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Nursing 2.0: From Bedside to Techside

My wife is a nurse. My mother-in-law is a nurse. My stepdaughter is a nurse, and my rampant clumsiness means I have certainly been the recipient of good nursing care along the way. That’s why I was thrilled to join a technology company that employs—and cares about—so many nurses.

There’s a technological wave underway—a transition from electronic systems that merely consume and store energy to ones that can help to enable connected health, wellness and communication for patients. Nurses will play a key role in this digital transformation. Think of it as Nursing 2.0.

The American Nurses Association (ANA) has designated 2017 as the “Year of the Healthy Nurse.” Fittingly, this year’s National Nurses Week theme is “Nursing: the Balance of Mind, Body and Spirit.” With this in mind, we asked a few of our InterSystems nurses about the role and impact of technology on their careers—and the promise it holds for patient care.

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Here’s what they had to share.

“When talking about the impact technology has had on my nursing career, I always start back at the basics: Being sick is scary! It’s that simple,” said Danielle Micciantuono, MSN, RN, clinical application analyst. “Whether navigating the medical system as a nurse, a mother, a wife or a patient, the fear that comes with sickness remains the same. As a nurse, it is my nature to want to help or to fix things. As Jean Watson said: ‘Caring is the essence of nursing.’ Technology has become a necessary part of that ‘essence.’ For many years, the nursing role has used technology, and has focused primarily on the electronic health record and ‘getting data in.’ More recently, there has been a change in this focus and nurses are working more to ‘get data out.’ This focus shift is called interoperability, and offers nurses the opportunity to get back to the business of caring through better care coordination, leading to improved patient outcomes.”

“Healthcare technology is strengthening the collaboration between patients and nurses,” added Sue McCready, RN, product innovation specialist. “When a nurse has visibility into shared care plans that include patient preferences, he or she can ‘hear the patient’s voice,’ even when this is not physically possible. That is especially important for palliative care and end-of-life care. Ironically, advanced technology is helping to satisfy the very basic human need—to be heard.”

“We live in an exciting time where technology is opening new doors for how we engage with patients and how we as nurses provide care,” said Sydney-based product manager Didier Moutia. “Technology and, in particular, health IT systems are not new. However, it is only recently that health IT systems have matured to a point where they can assist to truly transform healthcare. For nurses Health IT is exciting, new tools allow nurses to better engage with patients and provide truly patient-centered care. The tyranny of distance, for example, is no longer an impediment to good care and patient support thanks to easily accessible records and telehealth systems which support virtual consultations and meetings. The ability to access information when needed and at the point of care leads to more efficient service delivery but also better decisions by nurses and better outcomes for patients.”

Happy National Nurses Week to all of the nurses in our lives—those who connect with patients directly and those who connect the systems together on the front lines of Nursing 2.0.

Tom Keppeler

Tom Keppeler is director of communications for InterSystems and oversees media and analyst relations, social media and executive communications. He has 20 years in professional communications, primarily with health-based companies and non-profit organizations in the Greater Boston Area. Connect with him on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/tomkeppeler/.


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