Nursing 2.0: Improving Care Through Technology

Anne Boyd Rabkin, consultant, and Dan Weberg, Kaiser Permanante

Emerging technologies are revolutionizing nursing. First in a series, this case study on laser imaging for wound care examines how nurses are embracing new ways to provide care.

March 2015

Remote monitoring systems, 3-D cameras, laser imaging devices, and high definition video — to name a few — are allowing nurses to assess patients more easily than ever before. Patients are being informed, connected, and activated through social networks, and care providers are accessing information instantly through mobile devices, data dashboards, and virtual learning systems. With these innovations come changes in workflow, new decisionmaking processes, learning curves as staff are trained, and an evolution in the patient-provider relationship.

High Resolution: Laser Scans Improve Wound Care at Kaiser Permanente, the first case study in a series, looks at the use of laser technology by Kaiser nurses to assess and measure wounds and share that information with other providers.

  •  IMMEDIATE IMAGING - Laser measurement technology and a camera are used to create 3-D images, which accurately measure the wound size and depth, and record a high-definition image of the wound. (Image courtesy of ARANZ Medical)
  •  EASY TO USE - Holding the device — weighing about as much as a large coffee cup — above the wound, the nurse lines up laser lines over the center of the wound, clicks a button, and the data are uploaded to a computer. In one click, the wound is measured and an image taken. (Image courtesy of ARANZ Medical)
  •  ACCESSIBLE DATA - Synchronized via the Internet, wound information becomes centrally available to care teams, specialists, and administrators. It can be integrated with the facility's EMR. (Image courtesy of ARANZ Medical)
  •  CENTRAL DATABASE - Communication, clinical decisionmaking, and risk management are facilitated through a database of patient information. Care providers can see changes over time and quickly understand the wound's "story." (Image courtesy of ARANZ Medical)

This series explores different areas of technology innovation in the field of nursing: instant information, patient engagement, telehealth, social networks for population health, and electronic Intensive Care Unit (eICU). It features members of the Innovation Learning Network (ILN), a community of health care leaders and innovators focused on making health care better through good design.

The first case study, as well as a prior report on this topic, Equipped for Efficiency: Improving Nursing Care Through Technology, is available under Document Downloads.