Nurses need to be involved in the design and implementation of new technology in the workplace, according to speakers at the NSWNA Professional Day.
By 1 July next year, the frameworks underpinning the national e-health system will be in place, according to Peter Fleming, CEO of the National E-Health Transition Authority.
Its aim is to connect systems so medical practitioners can send and receive information easily.
‘Pilots are taking place in regards to secure messaging between the Northern Territory and South Australia at the moment, and IBM has the contract to create the authentication system,’ said Peter.
When asked how the rollout of the e-health system would affect nurses, he said it would change the information nurses will have available as well as impacting on workloads.
‘We are putting in place partners to map out the workflow issues for nurses.’
Peter allayed one delegate’s fears that money for the new system would put additional pressure on local healthcare budgets.
‘There has been substantial provision of funds for e-health – around $880 million from the Federal Government and COAG combined. We’re not looking to put pressure on local healthcare budgets,’ he said.
Make technology work for you
Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer at NSW Health, Debra Thoms said Nurses need to overcome their barriers of scepticism when it comes to IT and start collecting and analysing patient data.
‘Analysing data enables nurses to make decisions on patient care,’ she said.
In addition to being involved in the process of the design of the IT systems at healthcare facilities, nurses must also be trained in IT skills.
‘Anecdotally, IT training is low. We need greater investment in education and training. Younger nurses coming into the profession will expect good IT systems and if they are not in place, this may impact retention,’ said Debra.
However, nurses should not become so dependent on technology that they start to mistrust their own judgement, she warned.
‘Simulation and virtual technology are complementary to bedside care.’
Do you think some newer nurses are too dependent on technology? Or are older/more experienced nurses not using it enough?
Where is the happy medium?
Image credit: NSWNA