Empowered nurses leading digital health enablement

Nurses have a pivotal role to play in the widespread implementation and adoption of digital health technologies throughout the healthcare sector for the primary purpose of improving safety and quality of patient care.

Australian Health Journal talked with two of Australian top leaders in nursing and in digital health on how the role of nursing is pivotal to the success of digital health in the Australian health system.

Firstly, Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward, CEO of Australian College of Nursing (ACN) spoke about the ACN Nurse Informatics and Digital Health Faculty bringing together a group of nurses with a common interest in nursing informatics and digital health technologies. The faculty members work together to solve problems, share knowledge, cultivate best practice and foster innovation in this important area of healthcare. Kylie stresses, “The more that the digital platforms can assist nurses to spend time educating supporting, monitoring and investing in the people that they serve, the more enabled and empowered they are to do their job.”

Also in the joint interview, Amanda Cattermole, CEO of the Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) spoke about how, “Nurses have been great early adopters of digital health technologies. The uptake being driven further during COVID”. The ADHA provides information to help clinician digital health literacy through webinars, face to face meetings, education supports and tools, as well as the colleges and peak organisations across the sector for their workforces.

Kylie pointed out, even with digital health technologies there is an important role nurses play with their intuition, intellect and the heart. None of these can be automated. However the success of digital health is also down to the inclusion of nurses and nursing leadership in the design and co-design of digital health tools in the future. Amanda added, “This includes the structured learning and in the moment learning on the job. “

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