A bring-your-own device (BYOD) policy for iPads and similar technology can help nurses deliver better patient care, a US expert has claimed.
If nurses are using their own personal mobile devices in the workplace they are more likely to know their way around them and use the devices to their full potential, said Judith Church, faculty member in the healthcare and healthcare informatics programs at American Sentinel University.
Familiarity with a device can translate into improved patient care, she explained.
Although she was speaking of the US healthcare system, her comments will be of interest to healthcare providers and nurses in the UK and elsewhere.
She believes BYODs have several benefits for nurses, such as leading to a greater sense of a work-life balance and more control over the technological environment, as well as increased productivity and job performance.
“BYOD initiatives should be expanded to include nurses as well as physicians in order to increase nurse productivity and improve patient care and satisfaction,” she said.
The expert was speaking after a recent survey by Fierce Mobile Healthcare shed more light on the ways in which nurses use their own devices while caring for patients.
Nurses questioned in the poll specifically said they use their own devices to improve patient safety and lower the risk of medical errors.
They suggested that their own devices fill a critical communication gap with the technology provided by hospitals, such as enabling them to quickly access clinical reference materials at the point of care or communicate with colleagues.
BYOD systems are not without risks or costs, however, as IT departments are faced with the challenging situation of having to provide support for a range of personal devices.