seen as a powerful tool for helping healthcare professionals achieve their goals.
While BSN programs aren’t training nurses to become nursing informatics specialists, more and more programs are now focusing more on data and the tools used to glean their insights.
Predictive Analytics in Healthcare
In healthcare, detecting ailments and diseases early is incredibly important. In many cases, identifying diseases too late can result in patients not being cured.
As a result, healthcare professionals do everything in their power to be effective in their roles and identify potentially risky symptoms as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, this process is often easier said than done. Since each person is unique, has their own lifestyle habits, and has a different genetic makeup, doing this effectively is incredibly difficult for nurses, doctors, and healthcare professionals.
Thankfully, AI and data analytics are critical in helping healthcare professionals engage in meaningful predictive analytics.
AI can quickly and accurately analyze massive data sets to uncover each patient’s potential risks.
As a result, they can effectively predict what ailments specific patients are at a high risk of developing.
With the help of these insights, doctors can provide preventative treatment to patients that help them stay healthy.
Ultimately, this has the power to radically alter patient health outcomes and significantly increase the lifespans of countless people worldwide.
How Big Data and Data Analytics Are Impacting Nurse Workflows
Believe it or not, big data and data analytics are helping nurses and nurse leaders improve their workflows in significant and beneficial ways.
Specifically, nursing teams are now turning to analyses of healthcare-related data to determine how to treat patients and function more efficiently.
This includes changing how they approach tasks such as recording patient information, taking vitals, and administering medications.
Ultimately, using insights to determine which team members should perform which roles in which order has the power to streamline operations radically.
This typically results in better patient experiences and more meaningful collaboration among nursing teams.
Given the many benefits of taking this workflow approach, many nursing teams are now turning to data to improve how they work.
As time passes, this approach will likely continue to rise in popularity and significantly boost efficiency in healthcare settings nationwide.
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How Nursing Education is Changing to Keep Up with the Evolving Healthcare Space
Though there have been a wide variety of technological innovations in the healthcare space over the last several decades, the increasing reliance on data is proving to be one of the most important.
This is because data changes how healthcare professionals perform their roles and help patients achieve the best possible health outcomes.
As a result, nursing programs must prepare nurses in different ways to equip them with the skills and knowledge necessary to thrive in modern healthcare settings.
Some changes that nursing programs are undergoing include:
- Teaching nurses to utilize new tools and technology: As mentioned, machine learning-powered data analytics software is becoming a crucial part of healthcare in the modern world. To address this innovation in the space, some nursing programs are teaching aspiring nurses how to use these tools effectively. In addition, nurses are now being taught about smart beds and remote monitoring technology that they will likely encounter in their healthcare careers.
- Teaching nurses to understand the impact of data analytics on healthcare: Given the many ways that data analytics can now be used to improve patient outcomes, nurses are being taught about the impact of this evolving field and practice. Beyond this, they must become involved with the processes specialists engage in to cultivate insights generated by healthcare-related data.
- Teaching nurses to be familiar with electronic health records: Over the past decade, electronic health records have taken healthcare by storm. They have made it easier for medical organizations to share, access, store, and record up-to-date patient records. Given that nurses will be using and interacting with electronic healthcare records consistently, nursing programs are helping soon-to-be nurses become more familiar with these types of records and the associated software.
Much like healthcare, nurse training constantly evolves to keep up with the times. As innovations enter healthcare, nurse training will undoubtedly advance to prepare nurses for the consistently changing world.
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Why Nurses Need to Be Trained for Data-Driven Healthcare
One of the biggest challenges in healthcare today is a lack of qualified healthcare professionals. Sadly, healthcare and nursing statistics indicate this problem will likely worsen over the next decade.
The implications of a growing shortage of healthcare professionals are significant and dangerous.
Ultimately, this will result in patients receiving worse care and experiencing worse health outcomes.
As a result, many in the healthcare space are looking for solutions that can lessen the devastating effects of this increasingly dramatic problem.
Fortunately, data analytics and AI technology are viable solutions to this critical issue.
Though these innovative forms of technology alone won’t be able to solve the healthcare worker shortage crisis, they will more than likely play a role in solving it.
Specifically, data analytics and AI are streamlining various processes and making healthcare professionals more effective.
From predicting what types of ailments patients are likely to develop based on their genetic makeup to creating treatment plans quickly, these technologies will help nurses and their peers more effectively and efficiently treat patients.
For this reason, nurses entering the workforce must be well-versed in data analytics and the tools used to glean insights from big data.
As a result of familiarity with these processes, new nurses will be better equipped to deal with the ramifications of significant nursing shortages.
This is a crucial reason nursing programs incorporate data analytics into their programs and train nurses to use various new technological tools.
Hopefully, this newfound focus on preparing nurses in this way will continue to grow and expand in exciting ways in the coming years.
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What These Changes Mean for Professionals Looking to Pursue Nursing as a Second Career
Given the high demand for nurses in the current world and the fact that it’s estimated that this demand will grow, many professionals today are considering pursuing nursing as a second career.
Nursing education is evolving, impacting the educational experiences of healthcare professionals.
However, this is not necessarily a bad thing, given the evolving nature of the nursing profession.
Since nursing education has evolved significantly over the past decade, those attending programs today will be trained in areas and subject matter that are more pertinent to the current healthcare field.
This includes utilizing healthcare-related data to glean insights and understanding the many new tools and forms of technology nurses now have to use consistently.
This being the case, anyone looking to step into a new career field and pursue nursing shouldn’t be dissuaded by changes in the industry.
This allows these individuals to be better prepared for the modern healthcare industry and the many new tools it regularly utilizes.
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The Nursing Field is Changing in Significant Ways
As healthcare evolves in impactful ways, nurses must learn new skills and engage in innovative practices to keep up with the times.
To ensure that nurses are prepared for this advancing field, nursing programs nationwide are changing how they train aspiring nurses.
Specifically, there is a growing focus on tools and processes related to data analytics and how they can be leveraged to improve patient experiences and health outcomes.
As time passes, these lessons will likely become a staple in nursing training globally.