CMSA Today - Issue 2, 2014 - (Page 6)

CMSA President's Letter 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." -Tom Clancy F 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 the Bear." 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 6 CMSA TODAY 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

President’s Letter
Association News
Cmsa Corporate Partners
The New “in” of Health Teaching
The Information Technology Factor
Index of Advertisers

CMSA Today - Issue 2, 2014