Turn to Tech and Telecoms to Reduce Pressure on Nurses, Says KPMG
In the wake of research published at the RCN Congress, Andrew Hine, partner and UK head of public healthcare at KPMG, comments on the need to bring technology to the heart of community healthcare to improve patient care and support the needs of nurses.
He says: “Community nursing is critical to the future of the NHS and the role played by nurses and others working outside hospitals will only increase in importance as our health service evolves. However, debate about how the best possible patient care is provided will ring hollow unless technological, telecommunication and medical advances are factored into the discussion.
“Today’s consumers of healthcare have got used to a diet of banking and shopping online. Their comfort with the virtual world has raised expectations for ‘always on, always available’ technologically-driven healthcare. That’s why so much time and effort has been invested in the development of tele-health programmes over the past 5 years and if one thing is clear from recent trials, it is that technology can be used to better serve patients whilst simultaneously reducing the burden on the nursing staff who look after them.
“If time is an issue and if reaching patients is a difficulty it makes sense for the medical community to look at the benefits that tele-based support can bring. This is about more than providing boxes and wires; it’s about redesigning care pathways so that patients are effectively monitored remotely and nursing staff are better informed in a timely manner. After all, it’s not just delivery that counts – where and how it is done can have a dramatic impact on patient well-being, reduce the burden on staff and help reduce costs.”