Nurses are central to the implementation of best practices in a hospital setting. However, their role is subject to constant change in order to maintain a high quality of care.
According to Thomas Duparque, Healthcare Practice Lead, EMEA, Zebra Technologies, supporting the evolution of nurses’ roles means acknowledging the daily challenges they face, starting with the work conditions. Zebra’s Healthcare Vision Study states that about two-thirds of clinicians and nearly 70 per cent of decision-makers agree that physicians and caregivers are overextended during their shifts.
Commemorating International Nurses Day 2023 under the theme, ‘Our Nurses. Our Future’, The International Council of Nurses (ICN) continues to highlight the need for action and investments in nursing through several publications, including a recent report titled, ‘State of the World's Nursing, the Global Strategic Directions for Nursing & Midwifery, the Sustain and Retain in 2022 and Beyond’. The campaign aims to shine the light on nurses and raise them from ‘invisible’ to ‘invaluable’ in the eyes of policymakers and decision-makers involved in the delivery and financing of healthcare.
Plagued by false alarm; limited by geriatrics
Nurses working in intensive care environment experience alarm fatigue, while 81 per cent of nurses believe that fatigue caused by alarms is due to an excess of false alarms. McKinsey’s global nursing survey showed that in five out of seven countries surveyed, between 20 to 38 per cent of respondents want to quit their current direct-patient-care roles.
On another note, while longevity is considered a modern healthcare achievement, it stands as a challenge in nurses’ and overall healthcare needs. In 2022, over 21 per cent of the EU population was 65 or over, according to Eurostat.
During the pandemic, older staff were among the worst affected, and according to the World Health Organisation, they are faced with healthcare conditions that are common in older age.
Multifaceted solutions for nurse care
Health challenges like these need intervention by doctors, nurses and other specialists and ancillary support staff in hospitals and nursing homes, which is a growing challenge considering the current healthcare labour shortages.
“A multifaceted solution is needed, and there is no silver bullet. But technology solutions have an important part to play in helping to address the nurses’ current challenges, as well as futureproofing healthcare for the coming years,” he added.
For instance, hospital management may provide doctors and nurses with specialised handheld computers and tablets designed for healthcare settings with the safety, security, updates, and applications they need to provide bedside care. By improving the tracking and locationing of patients, specimens and equipment with radio frequency identification (RFID), barcoding, and real-time location and tracking systems, doctors and nurses can save time and be better informed.
Enhanced communication among doctors, nurses and support staff who use healthcare mobile devices that offer quick access to information, advice, patient records, and treatment notes helps reduce clinical errors.
Finally, providing effective mobile alarm management systems reduces noise and fatigue, enabling nurses to remain mobile and work effectively.
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