Government initiatives support technology in nursing
Deloitte's report highlights that healthcare technology such as telehealth is being embedded into government strategy. In NSW, there is a commitment to building telehealth into clinical practice through training and investment in new technologies.
“Telehealth simply involves people accessing healthcare through technological means such as video conferencing and other similar means as opposed to being there with the clinician live,” says Dr Smithson. Data management is key to modern nursing
Aside from flexibility, Dr Smithson says healthcare technology is providing greater access to much more data. “Going back 10 [or] 20 years, a lot of data was collected on paper and never saw the digital environment. But so much of our data now is being collected digitally, so that means we've got vast amounts of patient data available to us.” Deloitte reports that patient privacy and data security issues could become a greater concern for nursing professionals in the future.
In addition to negotiating regulations around privacy, the increase in data will enable greater collaboration with primary healthcare workers. This fine balance between privacy and collaboration will require nurses to develop skills in data management. The impact of technology requires nurses with higher qualifications
While nurses in Australian healthcare will require IT and data management skills, there’s a range of additional capabilities that will also be sought after. “There'll be a demand for nurses who can provide complex care and manage complex situations whether that be clinical situations or managerial situations,” says Dr Smithson.