Nurses Have Power to Drive Interoperability

Interoperability is a challenge across the healthcare spectrum, but nurses have a unique opportunity to help improve many of the technological challenges the industry faces. Kelly Aldrich, DNP, MS, RN-BC, FHIMSS, Chief Clinical Transformation Officer at the Center for Medical Interoperability in Nashville, TN, has been in nursing since the ‘80s and says that clinician burnout is getting worse. “I see it affect friends, peers, and even myself,” she says. She believes that nurses have far more power to bring about positive change and guide the evolution of clinician environments.

Unfortunately, medical harm is the third leading cause of death in the United States. Healthcare providers strive to help people, but all too often, cause harm or death. Giving people a solid grounding in interoperability and technology and allowing them to use it to make clinical decisions is one important way to lower those grim statistics.

“Technology should support us in the hospital much like it does in our daily lives, and right now, it absolutely does not. It’s almost always a burden,” Aldrich says, citing the example of having to remove gloves in order to log in to a computer system when facial recognition could make the process go much more smoothly.

Aldrich says that nurses don’t give themselves enough credit for their own creativity when it comes to problem-solving. She suggests some powerful, actionable steps that nurses themselves can take in order to make their voices heard when it comes to technology.

Three of those steps call for nurses to:

  1. Become involved in committees within organizations and regional chapters, allowing your ideas and knowledge to be shared.
  2. Invest in your profession by being a mentor and finding a mentor.
  3. Drive change to reduce the burden and to improve care environments by guiding the conversation around how technology is used.

“I want to challenge people to remember why they got into nursing, and to consider the gap between where they are today and what they wanted when they started,” Aldrich says.

Visit the OR Innovation Suite

Make plans to take a virtual tour of the OR Innovation Suite, sponsored by Getinge, for an up-close look at cutting-edge products and technologies that are becoming the standard of care.