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Patient Education Technology

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Introduction

One of the elements and items that are at the center of the provision of modern healthcare is the education of patients. The significance of this aspect has been demonstrated using some diseases that present themselves in the field. In particular, it has been realized about the varied treatment options that have been provided for the diverse diseases. For instance, some of the areas where it has been highly applied include the erectile dysfunction, diabetes, asthma and hormone replacement therapy. In essence, it is apparent that the provision of quality education and information, in the long run, provide the patients with the great control to handle the disease and the compliance and the empowering of the patient. All of these can be applied to the different facets of healthcare which include nursing practice to improve the outcomes and to reduce the common burdens that are experienced in healthcare. Research shows that the ability to provide patients with the appropriate kind of information enhances the results in different areas. For instance, according to the analysis performed on the health care policies during the mid-nineties, it became clear that the effectiveness of the education provided to patients there was a decrease of money set aside in the provision of healthcare services. It is for this reason that for a long time, there has been a great focus in finding value to inform the patients about their conditions. This should be done before discharge to ensure that patients can manage their conditions in the expected and the right way (Lewis, 2003).

Impact of technology on patient education

In the last few years, the concept of patient education has changed greatly. The biggest transformation in this field has been brought about as a result of the use of technology. This component has made it possible to transfer the ability to make decisions from the healthcare professional, who was initially required to tell the patients what was best for their health to the state where the patient has been empowered and is provided with the opportunity to make decisions jointly. A large part of this has been made possible by equipping them to take care of their health. In this case, treatment shifts from the point of being curative to one where the prevention and management of the disease are encouraged.  For instance, currently, a patient who is diagnosed with type 2 diabetes is usually encouraged to take proper care of their heath. In this case, it is a means to discourage them from believing that they are suffering from a progressive disease that may eventually lead to their death. Thus, with technology, it has become easy to provide patients with information that they can find out on their own and increase their level of knowledge to the extent that they can consult with the healthcare professionals on how to offer management and treatment options. In turn, when they can invest and take care of their health, they get the ability to change the processes and treatment of the disease. Therefore, they will maintain a life of higher quality and have fewer complications in life (Lippincott, Wilkins, can’t Riet, & Berg, 2004).

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Technology in patient education

Rankin, Stallings, and London (2005) indicate that the most significant change in patient education is the realization that it is no longer appropriate to offer leaflets to patients with information on the way they should take care of their health when the suffer from certain disease condition. It is mainly because it does not seem appropriate to send them away with this information. In particular, the use of technology has brought about a great revolution in the way that information and education is provided to the patients about health. Over the past years, many of the healthcare organizations and companies have come up with numerous technologies. For instance, there has been the introduction and launching of innovative first person simulations that make use of 3D headsets that are meant to be used by the patients, the healthcare professionals and the general members of the public. For instance, in the case of diabetes, the simulations can be used as a means to show that there is a great risk of mild hypoglycemia or low blood sugar levels on the health of the patient. In this case, it is possible for the viewer of such features to have a feeling of the relevant symptoms that are related to hypoglycemia in different situations throughout the day for a typical day for an individual that is suffering from type 2 diabetes. As a result, it has made it possible to reduce the nature of empathy among the healthcare professionals. For the patients who have been newly diagnosed with a condition, it has acted as an appropriate tool to help them understand and deal with the symptoms in a better way. In particular, they become aware of those things that they should take action earlier to address the issues and symptoms that are related to their conditions. This kind of technology has resulted in a lot of changes in the healthcare industry about the education of patients since it is not possible for any amount of written text could have the same amount of impact as the 3D simulation programs or the other technological mechanisms that are used in the education of the patients.

In this relation, this aspect can be appropriately applied to the nursing profession in some ways. For example, most of the technological methods of providing patient education can be used in the identification of symptoms, treatment and the management of another related aspect. As a nurse, it will be possible to use some of these techniques to help the patients in the management of their complex lifestyles. Some these are apps that can be used in different forms to offer an appropriate chance to provide information to the patients in a convenient way.  In addition, these technological developments that are likely to advance in the future will help in monitoring the symptoms related to different conditions as well as those that can put the health of the patients at risk. With these, it will be possible to advise the patients with varied conditions appropriately. It is evident that with the expansion of the use of the internet and e-learning that will act as a great resource for the patients. Therefore, the use of technology in the education of the patients will be applied to enhance their experiences and to improve the nature of the outcomes that come with prevention and treatment of diseases.

1. Lewis, D. (2003). Computers in patient education. CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing, 21(2), 88-96.

2. Lippincott, W. & Wilkins, S., A. P., van’t Riet, A., & Berg, M. (2004). Using information technology for patient education: realizing surplus value? Patient education and counselling, 54(2), 187-195.

3. Rankin, S. H., Stallings, K. D., & London, F. (2005). Patient education in health and illness. New York: Routledge.

 

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