Written by Jacqueline Per, Executive Director, Patient Experience

National Nursing Week 2017, which runs May 8 to 14, celebrates how technology is shaping patient care. Tell us how it’s affecting your nursing practice and how Fraser Health can use it to improve the experience of patients.

This year's National Nursing Week theme #YESThisIsNursing will highlight the diversity in nursing, the places we work, our impacts on patients and how nurses are using technology in providing care to patients.

Digital technology is transforming the role of a nurse. It allows us to reach thousands of Canadians every day and connect one another to global issues, emerging trends and the dissemination of new evidence in nursing care. ‘Clinical informatics’ – the application of information technology to health care – is becoming a basic knowledge requirement for new graduates who want to practice in today’s clinical environments. The proliferation of smartphone apps to access drug information in the moment; virtual health technologies to link nurses and their patients in small rural communities to larger urban centres; and platforms that allow nurses to monitor post-operative patients after discharge are but some of the ways that technology is transforming our health system.

Today’s nurse is required to support patient engagement with technology in a way that demystifies technology in health care while ensuring the interpersonal aspects of the nurse-patient relationship remain intact. Nurses today must understand confidentiality and privacy in the context of online and web-based sharing of medical information. Nurses need to be knowledgeable and reflect upon the information they obtain though social media with a critical curiosity. And nurses need to actively engage and direct patients and families to evidence-based information.

In celebration of Nursing Week, I express a sincere ‘thank you’ to all our nurses for the valuable services you provide to our patients and their families.

Comment below and share how technology is shaping and impacting patient care in your clinical setting. As well, let us know how you think Fraser Health can more effectively engage and promote positive patient experiences through the use of technology.

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