How Digital Media Can Be Used By Healthcare Professionals

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by Courtney Lemanski Courtney Lemanski, BSN, RN (New)

Specializes in Ambulatory Perianesthesia. Has 12 years experience.

Digital media can be used by healthcare professionals for financial success, professional development, patient education, and support. Technology is only moving forward, and applying it as an ally is a provider's best option.

Building healthcare communities through social media?

How Digital Media Can Be Used By Healthcare Professionals

In our ever-growing technological world, there is no way to escape digital media in healthcare. Focus on the topic can lean towards digital media's disadvantages rather than evolving with it and using it to its full potential. Digital media touches a multitude of categories across the healthcare system, which ultimately leads to unlimited educational opportunities for safer patient care and lower costs.

While the financial aspect of healthcare is often put into the background, it is a major factor in what certain facilities and professionals can offer. Digital media can provide educational opportunities for hospitals, specifically with content around decreasing overhead costs. For example, say an anesthesia team does not have access to an ultrasound for orthopedic blocks or is unfamiliar with new techniques, and therefore blocks are not considered for pain control. Digital media could provide that team with visualization of procedures with and without ultrasound, make claims for the affordability of items needed (due to liability of not having these items), and give a more personal description of patient outcomes. While evidence-based practice documents are the backbone of safe patient care, digital media gives the visualization of positive outcomes coupled with affordability. Showing these professionals a technique via digital media that is more efficient (whether with the procedure itself or patient care/ education), the billable hours for that particular patient would be less overall. This is especially true for those who may not have access to hands-on academia once they leave school.

Another costly item that can be influenced by digital media is contracts for supplies in the hospital. It creates communication between hospital administration and vendors regarding contract negotiation for something like linens or intravenous start kits. Digital media, in the way of advertisements, creates a market for what specific hospitals need in their area. While there is a standard of care, some hospitals take care of more of a certain type of condition than others, therefore, needing more or different supplies. Having access to digital media can prompt and secure those changes, which allows funding to be allocated elsewhere.

The instant access of digital media not only lowers costs for hospitals when creating educational opportunities for clinicians but for patients as well. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality estimates that 3.8 million readmissions occurred in 2018, with an associated average cost of $15,200 per patient for the hospital. Digital media provides instant educational opportunities to patients who may have forgotten, misplaced or didn’t comprehend their original discharge information. Investment in such education helps the “bottom line” by preventing readmission with another mode of access for the patient. In the cases of diagnoses with high readmission rates, like sepsis and heart failure, the difference in cost could be as simple as a post, video or article reinforcing healthy eating, medication compliance and consistent hygiene habits.

Aside from financial and educational purposes, digital media creates the opportunity to build communities, fill employment, and create healthy comparisons. Merriam-Webster describes communities as “a group of people with a common characteristic or interest living together within a larger society.” So, whether healthcare providers have common specialties, successes or struggles, digital media allows for those things to be shared across the globe and provide a feeling of belonging when feelings of isolation can reign high. Healthcare professionals often suffer from burnout. Finding a way to communicate support to professionals regarding these issues can be the difference between having a fully staffed floor and someone leaving the profession entirely. Support can be found in digital media via art, notices for group meetings, group outings with like-minded individuals, etc. Building communities through social media for peers can also be extended to the patient-provider relationship. It can be the means for a patient to explore study opportunities or alternatively for the practitioners to recruit qualified applicants. With a broader community being reached for studies, new products can be promoted. With a higher amount of successful studies due to increased participation, more evidence-based items can become qualified for CPT codes and therefore be more accessible to the masses as they can be coded for insurance.

Ultimately, digital media can be used by healthcare professionals to create equitable access. Whether it be to patients for educational purposes or to other healthcare professionals for efficiency in practice or more cost-effective supplies. Digital media creates a platform for healthcare professionals to grow. It is in our best interest to use that system to the best of our ability for the sake of wellness, as it will not be retreating anytime soon. 


References/Resources

Overview of Clinical Conditions With Frequent and Costly Hospital Readmissions by Payer, 2018

Courtney Lemanski, RN, BSN, CAPA has been a nurse since 2010. She has worked in different specialties such as cardiac step down, intensive care and PACU. She spends most of her time home with her children teaching them that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. She is currently setting her sights on writing more for the medical community in the future.

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3 Comment(s)

PositiveEnergy

PositiveEnergy, MSN, PhD, RN, APN

Specializes in Family, Maternal-Child Health. Has 44 years experience. 2 Articles; 16 Posts

You shared some interesting points under the different categories (financial, educational, community building and equitable access) reflecting what benefits can be gained in healthcare if practitioners embrace digital methods.  In reading these cited benefits one can not help but think how these benefits are changing the way we practice.  Equally important is how vital it will be for practitioners to stay current on what is out there and how best to apply these digital media methodologies into their everyday practices.  Makes you think about how quickly practice approaches are being redesigned!

 

   

Courtney Lemanski, BSN, RN

Specializes in Ambulatory Perianesthesia. Has 12 years experience. 1 Article; 5 Posts

Thank you so much for reading my article! I appreciate your comments and am glad it gave pause for wonder. 

PositiveEnergy

PositiveEnergy, MSN, PhD, RN, APN

Specializes in Family, Maternal-Child Health. Has 44 years experience. 2 Articles; 16 Posts

No problem - was an enjoyable and informative read.