CMSA Today - Issue 2, 2014 - (Page 6)
Are We Connected?
BY NANCY SKINNER, RN-BC, CCM
"There was a time when nails were high-tech. There was a time
when people had to be told how to use a telephone. Technology is
just a tool. People use tools to improve their lives."
or the past 45 years, I have been involved
in a love affair with my husband. George
has been my best friend, my confidant,
my advocate, my caregiver, and my partner
both in good times and bad times. That said,
there have been occasions when we have been
less than congenial with each other, and other
times when "good morning" sounded more
like an insult than a pleasant greeting.
Through the years, our lives have changed.
We have gone from a young couple to the
parents of three daughters. Now, we are the
grandparents of six and the great-grandparents of two. But, the size of our family is not
the only change we have experienced.
When George and I moved to our first
home, we had a rotary phone and an antenna
television without a remote control. The reelto-reel stereo took up most of the dining
room, and the most advanced technology
we had was a CB radio that George used while
traveling to - as he said - "avoid Smokey
As time passed, technology advanced. Our
first video game console was "Pong," closely
followed by "Intellivision." Our daughters began
using computers in school, and the "World Wide
Web" was an amazing tool that was made available to me by my employer. Voicemail became
a vital tool, and I was never without my first
mobile phone - even though it was the size
of a small briefcase.
Technology also impacted the cars we drove.
New cars not only came with electric windows
and door locks, but also remotes that opened
the trunk and unlocked the doors. George -
who had always been a "shade tree mechanic"
- was now faced with computer-diagnostic
Issue 2 * 2014
systems that were outside the scope of his abilities. In 1991, the first desktop computer came
into my home office. Our world had changed,
and we became more reliant on technology
as we moved through almost every aspect
of our daily lives.
Today, George and I are surrounded by
technological advances. We collectively have
two smart phones, two desktop computers,
two tablets and one laptop. Since we live in
an area not serviced by local cable or Internet
providers, we use a satellite for our television
and Internet, as well as a mobile "hotspot."
Yet, while we have embraced technology,
we have not completely divorced ourselves
from the past as we continue to use landline
telephones in our home.
Recently, George replaced the car he had
been driving for 11 years with a new vehicle
- a truck - that is a technological marvel.
The truck responds to over 10,000 verbal commands, answers his phone, reads his text messages, and constantly advises him regarding his
exact location! George is gradually embracing
technology, even as he moves into the category of the medium old - 70-79 years of
age. In doing so, he enters the dawn of "connected aging" - using technology to support
his ability to age in place.
Like George and I, America is aging. Each
day over 10,000 baby boomers - those born
during the Post-World War II "boom" in births
during the period between 1946 and 1964
- reach age 65, with a majority of those
boomers having been diagnosed with at
least one chronic disease. To meet the needs
of this growing segment of the population,
health care professionals must understand
the technology that is available not only to
facilitate safe, effective, efficient, timely and
patient-centered communication and care,
but also to engage the patient and their support systems in the steps that are necessary to
advance the goals of the patient.
Today, the advances made in medical and
clinical technology extend far beyond "meaningful use," Health Information Exchanges
(HIE), or any of the "Es" including EHR and EMR.
Technology enhances the ability of health care
professionals to efficiently collaborate with all
members of the treatment team and develop a
care map that is respectful of - and responsive
to - individual patient preferences, needs and
values. Technology also assists in communicating the specifics of a chronic care management
plan to each patient partner that is a member
of that team. The use of electronic systems can
also advance patient safety by limiting the probability of medication errors or promoting medication adherence through the use of electronic
prompts or reminder systems.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CMSA Today - Issue 2, 2014
Cmsa Corporate Partners
The New “in” of Health Teaching
The Information Technology Factor
Index of Advertisers
CMSA Today - Issue 2, 2014