The new millennium is creating state-of-the-art horizons for premier medical centers in Los Angeles. Patients are able to convalesce in tropical-themed healing environments, order bedside meals by tapping a computer screen and converse with their physicians through electronic correspondence and live streaming. Surgeons now confer among each other on their smart phones and iPads to diagnose a hospital guest’s medical problems more proficiently.
Due to changing times, the roles providers play in the health theatre are reforming at a steady pace. In effect, a growing number of metropolis hospitals are actively modifying employment regulations to require some specialists to possess advanced education, credentials, disciplines and experience before they are even hired.
In the wake of technological advances and a push for licensed health professionals to exhaust their levels of knowledge, the future of nursing has entered a state of metamorphosis. In an ambitious initiative, the Institute of Medicine wants medical facilities to expand the labor index of registered nurses with four-year degrees to 80 percent by 2020.
“The complexity of care has mandated that nurses be competent in practice and now recommends a Bachelor of Science in Nursing for entry,” said Camille Diaz, a registered nurse who has been employed by Kaiser Permanente-West Los Angeles Medical Center since 2003. “Overall, continued disparities within the health care arena demand that astute health care professionals, along with improved technological advancements, correlate with increased patient safety measures and positive outcomes.”
Diaz said she has witnessed firsthand the benevolent significance high-tech capability is having on the health system so far.
“Technology has and will continue to improve timely diagnosis, patient care, treatment and management of patients with acute and chronic illnesses,” said Diaz. “There is an urgent need for access to updated health information. We at Kaiser Permanente make it easy and convenient for patients and their caregivers to have immediate access to a member’s critical medical information, which results in better care.”
Diaz pulls 12-hour shifts at a 26-bed unit that tends to the pressing concerns of patients challenged with cardiopulmonary, gastrointestinal and chronic illnesses. The charge nurse attributes a marked improvement in the healing process to 21st century technology.
“The use of computers and health information technology in the form of electronic medical records has allowed for ease of care, effective communication and collaboration among health care professionals. It has also enabled our members to manage their own care,” Diaz said. “We are constantly finding and implementing innovative health information technology solutions to improve care delivery and promote patient engagement.”
As the utilization of technical means continues to develop and interrelate with life, society and progress, medical professionals in Los Angeles are prompted to stay ahead of the curve through continuing education.
Sharon Raiford Bush is an award-winning journalist who covers topics of social interest in greater Los Angeles. Some news articles she has authored have been archived by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Sharon also contributes to Examiner.com.