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International Nurses Day: Honoring these essential providers everywhere

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International Nurses Day is coming up on May 12. Through this day of recognition, the International Council of Nurses (ICN) will highlight that while nursing is largely underfunded and undervalued, investing in nursing can bring about economic and societal benefits. As both a healthcare IT professional and a pediatric nurse in the emergency department, I consistently see firsthand the critical nature of the intersection of nursing and technology. From provider organizations to solutions developers, the perspectives of nurses are not only invaluable, but essential to all efforts to advance health IT.

Nurses are on the frontlines of care delivery and often spend the most time with patients among all care team members. Yet, despite the hands-on aspects of this role, studies have shown that nurses spend as much as 22% of their shifts on electronic health record (EHR) tasks.

Nurses spend as much as 22% of their shifts on electronic health record tasks.

This is a significant issue not only because more time in the EHR translates to less time with patients, but also because EHRs are a common stressor. One study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Nursing found that nurses using EHRs with poor usability are significantly more likely to report burnout, job dissatisfaction and intention to leave their job. From my own current doctoral research, I am finding a similar pattern: It appears that nurses would rather remain at their current jobs than switch to a new employer that uses more disparate systems and has worse workflows, even if that new employer offered higher pay.

And as we look ahead, retaining nurses may become an existential issue in the not-so-distant future. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce projects that 42 of the 50 states may have nursing staff shortages by 2030. Additionally, the ICN estimates there will be a worldwide need for 13 million additional nurses by 2030. If provider organizations cannot maintain adequate staff-to-patient ratios, they may be forced to close service lines, if not entire facilities, which could devastate local communities.

Clinician caring for patient in hospital bed

At Altera Digital Health, we are aware of these stakes. Even in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the nature of nursing has not changed. But technology needs to change, and nurses need a seat at the table. This is why we involve real clinicians as we bring new products and features to market. For example, from the design process of Paragon® Denali through the development stage, we are incorporating feedback from nurses at a variety of client sites. This will help ensure we deliver a much-needed alternative: an EHR platform that minimizes time spent in the patient record while giving nurses quick, easy access to the information they need to best care for the patient.

As Altera works to elevate healthcare experiences for all, we will continue to recognize the voices of nurses. The healthcare ecosystem—and your patients—are depending on it.


Paragon Denali: The alternative you need

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