How technological advancement improves student health care
Technology has a massive impact on how healthcare is delivered. Right from the smart devices we wear to machines used in hospitals to aid in critical surgeries, technology has made massive strides in simplifying and improving the efficiency of care. Technology has also improved access to information, knowledge and methodologies of care making for improved patient experiences.
In schools, technology plays a key role today. School based EHR systems are simplifying management and access of student health records. They are helping school nurses tracking immunization statuses, meet mandatory reporting requirements of local bodies and the state, manage communication with parents and guardians, track health screenings and so on.
How technology is transforming school-based health care
Healthcare providers, delivery systems, health plans and information technology play a role in promoting healthy development and improving student outcomes. Childcare and wellness assessments include reviews on growth, nutrition, development, behavior and school progress, sleep, elimination, and social and family issues; universal screening for common problems such as hearing and vision defects, anemia, and scoliosis; targeted screening of subgroups for conditions such as tuberculosis, lead poisoning; and vaccination.
In these contexts, the adoption of digital technologies has revolutionized the delivery of healthcare and helped in improving outcomes both for patients and for healthcare workers. Using technology is nothing new for school nursing, which has taken the lead most times over the past ten years in using it to engage and collaborate with kids, teenagers, families, and stakeholders.
Post the pandemic, schools, and school-based health centers were motivated to adopt new technologies and approaches.
The major goals that the school healthcare system accomplished with new technologies were
- Increased access to healthcare and lowering healthcare costs
- Better coordination and consolidation in healthcare delivery.
- Simplified prevention and management of chronic diseases.
- Providing medical help and responding to demographic healthcare trends.
What technological trends influenced school healthcare?
One of the key technologies that influenced medicine was EHRs (Electronic Health Records). National League of Nursing (NLN) provided a vision for preparing nursing students for technology. The focus was on electronic health records (EHR) and informatics.
Electronic Health Records are digital versions of a patient’s paper chart. For more than a quarter-century, healthcare organizations in the US have been moving from paper-based medical record practices to using electronic health records. They enable organizations to reduce the high rate of medical errors that occur with timely alerts, by providing relevant information for decision-making, while also serving as a tool for increasing patient safety and reducing overall healthcare costs. They also provide tools to improve clinical accuracy, such as reminders, alarms, and automated processes.
Using electronic information and telecommunication technologies has helped school nurses and health practitioners to facilitate long-distance health care, patient and professional health-related education, and health administration.
Technology continues to have a positive impact on the nursing field and healthcare. Nurses already use EHR systems, wearable devices, and telemedicine to meet the health needs of their patients. Although experts do not always agree on what the future of healthcare looks like, nurses will continue to use machinery and artificial intelligence technology to see more patients per day, administer medications more efficiently, and monitor conditions with complete confidence.
Telehealth or telemedicine is also a rising trend in school health care due to its wide uses. Through telehealth, school nurses can address the health needs of students and their families. Telehealth can be used to address physical or mental/emotional health issues, improve student attendance, and increase the work productivity of parents and caregivers. Telehealth, as a primary care partner, can help to reduce communicable disease outbreaks by enabling providers to quickly diagnose and treat illness, as well as improve student attendance.
Wearable technology is also a trend that can be utilized in health care. It can be used to enable users to easily track their movements throughout the day. Metrics such as total steps taken, heart rate, run or ride pace, or the amount and quality of sleep each night assist individuals in better identifying, tracking, and achieving their health and fitness goals.
The regular information acquired from the wearable monitor can be used for medical purposes. This information can be used as a starting point when communicating with health care providers about general wellness goals or other health markers.
Beyond fitness, wearable technologies are advancing to monitor vital statistics such as a user’s heart rate, lung function, blood oxygen level, and blood sugar. They are even being developed to track and alert the onset of degenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s disease.
The key points to conclude with:
Modern age technology can be implemented for child health care and wellness monitoring and assessments of growth, nutrition, development, behavior and school progress, sleep, absence, universal screening and social and family issues.
Telemedicine and telehealth services expanded during the COVID-19 pandemic. AI applications are gaining traction in supplementing even the most knowledgeable or skilled professionals. The optimization of health data processing through digital means, as well as the general adoption of digital technologies, can rightly be viewed as health enablers.
EHR technology will play a crucial role in school healthcare with future technological advancements. Electronic health record technology has the potential to improve student safety significantly, lower healthcare costs, and reduce facility training costs. Introducing a school based EHR in your school district will help your school nurse office stay on top of all tasks and effectively manage school health administration.