One nurse is holding a Surface Go 3 and Surface Pen while sharing the screen with another nurse.

Caring for nurses: How technology can support the frontline of healthcare

Sarah Devitt

Sarah Devitt

Microsoft, Digital Transformation and Public Sector

Read Time, 3 min.

Nurses make up around 70% of the healthcare workforce, providing the vast majority of direct care to patients in the health service.

But despite playing such a major role, the job of nursing is becoming more and more challenging and the churn rate is increasing. Demographics show that the population is aging across Europe, with chronic disease on the rise too, placing more strain on nurses than ever.

Technology can help to support this stretch on nurses. That’s why Microsoft has been interviewing nurses and nurse managers from six hospitals in six different countries across Western Europe. The objective was to identify key challenges that nurses face, which can potentially be resolved through smart digital solutions.

Here we look at some of the main challenges identified by the research and the smart solutions that can address them.

Challenge #1: Information isn’t always at hand when needed

Nurses want an overview of all the important information that’s relevant to the shift they’re working and the ward they’re working on. That means information on their team, patients, what is where on the ward, and any specific protocols.

Challenge #2: So much precious time gets lost on the ward

Time is the highest currency on the nursing ward. Yet much of it is lost on things like registration, searching for information, and walking between computers and patients’ beds. Additional time is wasted finding the right person or specialist to support patients due to manual searching. Nurses want that information at hand – and handsfree – whenever they need it.

Challenge #3: Information is lost between large nursing teams, which impacts care

Nursing teams are large and transient, with complex shift patterns making it hard to know who is in when. Within such an environment, critical information can easily get lost. Nurses need an overview of all relevant patient care information, either near the bedside or on a laptop.

Challenge #4: Chief nurses need flexible nurse staffing

Managing nurses can present as much of a challenge as the nursing itself. Making sure the right nurse is on the right task and with the correct patient is critical to ensuring that staff are able to respond quickly to changes on the ward. They also need to be able to monitor the workload of the ward and be able to drill into information about every shift.

Smart solutions that can be created now

For every challenge, there is a smart solution. And we found that easy-to-use dashboards that are available on mobile devices would be an effective way of addressing many of the challenges identified by the research.

Such dashboards can be created by and for nursing staff easily using the Microsoft Power Platform. By using Microsoft Teams as the collaboration fabric for solutions like the Power Platform or even partner solutions such as Nuance, nurses across Europe can unlock more efficient ways of working that can make their lives – and the lives of their patients – better.

Preparing and monitoring patients better

Smart solutions can have positive impacts that go beyond nurses and chief nurses, benefiting the patients too. Applications that encourage patients and relatives to engage with the health service before they arrive create a culture of self-management and better prepare both patients and staff for what to expect during their visits. They can also be used post-discharge to ensure that monitoring and support continue at home.

Learn more about empowering nurses

Discover the full scope of our research into the challenges facing nurses by visiting our GitHub page where you’ll find a whitepaper and examples of three open-source Power Apps based on the study.

Discover more related articles per industry:

Education

  • Girl studying

    Secondary school Kirchdorf: Reimagining hybrid learning with Surface and Teams

    “What we really wanted to achieve was simplicity for both our students and our educators. Through our digitalization efforts, we’ve seen that using technology to complement traditional teaching and learning is an investment for the future, not just for children, but for everyone.” Martin Schnetzer, teacher and IT admin at Mittelschule Kirchdorf, Austria, reflects on […]

  • a group of people sitting at a table using a laptop computer

    4 reasons Citrix and Windows Virtual Desktop are better together for education

    Educational institutions all over the world experience a huge transformation. We are all familiar with the impact of COVID-19 on digitization in education, but there are more challenges. The digitization challenges faced by educational institutions   Because of the measures against the COVID-19 pandemic, like lockdowns and social distancing, the trend of online or blended […]

Finance & Insurance

Government

  • a woman sitting at a desk using a computer

    4 reasons Citrix and Windows Virtual Desktop are better together for government agencies

    Government agencies all over the world experience a huge transformation. Obviously, because of the COVID-19 pandemic the trend of remote work has taken off in ways nobody could have imagined a year ago. Since offices closed and civil servants needed to stay in their homes, remote work collaboration was the only option to continue serving […]

  • a display in a building

    How public health and social services can deliver better care with secure digital solutions

    The mission of Public Health and Social Services organisations is to provide the right services to the right citizens at the right time. But how can that be achieved against a backdrop of increasing regulation, growing demand for services and shrinking budgets? That’s the challenge that the IDC white paper ‘Transforming Public Health and Social […]

Healthcare

  • A man sitting down and smiling at the camera

    dacadoo: opening the digital door to a healthier future and a better world

    “530 years ago, Leonardo Da Vinci attempted to define the quality of human life. Fast forward half a millennium and we are doing the same thing – just with different technology.” Much like Da Vinci, Peter Ohnemus has grand ambitions for the role he can play in shaping human history. The CEO of global health […]

  • Asian female scientist working in a lab with conical flasks

    Navigating the odyssey of biomedical research

    In the healthcare industry, collaboration among multiple stakeholders is essential in driving biomedical research. Universities, Hospitals, Pharma, and Biotech are part of a complex and connected ecosystem. Healthcare institutions face critical obstacles when it comes to aggregating, harmonizing, and exploiting data for their studies. The lack of seamless knowledge sharing is hindering the progress of […]

Manufacturing

  • Infographic: field service redefined

    Infographic: field service redefined

    Adapting to customer demands in a connected world means empowering your people with tools that anticipate needs, unify communications, and deliver more. How long before it’s a matter of catching up?

  • Two field workers fixing airplane turbines

    IoT connected field service has tapped into a new economy of satisfaction

    There’s something to be said for how modern convenience has altered customer expectations globally. As the world rapidly moves towards digitisation, traditional values―such as price and product loyalty―are cast aside in favour of curated service experiences. In the field service industry, this has become an area of concern for continuous customer satisfaction and business growth. […]

Retail

Discover more related articles per dossier:

Customer Stories

  • two people working in a lab

    Terumo migrates its SAP environment from ‘on-premise’ to Azure

    Terumo, a major player in the healthcare industry, has been active for nearly 100 years – and operating from Belgium for 50. The global company is a leading provider of medical devices, from hypodermic needles and stents, to life-saving heart and lung machines. Recently, the company’s EMEA headquarters fully migrated its SAP Enterprise Resource Planning […]

Digital Transformation

  • Uncovered: 4 Essential Field Service Trends For 2018

    Uncovered: 4 Essential Field Service Trends For 2018

    In a changing world of innovative new technology, connected devices, and shifting employee and customer needs, what trends are shaping the future for the Field Service industry and how can you embrace them? Trend #1: Putting the right tools into the right hands “It’s about empowering the field service engineer with more than just the […]

Security & Privacy

Tips

  • Male store associate helping female customer in tech shop

    Creating great experiences for employees and the customers they serve

    Retail is experiencing ongoing labor shortages in the aftermath of the pandemic. Many people have retired early, found new jobs, or have simply decided to leave the labor market. As competition for skilled and experienced staff has become fiercer, attracting talent and retaining staff is crucial for survival and success.  While increasing wages and benefits […]