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Technology changes the way the health profession functions. New technologies available today like computerized charting and hospital beds with special features have given the nursing profession the opportunity to work more efficiently and improve safety for their patients. Educating each nurse to the new technologies ensures that these technologies are being utilized effectively. Using additional technologies has revolutionized the way nurses reeive training for thes tools as the become available in the workplace.

Electronic health records (EHR) and electronic medical records (EMR), allow health care practitioners to share vital information with other practitioners, chart immediately with mobile computer stations and utilize transcription software all with one system, theoretically increasing efficiency and decreasing errors. Across the country, health regions and hospitals are pumping billions of dollars into technology, upgrading their antiquated paper-based health records systems into flashy new electronic health records. Instead of lengthy delays waiting for a paper chart or X-ray film from the radiology department, orders and results can be viewed online, digital images accessed electronically and medication histories made available with a few simple clicks (Canadian Business Online, 2006).

In the recent 2009 federal budget the government has committed to investing $500 million dollars to Canada Health Infoway to accelerate the implementation of EMRs across the country in an effort to improve the health of Canadians (Canadian Medical Association, 2009).

A hospital bed is not just a resting place for patients anymore. It is a place for front line care, treatments, rehabilitation, and recovery. The more sophisticated beds with the latest technologies incorporated into them have features such as; hands free controls, under bed lights, built in weight scales, one button positioning, high-low positioning, and bed alarms. Added features such as removable headboard/footboards that can be used as a make-shift cardiac board in code blue situations, built in cradles for oxygen tanks, and air mattresses that significantly reduces or eliminates pressure, all make these new technologies a blessing to the comfort for the patient and efficiency of nursing care (Hill-Rom, 2009).

Technology is advancing in nursing. Nurses and new graduates entering the work environment need proper training to be able to work effectively and efficiently in an enviornment that increasingly depends on information technology to promote patient safety. Powerpoint presentations, multimedia educational programs, inservices (to teach nurses how to operate and product benefits), virtual learning communities, and online instructional environments, are a few methods for teaching nurses. Reputable search engines can quickly provide how to information for nurses as well. Ainsley and Brown (2009) concluded that "including instruction in basic technology (e.g., email, database, and spreadsheet applications) in nursing education is important to adequately prepare nurses and promote evidence-based nursing, communication and collaboration" (Conclusion section).

With advancement in technology in the 21st century, the health sector is right on track. Electronic health records (EHR) "replace paper-based medical records which can be incomplete, fragment (different parts in the different locations), hard to read and (sometimes) hard to find; provide a single, sharable source of information, potentially available anywhere. Require less space and administrative resources; potential for automating structuring and streamlining clinical work flow; provide integrated support for wide range of descrete care activities including decision support, monitoring, electronic prescribing, electronic referrals, radiology, laboratory ordering and results display" (openClinical 2007).

Patients now receive the most effective treatment in a shorter time because health care providers have immediate access to the information necessary to monitor and direct care(Canadian Business Online, 2006). In addition, patient safety has been increased and staff injury has been decreased because of the special features on hospital beds. Technology has even improved staff education of these technologies in a more effective and affordable manner.

CanadianEMR: EMR Comparisons, Ratings, Directory Services and Expert Discussions

Links of Interest:

19 Technologies that Changed Nursing
New and Upcoming Nursing Technology


Ainsley, B., Brown,A. (2009). The Impact of Informatics on Nursing Education:A Review of Literature. The Journal of Continuing Nursing. doi 10.9999/00220124-20090422-02

Canadian Business Online. (2006). Statement. Health’s digital divide: electronic health records. Retrieved from

OpenClinical. (2007). Retrieved from

Canadian Medical Association. (2009). Federal Budget Boosts Canada’s EMR Backbone. Retrieved from

Hill-Rom Online. (2009). Retrieved from

Hospital Bed [Online Image]. (2009). Retrieved from www.dreamstime .

Silver Stethoscope [Online Image]. (2009). Retrieved from www.dreamstime .