Many people in the medical world take nurses for granted. Every day, nurses face long hours, stressful work, and inadequate staffing. Covid hasn’t helped with the nursing crisis. Nurses have quit their jobs out of sheer exhaustion. There is a shortage of nurses projected through 2025. To deal with this crisis, it’s essential to make nurses’ lives easier. Keep reading for five ways to do this.
To Improve Nursing Workflow, technology must drive alerts to the right person on the team. Nurses often do more than their job description because there are needs, and so they meet them. But, nurses do not have time for all of these extra tasks. A nurse’s main job is to provide care for patients. These extra jobs don’t empower nurses to practice nursing. Extra tasks can also create breakdowns in their workflows.
Communications platforms can alert the person on the care team who is best able to handle that alert. For example, a low battery alert can go directly to a biomedical technician, and the nurse is not responsible for taking care of it. This way, nurses can keep caring for patients.
Hospitals tend to use outdated information and communication systems that work independently. For example, nurses interact with nurse call systems and patient monitoring devices. However, these systems do not communicate with each other. For example, a patient’s vital signs are abnormal but the information isn’t sent to the right person. Clinical communication platforms can automatically send notifications to the doctor or nurse. The platform can deliver details such as the patient’s name, room, and alerts called.
Communicate Among Providers
Care teams are large and include professionals from many departments and facilities. When a nurse needs to track down a physician, clinical communication platforms have a web-based directory to track down which practice needs calling, which doctor is on call, and how to contact them. If the system cannot locate the first person identified, it then calls the next person in the chain. The system is very efficient, and patients get the fastest care possible.
Nurses are usually alerted when someone requires attention. Sometimes, these alerts are true emergencies that need attention right away. Other times, a family member may ask a question about their loved one. Sometimes, equipment leads become disconnected, and alarms alert nurses. The problem with all of these alerts is that nurses often don’t have a way of differentiating one alert from the next.
Good clinical communication platforms include color-coded alerts, different sounds, and patient information to help the nurse identify the issue and make appropriate care decisions. There are also options to call patients’ rooms for a better explanation of the problem.
Workflows must be talked about and taught to clinical workers. Hospitals can highlight a specific area of clinical workflow each month. Discussing what is working for nurses and what isn’t helping can build an understanding between departments.
Each hospital or clinical setting has different needs. Look for a communication platform with flexible templates that can be adapted to the needs of the care team. Efficient systems require teamwork and time.
Nursing is a profession that constantly has a shortage of workers. Clinical platforms can address and, hopefully, reduce many of the frustrations and stressors nurses experience.