Background: The number of medical technologies used in home settings has increased substantially over the last 10-15 years. In order to manage their use and to guarantee quality and safety, data on usage trends and practical experiences are important. This paper presents a literature review on types, trends and experiences with the use of advanced medical technologies at home.
Methods: The study focused on advanced medical technologies that are part of the technical nursing process and 'hands on' processes by nurses, excluding information technology such as domotica. The systematic review of literature was performed by searching the databases MEDLINE, Scopus and Cinahl. We included papers from 2000 to 2015 and selected articles containing empirical material.
Results: The review identified 87 relevant articles, 62% was published in the period 2011-2015. Of the included studies, 45% considered devices for respiratory support, 39% devices for dialysis and 29% devices for oxygen therapy. Most research has been conducted on the topic 'user experiences' (36%), mainly regarding patients or informal caregivers. Results show that nurses have a key role in supporting patients and family caregivers in the process of homecare with advanced medical technologies and in providing information for, and as a member of multi-disciplinary teams. However, relatively low numbers of articles were found studying nurses perspective.
Conclusions: Research on medical technologies used at home has increased considerably until 2015. Much is already known on topics, such as user experiences; safety, risks, incidents and complications; and design and technological development. We also identified a lack of research exploring the views of nurses with regard to medical technologies for homecare, such as user experiences of nurses with different technologies, training, instruction and education of nurses and human factors by nurses in risk management and patient safety.
Keywords: Home health nursing; Medical technologies; Patient safety; Quality of health care; Systematic review; Trends.