The NHS can save itself from ruin by allocating technology in key areas, according to a healthcare professional.
The director of wireless solutions provider Spectralink, has claimed that investment in tech like smartphones could improve patient care and day-to-day working lives of those in the industry.
Writing for The Guardian, Simon Watson referenced a freedom of information (FOI) request that found that two thirds of NHS staff still relies on handwritten notes, in spite of the paperless by 2018 policy.
He also noted a study that found 37% of health sector employees polled did not have access to wi-fi connection at work, despite 66% saying they felt this would improve their ability to provide high quality care.
“Sophisticated mobile communication technology could turn the situation around, allowing nurses to effectively be at their patients’ bedside whenever required,” Watson claimed.
“Technology can identify new ways to reduce administration and speed up decision-making, knowledge transfer, delegation and equipment finding.
“The right tech means nurses can spend more time with patients, improving the quality of care they can provide,” he added.
According to Watson, there are three simple capabilities that could run on a mobile device that would improve the lives of both clinical staff and patients.
The first of these is a smart nurse call system that would send patient alerts and lab results directly to the phone of the closest and most appropriately qualified member of staff.
He claims that this would allow nurses to respond immediately to patient needs without having to go directly to their room while allowing a comprehensive view of the ward.
Watson’s second suggestion is barcode scanning to ensure the right medicine is received by the right person and his third idea is geo-location of vital equipment to save time searching the hospital for it.
He also added that static technology creates delays, regardless of where it is located.
“The NHS needs to invest in purpose-built, smart mobile communication devices if it is to improve patient experiences, nurse satisfaction and hospital efficiency,” claimed Watson.
“With £70m of the Nursing Technology Fund still to be distributed, the means are finally available to make a difference,” he concluded.