Can Technology Alleviate The Nursing Shortage in United States?
The healthcare staffing shortage is upon us. COVID-19 took away the lives of many frontliners, and a hefty number of nurses also decided to leave the profession in the past two years. At this point, the country is already feeling a huge loss. Unfortunately, hospitals and other medical establishments are yet to achieve long-term solutions to replenish the nursing workforce.
However, various actions have been put in place to make sure that the current community of nurses does not diminish anymore, and new nurses are enticed to stay. Amended laws to promote nursing rights, companies putting a premium on benefits, and added focus on mental health—all these are only a few steps taken for nurses to feel valued more than ever.
One tool to make the workload a lot lighter for nurses and the institutions they serve is technology. Here is how technology can help alleviate the nursing shortage.
How Technology Can Alleviate the Nursing Shortage
Generally speaking, technology can help alleviate the nursing shortage in the US. It can lessen the attrition rate of nurses by making their work a lot lighter and more organized. Anyone knows how chaotic a hospital environment can be with the influx of emergencies and hectic shifts that can span more than 24 hours.
However, with some changes in the processes within the hospital and the incorporation of technology tools, the shortage of nurses can be tamed so that it won’t take any more victims. Below are some practical ways how technology can be a nurse’s lifeline to continue on their journey as modern-day heroes.
Shift scheduling apps can help nurses take control of time.
Unlike most professionals, medical frontliners can be subject to an on-call work arrangement, meaning they can be summoned to the hospital without prior notice. Moreover, nursing shifts can go up to 36 hours long. Imagine having to endure these hours, plus the constant worry of being asked to go back to work at a drop of a hat. These pressures contribute to burnout, a big factor in the nursing shortage.
A shift scheduling app can help nurses schedule their own shifts that are convenient both to them and the hospital they serve. This app can give them the freedom to craft how their shifts should look time-wise. They can also make adjustments for their personal leave requests and notify the hospital right away of their schedule requests. Additionally, if they cannot make it to a certain shift or take a leave for a personal emergency, they can look at who can cover for them. They can then quickly notify the prospective substitute and their supervisor.
There are various nurse shifting apps out there, like ShiftWizard and NurseGrid. Check out which one will best suit your hospital or medical facility. Then, you can schedule a tutorial with the app provider, so your medical workforce will reap the benefits of choosing their own schedules.
Electronic health record software keeps medical information consistent and accessible.
In actuality, a nurse’s time is spent a lot on keeping patients’ medical information up to date. Jotting down information of new patients and updating current ones take a toll on anyone’s drive and focus. This traditional means of manually keeping records are also prone to human error. The slightest mistakes in medicine dosages or diagnosis can put lives at stake. While word processors and online forms are a good start in digitizing medical records, electronic health record software or EHTs are much better at assisting nurses in keeping tabs on their patients.
If schools use learning management systems to maintain student records, hospitals and medical organizations can incorporate EHTs into their daily operations. EHTs can ensure nurses will have an easier time keeping up with the daily grind of taking care of others. With EHTs, patient records can be located and updated in a jiffy, and these records will be consistent for everyone, from the attending physician to family members requesting medical certificates.
What’s impressive about these EHTs is that data can be made accessible for quick usage. For instance, patient monitoring screens can show vital signs and other integral information. Doctors and nurses can whip out their smartphones to monitor patients in and out of the hospital. They can even make changes with the patient’s data right away as necessary.
Of course, the main concern with EHTs is the perceived complexity. Many current nurses in the US are part of a generation that may not be as familiar with technology compared to others. However, some assistance and training may be used so that everyone will be on board with EHTs, and they see how it’s better than the traditional pen-and-paper means of making patient records.
Upgrading medical equipment can help ease nurses’ daily tasks.
The following are other technology improvements you can introduce within the hospital. With these upgrades, nurses will not only be further assisted with their routine work but will also feel the concern and value given to them. Take these upgrades to give better services to your patients and their families and to communicate that their health is truly your number one goal.
- Smart beds give a whole new meaning to comfort. A bed that can track weight, vital signs, and even movement? That’s any doctor or nurse’s dream. Smart beds are also created to upgrade monitoring patients’ safety. With the bed’s particular capability to monitor the patient’s condition on its own, nurses can now shift their attention to other tasks that require human intervention.
- Automated IV kits keep dosages at an accurate level. IV drips must be kept at a consistent level so as not to overwhelm the patient’s body. Automated IV pumps can be controlled using an app, and the drip or dosage can be altered as needed. For pain medications, the patient can ask for adjustments, depending on the pain level they are experiencing.
- Wearable devices can also help in patient monitoring. For patients that have more mobility, monitoring gadgets are a fantastic option. Such devices can keep with the person’s heart rate, sleep patterns, and even respiration. Phone apps can help in tracking information, so nurses can simply take a look once in a while to see how their assigned patient is doing.
PRS Global is here to help you alleviate the healthcare staffing shortage.
As technology spreads across the globe, PRS Global will use tried-and-tested methods to reach out to nurses outside US to fill in spots within your medical workforce.
With PRS Global, you are assured of getting top-notch nurses willing to live in America and explore nursing opportunities the country offers. You can also be assured that PRS will assist nurses in assimilating to a new living and work environment and with legal concerns connected to their immigration, such as licensure and citizenship.
Use technology to take care of the current nursing population you have, and approach PRS Global to soon welcome new nurses into your medical institution. Contact PRS Global now.