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Healthcare workers say better tech needed to save lives

New research has found that healthcare workers around the globe are spending too much time on admin tasks and not enough with patients

|Nov 12|magazine6 min read

A global survey of healthcare workers has found that over half believe that having better technology could help save lives. 

The survey by SOTI, an IoT management provider, was carried out among homecare workers and nurses in the UK, Germany, France, Sweden, US, Canada and Australia. Its aim was to understand how technologically equipped they are, the key mobility challenges they are experiencing on the frontline, and how well their organisations have fared during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Entitled the Critical Technology for Critical Care: The State of Mobility in Healthcare 2020/21 Report, it found that 55 per cent of respondents think that investment in new or better technology is necessary to save lives. This figure rose to 68 per cent among healthcare workers in the UK. 

Additionally 63 per cent of the respondents said they experience IT issues during their normal working week, with only a third of their time actually spent helping patients. 

The survey also found that 54 per cent of healthcare workers said that trying to use their employer’s technology wastes valuable time they could have spent helping patients. They said 44 per cent of their time was spent helping patients, with the rest spent on activities like accessing and updating patient records, and recording information for administrative purposes.

The research also looked at the impact of COVID-19, and how many healthcare providers have turned to technology to continue treating patients while enforcing social distancing measures. It found: 

  • 33 per cent of healthcare workers said that new systems and/or technology have been introduced by their employer during the pandemic
  • However only 22 per cent said their technology systems were prepared to manage any situation related to COVID-19
  • 26 per cent said their existing systems and technology have been unable to cope
  • 73 per cent agree that their employer needs to invest in new or better technology to prepare for any future health crises. 

Commenting on the survey results, Stefan Spendrup, SOTI's VP of Sales for Northern and Western Europe, said: “With healthcare budgets consistently stretched, but the expectations higher than ever due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s of little surprise that frontline healthcare workers are coming up against significant barriers.

“SOTI’s research shows that healthcare workers are wasting time on admin tasks which could be simplified with integrated mobile technology. Frontline staff are also impacted by legacy or outdated technology and with 68 per cent of UK healthcare workers agreeing that better technology could help improve patient care, it is a clear sign that the time for smarter technology adoption is now.” 

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