5 Important Ways Tech is Supporting Hospital Workers

5 Important Ways Tech is Supporting Hospital Workers

Technology is leading the way as hospitals and clinics around the world fight coronavirus. The latest medical software and health care tech help health care providers give patients the lifesaving care they need as they test and treat COVID-19. From the likes of artificial intelligence to Electronic Health Records, technology is a crucial component in the battle against the virus. Read on to learn five ways technology is helping hospitals combat COVID-19.

1. AI Detects the Spread of COVID-19

In order to fight the coronavirus as effectively as possible, hospitals must rely on testing to detect infected individuals and predict the spread of the virus. Thanks to artificial technology, hospitals and other medical facilities are using AI platforms to provide accurate data and identify trends, helping medical professionals anticipate the spread of COVID-19. To illustrate, systems like Bluedot correctly predicted the path of the virus, alerting epidemiologists to important insights about the movement of the virus.

2. Interactive Maps Monitor Regional Cases

The incredible rate of infection is one of the reasons COVID-19 is especially dangerous. With the rest of the world struggling to keep up with the latest developments regarding the virus, hospitals are relying heavily on interactive maps to monitor regional cases. These interactive maps act as dashboards to track and visualize all reported cases on a daily basis as they display recoveries, confirmed deaths, and new cases of the virus. Sourcing data from the CDC, WHO, and similar organizations from around the world, this technology provides the medical professionals and the general public with real-time data.

3. Innovative Tech Detects the Virus

As the coronavirus spreads at a rapid rate, health care workers struggle to keep up with the rate of infection. The latest technology makes it easier for hospitals and clinics to quickly detect the presence of the virus within hours, making it easier to provide proper medical care to infected individuals. This rapid technology is essential for hospitals that are overcrowded as it will allow health care workers to isolate patients that are infected with the virus from those that are not.

In addition to tech for rapid testing, hospitals and other businesses use thermal imaging technology to determine the status of an individual’s health. These thermal imaging cameras allow businesses and hospitals to scan an individual’s temperature safely to detect if they have a fever. While this technology doesn’t test for coronavirus, it can pinpoint which individuals are at risk with higher than average temperatures.

4. Genome Sequencing Discovers Potential Vaccines

As COVID-19 continues to wage war against the world, scientists and health care professionals are rushing to create a vaccine. Technology like genome sequencing makes it easier to understand how the virus is transmitted, creating a vaccine, monitor viral evolution, and prepare for the future. When it comes to how the coronavirus is transmitted, genome sequencing focuses on understanding variations in the virus’ genetic sequence as genomes are collected from various patients. This allows researchers to create a “family tree” to monitor the spread of the disease.

In addition to understanding how the virus is transmitted, genome sequencing is helpful in designing vaccines and treatments. Researchers can use the information from the gene sequences to design therapies that target specific aspects of the virus. With the help of completed gene sequences, scientists around the world continue to develop diagnostics and vaccines. Additionally, this information will make it easier to track the virus and monitor its evolution as it spreads and changes.

5. Electronic Health Records Give Easy Access to Patient Information

As hospitals fight against the clock to treat COVID-19 patients, it’s important for them to have access to medical software that lets them instantly access patients’ electronic health records. As many patients with coronavirus may also have chronic diseases, instant access to this patient information makes it easier to provide special treatment when fighting the virus. This type of software centralizes patient information, improving the response of healthcare professionals when treating patients.

Technology affects every aspect of the health care industry. With the right tech and advanced software, health care professionals will be well-equipped to treat their clients and meet the needs of those at the forefront of this coronavirus epidemic.

Nurses are Taking the Temperature of the Gig Economy

Nurses are Taking the Temperature of the Gig Economy

The nursing Gig Economy is no longer about agencies. Now, you can gain a more flexible work-life balance by booking your nursing services a la Uber or Lyft! To learn more about the ways nurses can enter the gig economy, DailyNurse interviewed IntelyCare’s co-founder, RN Chris Caulfield.

What is the “gig economy” and how can it benefit nurses who are seeking a better work-life balance?

The gig economy is a labor market of short, temporary jobs, or “gigs.” The unstructured nature of gigs allows nursing professionals the independence and flexibility to build a schedule that balances work and family commitments.

A 2013 report stated that half a million nurses left their profession, and a third of those nurses cited emotional exhaustion as a result. With burnout being such a prevalent concern in the nursing field, it is crucial to provide nurses with work-life-balance – for the good of their health, and the longevity of the profession. The gig economy enables nurses to earn an income while maintaining a better balance in their life, which will hopefully keep them in the profession they love.

What particular challenges are faced by nurses who are parents and spouses?

It is a challenge for any working professional to balance both the responsibilities of work and being a parent or spouse, but there are a few factors that make it even more difficult for nurses.

For nurses, shift start times are rigid, shift end times are unpredictable, and working from home is not an option. As a result, nurses cannot come in a little late if their child misses the bus, nor can they be certain their shift will end on time to do school pick-up. Additionally, if their child is sick, they cannot work from home to take care of them.

Oftentimes, nurses are asked to stay late to cover care gaps. For a parent, this catches them between a rock and a hard place: what do you choose? Abandoning your patients or abandoning your child in the after school pick-up line?

How can nurses make their work lives more flexible in the gig economy?

Nurses can seek out facilities that utilize tech-enabled staffing solutions to build their in-house schedules. These solutions let staff pick up shifts straight from their app, making it incredibly easy to manage their schedule. However, while these solutions are common in hospitals, they are almost nonexistent in most nursing homes.

Another great option is per diem work found via tech-enabled apps which allow nurses to browse and pick up shifts directly from the app, giving them flexibility to choose to work when and where they want. If a nurse can only work weekdays because they want to spend weekends with their family or friends, the gig economy coupled with tech-driven staffing tools combine to support that prerogative.

What apps can nurses use to book nursing “gigs?”

NurseGrid is a real-time shift management tool that allows in-house nursing professionals to manage their schedules and easily pick up and swap shifts with co-workers. NurseGrid also syncs with nurses’ personal calendars and is easily shareable with family and friends, so nurses can better organize their lives.

There are also mobile-based tech applications that give nurses the autonomy to work in multiple facilities. Like our very own IntelyCare, Texas-based Sadiant Health lets nursing professionals browse and choose from a variety of shift locations and times via their app, so that they can build a schedule that works for them. All nursing professionals need is a smartphone and the proper credentials to get started!

Chris Caulfield, RN, NP-C, is the Co-Founder and Chief Nursing Officer of IntelyCare

Yale University School of Nursing Celebrates Opening of New Simulation Lab

Yale University School of Nursing Celebrates Opening of New Simulation Lab

The Yale University School of Nursing recently celebrated the opening of a new simulation lab. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held last week, six months after the university broke ground on the project.

University President Peter Salovey and Dean of the School of Nursing Ann Kurth were present to cut the ribbon and invite students, faculty members, and guests to step foot into the new high-tech space. The new simulation lab was designed based on real-world healthcare settings where students can prepare themselves in simulated scenarios that they might encounter as nurse practitioners or midwives.

The $5 million project allowed for the building of an 8,000-square-foot space, a much larger space than the old simulation lab which was housed in the nursing building’s basement. The new space provides a safe learning environment for students to apply theory to practice, and it opened just in time to be used for the incoming fall class.

Salovey tells YaleDailyNews.com, “I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to see the opening of a wing I didn’t even know was here, that really allows for the education of students using patient actors and lets you practice disaster scenarios and conventional situations.”

Many of the simulations use standardized patients who are real people acting out situations and ailments. Others use mannequins which mimic anything from bleeding to delivering a baby. These improvements are designed to better align the school with the future of health care and the needs of a larger student population.

To learn more about Yale Nursing’s new simulation lab, visit here.

Top Nursing Podcasts

Top Nursing Podcasts

Please note that all links are for iTunes.

1.    Johns Hopkins Health Newsfeed

Stay up-to-date with short podcasts on top medical storiesopens in new window from Johns Hopkins.

Each podcast is only about a minute, but provides nurses with the latest info in medicine. There are other subscription options from Johns Hopkins, such as Cancer News Reviewopens in new window and Brain Mattersopens in new window, which run a bit longer and offer information on specific topics.

2.    The Nursing Show

Tune into this weekly podcastopens in new window for news, tips, education and more for nurses at all levels.

The Nursing Show offers a wide range of content that spans nursing news, commentary and interviews from guest nurses and medication information. The host of the show is Jamie Davis, a nationally recognized medical educator whose programs and resources have been downloaded more than 6 million times by listeners and viewers.

3.    Medical Spanish

Receive interactive audio Spanish lessonsopens in new window to further develop your skills for medical settings.

These podcasts help you acquire medical vocabulary, learn correct pronunciation and understand native speakers. Many podcasts are free, while some podcasts and supplemental materials require a paid subscription. Host Molly Martin, a hospitalist in Minneapolis, Minnesota, also produces a Spanish Grammar Reviewopens in new window podcast.

4.    Travel Nursing Insider Podcast

Get the latest insightsopens in new window into the career of travel nursing.

These podcasts provide a wide range of information and advice for the travel nursing specialty. Learn more about this unique career and how to succeed from insiders who know the industry.

5.    A Cup of Health with CDC

Listen in to learn about interesting health factsopens in new window from the CDC.

The podcasts are presented in short, accessible chunks of two to six minutes and cover a wide range of statistics or facts. While basic, they can be useful when presenting this kind of information to patients to educate them about their health.

6.    The Oncology Nursing Podcast

Learn how to care for patients in different life and cancer stagesopens in new window.

These podcasts let listeners join oncology nurses as they discuss topics relevant to nursing practice and treating patients with cancer. Produced by the Oncology Nursing Society, episodes last about 20 minutes.

7.    Health Focus

Reinforce your health and medical knowledge with these short podcastsopens in new window.

This series of weekly interviews on South Carolina Radio features, doctors, nurses and other medical professionals. It presents a wide range of topics presented by award-winning public broadcaster Bobbi Conner.

Enhancing Your Career in Nursing

Podcasts, books and articles are all helpful ways to develop your knowledge and skills. However, one of the best ways to boost your career opportunities is with a degree.

The online RN to BSN program from Aurora University can help nurses take a leadership role in their field. Nurses are able to learn how to be an asset in their current role and to pursue advanced career opportunities. The program takes place in an online learning environment, allowing students the flexibility and convenience to complete their degree while maintaining their work and personal schedule.

Virtual Nurse App Sense.ly Receives $8 Million from Investors, Including Mayo Clinic

Virtual Nurse App Sense.ly Receives $8 Million from Investors, Including Mayo Clinic

Sense.ly, a San Francisco startup that has created a virtual nursing app to help physicians stay in touch with their patients and prevent readmission to the hospital, has recently raised $8 million from investors in its most recent round of venture funding. The new funding from investors like the Mayo Clinic will be used to bring the virtual nurse technology to a wide array of clinics and patients.

Designed for both patients and healthcare professionals, the app asks patients to tell the nurse avatar how they are doing by simply talking through a 5-minute “check in.” Patient check-ins are then stored as medical records that only authorized physicians can view. The medical reports also include device data that the app pulls from medical devices and wearables (like Fitbits or Apple watches) that patients use day-to-day.

Using artificial intelligence, Sense.ly’s nurse avatar speaks to patients in empathetic tones about their healthcare concerns, and uses emotional analysis to alert a patient’s care provider when the app detects that a patient is in need of mental health counseling or feeling symptoms of depression or anxiety as a side effect of medications or lifestyle changes.

The Sense.ly app is designed around commonly accepted medical protocols for diagnosis and treatment of chronic illnesses. So far, the company has focused on patients 60 and older who are suffering from health problems like COPD, heart failure, diabetes, and other age-related issues. But ultimately they want the app to work for people from all age groups and populations dealing with a variety of health issues. They are improving their analysis capabilities by adding new protocols and content from partner hospitals and clinics.

Adam Odessky, Chief Executive Officer and founder of Sense.ly, believes in the platform’s potential help people live longer and healthier lives and make quality healthcare more affordable and available. When asked if virtual nurses might “steal” jobs from human nurses in a discussion with TechCrunch.com, Odessky says no: “There aren’t people doing this job already…This is a technology to help medical professionals do their jobs more effectively, and not one that threatens their livelihood.”

To learn more about this new virtual nurse platform, visit TechCrunch.com or Sense.ly.

Duke University Nursing and Engineering Students Collaborate to Build and Refine Robot-Nurse

Duke University Nursing and Engineering Students Collaborate to Build and Refine Robot-Nurse

In the aftermath of the Ebola outbreak in 2014, the healthcare community is exploring and testing new technologies that can serve as alternatives to human contact to diminish the risk for providers to care for patients with infectious diseases. At Duke University, nursing and engineering students teamed up to collaborate on the building and refining of Trina, their first-generation Tele-Robotic Intelligent Nursing Assistant.

Duke’s robot project is funded by an $85,000 grant from the National Science Foundation. The project began a year-and-a-half ago, not as an effort to replace nurses, but to create a safer environment for health care providers. When health care providers are faced with treating patients with infectious diseases, like Ebola, they must dress in multiple layers of protective clothing, wipe down their materials with bleach, and use multiple rooms. With the development of nurse-robots like Trina, healthcare providers and researchers hope to improve the process of treating patients with infectious diseases by allowing nurses and doctors to navigate a remote-controlled robot into another room, directing it to move the linens, take vital signs, and pass food and medications.

A few weeks ago, Duke students and staff tested Trina on a fake patient, Michele Kuszajewski, having Trina take the patient’s vital signs via a remote-control stethoscope. Michele recalls feeling scared when the robot-nurse was coming at her. The massive red mechanical robot resembles a science fiction character out of Transformers or The Jetsons with a gray wig and surgical cap on its head to give it some human-like elements. On the robot’s face is a tablet showing the human operator, similar to a Skype call. Robots are currently being used in hospitals to help doctors perform tasks with precision and flexibility during surgery, but the machines don’t move about a room or perform bedside tasks like preparing drinks and adjusting oxygen masks.

To improve the study, engineering students needed to understand the tasks that Trina needs to perform. Nursing students donned protective clothing in the nursing school’s simulation lab and simulated working with a patient with Ebola as engineering students watched and took notes through a glass window. After the nursing students were finished, an engineering student drove Trina into the lab to test her ability with tasks like delivering a red cup, a bowl, pills, and a stethoscope to Michele in a simulation setting.

Students conducting the study found Trina’s movements to be abrupt and clumsy. In the future, they hope to make Trina, or the next generation robot-nurse, more agile so that it can collect and test fluids and look more friendly and human-like. They also hope to create a better interface between the human and robot to make their work together more comfortable, especially for the patient.

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