Advancements in science and technology have significantly impacted the healthcare industry. Robotic machines help doctors perform surgeries, epidemiologists have access to advanced tools and systems to help them better understand diseases, and even simple things like online patient portals and telehealth services help practitioners keep better track of patient care and give patients more accessible access to the information and support they need. For nursing, advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) drastically change nurses’ day-to-day lives and capabilities. In a single day or shift, nurses have to juggle any number of tasks from general patient care and monitoring to administering medications and treatments to communicating with doctors. They also have to stay on top of administrative tasks like charting patient records, interacting with insurance providers, and handling other types of paperwork.
AI, a type of technology that can learn and adapt to support and supplement human tasks, can help nurses work more efficiently and increase their capabilities. In addition, with the help of AI-powered systems and devices, such as IoT wearables, nurses can also significantly improve patient care and the future of health policy.
Let’s take a look at some of the many ways nurses can partner with AI to ease their workload and provide better care:
Nurses have used clinical information and other digital support systems to input clinical data and collect helpful information for a while. However, with the implementation of AI into these systems, nurses can now gather data on a whole new level. AI computer processes can now evaluate data to provide more accurate answers to questions and provide predictions on patient outcomes by identifying trends or patterns in the data that normal humans often miss.
There are many ways AI tech can be implemented in the healthcare setting. AI-powered voice assistance systems, for example, can help nurses perform tasks more quickly and keep them on schedule and better informed. They can ask systems for information using voice commands, such as retrieving information on patients or policies and having systems verbally remind them of their schedule and tasks they need to perform.
Machine learning processes and systems can also make decisions and take care of tasks for you, which can lighten a nurse’s workload. For instance, AI systems can use patient information that is inputted into the system to identify when they need to come in for their next appointment or be scheduled for a treatment or test, and it can go ahead and prepare those things for them. It can also automatically send results and notifications about tests, appointments, and treatment plans to the patient and their care team.
Better Patient Care and Treatment
Expert AI-powered systems used to find anomalies and solve problems can better identify and diagnose diseases and conditions in patients. Visual recognition software, for example, can help nurses identify and catch issues that they might not have noticed themselves. This can include assessing and diagnosing wound integrity, monitoring breathing patterns, and even identifying non-verbal cues for pain.
Nurse often have to run back and forth all day checking on patients, but with AI systems that can monitor and alert them if anything is wrong, they can stress less and provide better-focused care. An AI system can monitor a patient’s hormone levels, for example, and notify the nurse if their testosterone levels drop too low or go too high. This is something simple that an overworked nurse could miss but could now better keep track of with the help of an AI monitoring device.
Machine learning systems can also identify patterns and trends to alert nurses to patients at increased risk for infection, falls when getting out of the hospital bed, sepsis, and relapse. On the administrative side, AI can help nurses identify patients experiencing hardship and might need financial assistance to afford care. It can predict the cost of care that the patient may need based on the condition they are being treated for.
IoT Medical Devices
IoT, such as IoT medical devices and wearables, is essentially smart devices that can connect to the internet to gather, share, and process data. These devices enable nurses to collect real-time patient data, receive alert notifications, and help with patient monitoring. Instead of running around the hospital checking on patients one by one, they can receive the information they need directly to their phone, a computer, or a wearable device like a smart wristband or smartwatch.
The Future of Health Policy
Nurses are crucial when it comes to implementing and upholding health policies. They are the ones who spend the majority of their time interacting with patients and caring for their needs, which means they are the ones that can recognize where mistakes are being made and how policies and procedures can be improved. With AI systems, nurses can more easily recognize flaws and communicate with other team members and their superiors what changes need to be made to improve policies to provide better patient care. They can also use AI to address and correct these inefficiencies.
While AI cannot replace healthcare workers entirely, it can significantly improve their daily lives and the lives of their patients. IoT technology is especially crucial as it reduces the chances of errors or mistakes by helping nurses better manage their workload and monitor their patients.
Sometimes, nothing is better than the human touch, and patients will generally benefit from still having face-to-face interactions with their nurses and the care and attention that they give them. But AI can lighten their load and complement what they already do, enabling them to provide more focused and attentive care.