By continuing to use the site you agree to our Privacy & Cookies policy

How can we use technology to improve patient care?

Posted by:

15 October, 2012

How can we use technology to improve patient care?

The government is to spend £140m technology and leadership training for nurses and midwives in order to “improve care and beat bureaucracy”.

The government said £100m would be offered to the NHS for nurses and midwives to spend on new technology intended to “free up time for patient care and help make essential patient details instantly available on the ward, at the bedside or in the community”.

Technology highlighted included digital pens and other handheld mobile devices intended to speed up access to patient and treatment information, while reducing time spent on form filling.

Nurses and midwives will decide “what kit is best for their own workplace”, the government said.

What technology would help you provide better patient care?

Readers' comments (19)

  • I think enough money has already been spent on this, why ask us what technology would help me provide better patient care?

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • tinkerbell

    log in, log on, log out.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • "Digital pens and hand held technology" So what happens to patients confidentiality when, as is bound to happen they go astray?

    How much time would actually be saved on form filling. Time would need to be spent updating information be it on screen or in folder.

    Why doesnt the government listen the nurses on the shop floor and acknowledge that what is needed to improve patient care is more staff.

    Staff also need to feel supported and valued, that will help to improve patient care. Employing lawyers to tear apart terms and conditions as it appears some trusts are intending to do will only erode morale further.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • "Digital pens and hand held technology"

    a tradesman came to my house with one of them there things yesterday. said it cut down on all the paperwork in the office as all the information about the work he did in my house was relayed directly back to them. cuts down jobs in administration too.

    my friend in Sainsburys where they have them touch screens she wont touch because she says it is taking jobs away from people.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • When technology can take a patient to the toilet and freshen them up after you can put this question back to us.
    When technology can help patients with their diet and fluids ask again.
    When technology can do moving and handling ask again.
    When technology can give a bed bath and give patients their medications ask again.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • can I have a free mobile phone please then I can call the patients who are feeling a bit lonely.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • did anyone watch "getting on" last night on bbc4 - s the ward sister couldn't access the electronic notes and the doctor broke the machine.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • don't get it. the government are desperately trying to force people to get jobs which don't exist and then penalising them for it whilst more and more companies are dishing out expensive tablets to their front line workers so they can ditch more and more admin staff.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • love you all nurses.....as iam a nurse....its my responsibility to improve the quality care and reduce our stress and strain......

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • maybe we should design a medical facility like they had in the film 'Coma'.

    technology - since e-rostering on my ward all our hours are wrong, we 'owe' the trust hours, some as many as 60. 3 people do the off-duty and they still got it wrong. Computer says No.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • When I was a newly qualified nurse a senior nurse said to me "We must not let the technology dictate how we care for our patients." I think the same is true today, over twenty years later.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • It is not being suggested that technology replaces what nurses do. The question is what technology will help nurses to do their job more effectively and make patients safer.
    Unfortunately many nurses are technophobes and fail to learn how to use technology appropriately. Any piece of technology that reduces the time to do tasks will ultimately free more time for nurses to spend with patients.
    Nurse must get away from the idea that technology is "an instrument of the devil" they need to be more innovative and ready to try new things.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • Technology is part of everyday life now as nurses need to embrace this, after all how many use Facebook and can text? Improvement in I.T will allow use to deliver direct care. So come nurses move with the times...

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • Yes But

    Anonymous | 19-Oct-2012 10:58 am

    Dangerously sensible - that could be in breach of the site's rules !

    But if this new tech is IT, either everyone will locally decide what will probably work for them (so very few different organisations/groups will end up with 'mutually-compatible' tech) or else standard tech will be imposed from on high, and it won't really suit everyone who ends up trying to use it. I suspect - I hope I'm proved wrong.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • The medicine trolley could be equipped with an on board computer. that is updated daily with patient medication regime And then there could be a tick box on the screen where the nurse can not go to the next step in giving required medication for instance 1. check patients name,age, date of birth .2 check medicine for name dosage ,time. and so on at each stage the screen will not allow meds to be administered until tick box filled in .The daily update will be carried out by the pharmacist.who will have overall responsibility for this .Sounds very over the top i agree but who knows what computers will take over next.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • computerised obs - they record the MEWS score on screen and alert the nurse when they are abnormal. The outreach team will have access to these obs too for the acutely unwell patient.It is still up to the nurse to alert the doctor and take appropriate action.

    An internet bleep system out of hours, you put a low/medium/high risk call through to the doctor - it doesn't make the doctor come and see the patient any quicker but it is a record that they have been called and the calls can be audited. The problem is that some nurses just use this and don't document anything in the notes.

    computerised name-bands that match up with drug-charts, it wouldn't stop the patient getting the wrong drug or the wrong dose unless all patients were given their own supply of medication which were all bar-coded and the pharmacist would have to be on the ward constantly checking when doses were changed or discontinued.

    meal ordering on-screen (hospedia tv), nurses have to help most of the patients with this, it doesn't benefit the patient but just helps the kitchen and cuts down on paper

    e-rostering - always wrong, good in theory but you can only request 4 shifts a month, it doesn't take into account you finish nights on the Sunday and puts you on an early the next day. it also doesn't look at skill mix.

    apart from that I am sure technology is here to stay.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • I am happy to move with the times if the computers dont break down, if the programmes are 100% able, if some staff don't leave all the important basic care and just use the computers too much of the time.
    Too many times lazy nurses or even not so lazy nurses get stuck to the computers and don't help as they should. The money is limited we all know that, therefore first things first.
    We cannot afford to have more computers now when there is not enough staff. No matter how much computers/technology the wards have it will never decrease the work at a significant amount to warrant money spent on them at this difficult time.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • we have digital blood glucose machines, they keep a record of a patients bm (no one seems to know how long the record is kept, it varies from 24hrs to 8 years). Some staff use each others barcode if theirs isn't working, if there is a mistake then it all comes back to the barcode holder, not the person who took the reading who didn't bother telling anyone that a patients bm was abnormal.

    it would inevitably be the barcode holders fault, either because they didn't act on it (even if they weren't told) or because they let someone else use their card.

    in this day and age the best thing anyone can do is cover your backside, never delegate, do everything yourself, document everything, second-check everything you do, always have a witness when talking to a patient/relative because no-one will ever stick up for you or take any responsibility when the crap hits the fan.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • How about webcams detailing meetings of management where these decisions are made and the driving philosophies made explicit?

    Unsuitable or offensive?

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment.

newsletterpromo