Education and Research
An interesting area in education and research is competency-based training and research that is based on the attainment of skills and knowledge. In competency-based training and research, individuals and professionals are taught on particular knowledge and skills until they are able to understand and apply them. This area of education and research is linked to the workforce needs defined by employers and professions. Competencies require different skills, knowledge and attitudes that are grouped together to ensure optimal performance of tasks. Most health care institutions are turning to competency based training and research in order to impart the needed knowledge and skills on caregivers particularly nurses and other caregivers (Konukbay, 2014).
Such educational programs are intended to refresh the competencies of caregivers while still developing new sets of competencies in terms of skills, knowledge and attitudes. The programs impart knowledge and skills that reinforce one another from the most basic to the most advanced as learning progresses. All health care institutions conduct research although some do not conduct clinical research because of their size, resources and scope of work. Clinical research consumes a lot of time and resources and so it is only conducted in academic medical centres to test for the efficacy of new treatment, new surgical procedures and their outcome.
When it comes to research, both clinical and non-clinical staff might be required to participate in order to enhance their skills and knowledge in different issues. Training and research activities affect the whole institutional setting and as such, it supports and gets supports from different departments. Some of the departments that are directly involved include the human resource department, the finance department, operations and the management team. Training and research in health care settings enhances competencies and efficiency, identifies opportunities for improvement, and supports best practices (Konukbay, 2014).
Providing competency-based training in healthcare institutions can be influenced by several emerging trends. One of the emerging trends is the increase in the number patients seeking quality medical care in health institutions. As the populations increase during this “Baby Boomers” age, the number of individuals living past the age of 65 is increasing dramatically. With advances in medical care provision and research, there is increased ability of treating patients with chronic diseases and so this strengthens their lives helping them to live longer. Within the next few years, more patients will be living longer and this would affect the provision of health care provision (Garson, & Levine, 2001).
Another emerging trend is the increasing use of technology in health care provision. Increased use of technology in diagnosis and treatment for example the use of less invasive imaging, use of magnetic resonance, catheter technique, DNA technology, electronic records, among other uses of technology is transforming competencies in health care provision. While technology improves efficiency, cut costs and improves billing and record keeping, it also raises a series of competency and ethical issues.
Advances in technology have also led to increased access to information and the information about patient care is also likely to improve. With the increase use of internet patients will be able to access more information about their wellbeing from the internet. Patients would have an opportunity to choose health plans on their own because they are increasingly using the internet to seek information about health care provision. In addition, healthcare institutions that adopt the electronic medical record system can include information on best practice in addition to patient information. This creates an opportunity for clinical research through the internet, ability to develop better information on the development of a disease, among other opportunities (Kitto, Jonas, Jennifer, Rachel, & Scott, 2013).
Impact of the trends on education and research in healthcare
These emerging trends could have various impacts on education and research in health care. Health institutions and particularly the academic medical institutions that conduct clinical research rely on research to come up with programs for medical care provision. With the increase in the number of patients seeking medical attentions from these institutions, healthcare institutions will need to be more innovative and be able to regenerate new knowledge and skills in their treatment programs in order to enhance their competencies and efficiency. More education and research to cater for the medical needs of the increasing number of patients is expensive and this could adversely impact the quality of health care at the expense of education and research.
Technology can be used to enhance health care provision as it reduces costs and scope of work by reducing processes. Technology also enhances education and research in health care as it provides information and easy access to the needed information. With ease in access to the needed information, personnel will be able to enhance their knowledge and skills and provide better services. While advances in technology bring various opportunities, it could also have several limitations. For instance, unfamiliar technology has many risks involving ethics mainly because it is about health care provision. More education and research would therefore be needed in order to impart the necessary knowledge needed to use technology as well as the risks involved. More information access to patients could also affect education and research as the caregivers will need to have the needed information and skills to deal with the increasingly informed patients. More would need to be done in regards to patient satisfaction and meeting the needs and preferences of the consumers. Training and research will need to increase their focus on the patients (Garson, & Levine, 2001).
Capitalizing on the trends
The emerging trends discussed above bring various opportunities as well as threats in education and research in healthcare institutions. The increasing number of patients being able to access healthcare institutions requires more education and research in order to deal with each situation. Healthcare institutions have the chance to increase innovation and harmonise treatment programs in order to deal with the increasing number of patients. In addition education and research should involve both the clinical and non-clinical staff as well as the patients in order to enhance partnerships in medical care provision. Education and research goes a long way and so by keeping up with new developments and trends, it would be easier to deal with the increasing number of patients. The institutions could also consider outsourcing (Cook, & West, 2013).
Advancement in technology has brought various opportunities for healthcare institutions. Technology can be used to enhance education and research as it provides information resources and better ways of communication and information storage. Use of technology in education and research is less costly for institutions and so it would be a great idea to use technology. Electronic medical records that are less costly to prepare, manage, use and access could also be an opportunity to take advantage of. Using electronic system of record keeping would save on operating and human costs and these could be redirected to education and research.
Technology and increased access to information can be used by healthcare institutions to provide information to caregivers and patients. Patients are increasingly being concerned with access to information and so developing web tools to increase information sharing could enhance education and research among caregivers and patients. The web tools can enable patients to access more data like laboratory results, schedule appointments, and give feedback. Health institutions could also provide health information to patients as a service and become a trusted source of information for patients (Cook, & West, 2013).