Guest Column | May 9, 2017

At The Intersection Of Nursing And Technology

HITO Danielle Miller, Infor

By Danielle Miller, Chief Nursing Officer, Clinical Applications, Infor

National Nurses Week, celebrated annually from May 6 through May 12, recognizes nurses for striving to provide excellent patient care. The festivities began over 50 years ago with presidents, congressional sponsorships, and resolutions offering nurses national recognition. It’s been supported by the American Nurses Association for years and concludes on Florence Nightingale’s birthday.

Nightingale was one the most influential nurses in history and much has changed since she pioneered the field, including the growth of nursing informatics — the intersection of nursing and technology. It is the connection between science and nursing practice that integrates healthcare technology and clinical expertise. The management of this information empowers healthcare practitioners, especially nurses, to achieve patient-centered care.

The future of nursing will be for all nurses to work as nurse informacists, sharing their expertise with developers of communication and information technologies, software engineers, and developers and implementation consultants to advance healthcare and support the best patient outcomes.

Efficiency And Financial Savings
Health information technology offers hospitals a means to manage labor costs better by leveraging the data collected through the electronic medical records that drive clinical staffing and assignments, delivering superior clinical and financial outcomes.

The future of nursing involves an era in which technology plays an integral role in hiring, retaining, and assisting nurses in their jobs. Technology has provided improvements and changes to the way healthcare is delivered by allowing for the management of clinical workflows and processes. This has led to changes in the way nurses deliver patient care, allowing for nurses to increase the amount of time spent on direct patient care. Nurses are leading the way by adapting technologies that ensure the needs of patients are at the center of healthcare technology. This includes the hiring, recruitment, and retention of nurses, as well as assists them in their daily workflows.

Technology can utilize science in the recruitment process that removes subjectivity and replaces it with predictive data, enabling recruiters and hiring managers to quickly and easily identify top talent. The ability to increase the consistency of how to hire top performers can improve diversity, reduce the time to hire, reshape the business culture, and drive organizational key metrics.

Patient Satisfaction
Technology can be leveraged to improve patient care. The key components of nursing technology can be used to increase staff communication and introduce greater efficiencies in nursing clinical workflows and process. A more effective and efficient workflow allows for more time at the bedside, providing direct patient care which results in greater patient satisfaction and better patient outcomes.

Imagine a nurse wearing voice recording technology that allows her or him record and transmit via a wireless network and document into the electronic medical record. Despite similar technology, many organizations have not invested in technology that supports multiple manual processes performed by nurses. Documentation is an essential part of the nursing process, however this process can be better facilitated than the ways it has been utilized by physicians for many, many years. Imagine the amount of additional time nurses could spend with patients if documentation could be automated. This process would benefit both the nurses and the patients and would result in optimum patient outcomes, which results in better reimbursement for the organization.

Staff Satisfaction
If you can impact and improve the experience of the providers of care, you can impact the care patients are receiving. A happy and engaged workforce leads to a more engaged patient population with better health and better outcomes. Through increased efficiency or empowerment, technology plays a key part in the future of healthcare.

If a healthcare organization wants to impact nurse satisfaction, it should look at the nursing processes and workflows and investigate how to make it more streamlined and efficient. Healthcare technology can play a significant role in decreasing the amount of time spent on manual tasks, which results in more time dedicated to direct patient care and other more important responsibilities that will improve the performance of the health care organization clinically and financially.

It is essential nursing staff have access to the tools that will help them perform their jobs well. Healthcare technology provides nurses with these tools, increasing their efficiency and abilities in the workplace while allowing them to get away from non-value added tasks and spend more time at the bedside.

Integrated software solutions can address forecasting and budgeting, scheduling, time and attendance, performance management, and compliance. These capabilities streamline processes to increase efficiencies and improve the workplace experience for nurses to increase their satisfaction levels, allowing them to focus on activities that generate more value, which is provide excellent care to our patients.