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Clinical staff need to work with tech giants in the development of digital tools, report finds

A new in-depth report by Nuance Health Solutions highlights the importance of clinical input in the development of new digital tools and solutions. Tit...

Catherine Sturman
|Jan 18|magazine7 min read

A new in-depth report by Nuance Health Solutions highlights the importance of clinical input in the development of new digital tools and solutions.

Titled Clinical documentation and nurses: the challenges and opportunities, the report discusses findings from a round-table discussion with nurses in all areas of the healthcare industry. Chaired by Anne Cooper, Chief Nurse at NHS Digital, it highlighted ways in which the sector needed to utilise technology in ways which will benefit the delivery of exceptional patient care, rather than view documentation as a time-consuming process, where up to 73% of nurses go home late due to this process.

With limited digital training presently on offer for nurses in the UK, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has now set up an initiative ‘Every Nurse an eNurse,’ to address this challenge due to the transformations within the industry and the various technologies set to reshape current processes.

The report has found that although the healthcare industry has moved towards the use of Electronic Medical Records (EMRs), the way in which clinical data has been documented has not, and it is unclear what data is essential to record, leading to a need to ‘reimagine’ the way in which clinical data is documented.

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In Surrey (United Kingdom), nurses are presently using iPads to document information through a mobile working initiative, and has proved to become a significant time-saver. It has also benefited patients by allowing for increased face-to-face time with patients.

A second challenge for nurses is that, “one ward may not record information in exactly the same way as the other,” presenting further complexities within clinical documentation.

It is therefore essential for the healthcare sector to work with the IT industry to develop new tools and solutions. “Technoplogy can enable a different way of working, but it has to be the right technology and nurses have to say what they need,” Cooper added.

Additionally, with a move towards a consumer-focused model, technology will need to look at ways to support not only professionals, but also patients through the ongoing management of their healthcare, where they will gain increased control surrounding what is being documented surrounding their healthcare needs.