Authors:
Carey Ann Mather, Elizabeth Anne Cummings and Fred Gale

What’s the research –
In this research we interviewed senior nurses from nursing profession organisations to gain an understanding about what factors influence the development of policy regarding the use of mobile technology.

Why it’s important –
Risk management, perceived use of mobile technology, connectivity to information and real-time access were the four themes that emerged from this study. Consideration of these factors is important to understand why adoption of mobile technology in healthcare settings can be fraught. Addressing these themes has the potential to support nurses in developing capacity to lead technology adoption in healthcare environments. Nurses are the largest group of health professionals and are key to guiding decision-making and need to be included when organisations plan to implement new systems, software or technology into the workplace, especially if nurses are expected to promote its use to others or use the technology to input, seek or retrieve information. Organisations also need to ask nurses what attributes the new technology needs to include to enable incorporation into everyday routines as technology adoption needs to improve workflow. Also, nurses need to be able to access information, so they can manage the complexity of patient care, by being able to seek and retrieve information at the bedside which can also assist patients to become partners in their own care. Being able to demonstrate leadership and model safe and appropriate behaviour when using mobile technology is important to advance nursing practice. Digital professionalism must be introduced early in the undergraduate nursing curriculum, so that nurses know how to manage the use of digital technology in the workplace.

What have we learned –
The lack of clear direction within nursing governance structures currently hinders the implementation of digital technology. Nurses need to demonstrate leadership at all levels to remediate this absence of governance. Inclusion of nurses in decision-making and enabling digital professionalism to be modelled and incorporated into routine workflows will foster a more inclusive culture and contribute to improving patient outcomes. This research confirms the recently published key requirements outlined in the peak nursing body joint position statement on the adoption of digital health technologies into healthcare environments.

Who should read this paper –
Policy professionals, health professionals, nurses, consumers

To read the entire journal article, click here.

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