Tech offsetting troubling nursing shortage
The nursing shortage is a global challenge that affects the quality and safety of patient care. According to the World Health Organization, there is a projected shortfall of 9 million nurses and midwives by 2030. The COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated this crisis, as nurses face increased workload, stress, and burnout.
How can technology help address this issue? Here are some examples of digital healthcare innovations that aim to support nurses and improve patient outcomes.
- Virtual nursing and e-sitting: This is a form of telehealth that allows experienced registered nurses (RNs) to monitor and communicate with patients remotely using video, audio, and sensors. Virtual nursing can help optimize and support the work of bedside staff, free up resources, and reduce patient falls and injuries. E-sitting is a similar concept that involves using cameras and speakers to watch over patients who are at risk of wandering or harming themselves.
- Smart devices and wearables: These are devices that can track vital signs, activity levels, medication adherence, and other health indicators of patients. They can alert nurses and doctors of any changes or emergencies, as well as provide feedback and education to patients. Smart devices and wearables can help reduce hospital readmissions, improve chronic disease management, and enhance patient engagement.
- Artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics: These are technologies that can analyze large amounts of data from various sources, such as electronic health records, clinical trials, social media, and genomics. They can provide insights and predictions that can help nurses make better decisions, diagnose conditions, personalize treatments, and prevent complications. AI and data analytics can also help identify health disparities and target interventions more effectively.
These are just some of the ways that technology can help alleviate the effects of the nursing shortage. However, technology alone is not enough. More funding for nursing education, better working conditions for nurses, and updated laws and regulations are also needed to ensure a sustainable and resilient nursing workforce.
Building on extensive experience in the fields of journalism, media production, and learning design and development, John Marc Green’s newest adventure is serving as Director of CHIME Innovation. In this role, his ongoing conversations with CHIME Members and Partners provide insights and direction to serve their interests in a variety of ways, including digital healthcare innovation journalism, professional development events and program facilitation, and on-demand educational development through CHIME Innovation.