Last year, the global software solutions company Wolters Kluwer published an article of their expert insights into the healthcare industry by announcing three technology trends that they predicted would significantly impact 2023. The three trends identified were:
- Extending the clinical setting
- Focusing on the patient
- Evolving healthcare knowledge
In today's post, we'll explore the implications of their predictions as they apply to your role as a nurse.
Incorporation of Telehealth and Research into Patient Care
As a direct result of the pandemic's impact, in 2020, the use of telehealth jumped up to 38 times that of pre-COVID levels, and while public emergency restrictions have long since been relaxed and in-office visits and medical services are back, telehealth remains a significant player in patient care delivery and is here to stay. According to McKinsey research, psychiatry, and substance use disorder, healthcare sectors use telehealth more than others. Wolters Kluwer predicts that for telehealth to expand and grow as a reliable form of healthcare service delivery, there must be a focus on adopting evidence-based research to ensure quality care and outcomes.
Read About the Predictions for Telehealth in 2023 and Beyond
According to a journal published in the OJIN, "When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, healthcare professionals, including nurses, were not prepared to pivot to delivering care through telehealth technologies" because the primary emphasis in most curriculums where healthcare technology was more than briefly mentioned, was on the use of technology in healthcare for electronic records and informatics and not telehealth delivery. So, how does this apply to nurses? How many nurses reading this post had coursework in their nursing program or continuing education hours that touched on preparation, adaptation, and effective use of telehealth in nursing practice?
As funding, technology, and research are supplied to the incorporation of evidence-based research into telehealth, as nurses continue to provide a majority of direct patient care across the industry, and telehealth lengthens our reach, making healthcare more accessible, our ability to utilize telehealth effectively is more critical than ever. This year, we encourage you to look for CEU training courses to shape and enhance your telehealth capabilities.
More Accurate Patient Journey
The public health emergency of COVID left no doubt that patient history, intersecting health conditions, and long-term side effects can be confusing for people as individuals, which further impressed the need for accurate patient information. More precise patient information will help clinicians assess better severity and risk and analyze treatment options for individuals. This will help us achieve better outcomes and help our relationships with patients and their families as we can demonstrate that we see them as individuals, not as the masses.
Wolters Kluwer Predicts a Rise in Clinical Documentation
Improvement/Integrity Managers/Specialists (CDIs or CDISs) are supposed to bridge the gap between coding logic and clinical documentation, which has been identified as a gap in the machine of the healthcare system. This is an opportunity for nurses to pursue a specialty that is building itself to be a future essential role for improving healthcare provider efficiency as healthcare technology continues to adapt, innovate, and grow.
Read More About Jobs in Nursing Informatics
Adaptation of Clinical and Institutional Knowledge
Expect to see alternative care models emerge or be explored as nurse staffing continues to be a significant focus amidst the shortage and surges of nurse retirement. For those of us within the healthcare industry, this third trend should be no surprise because we've already seen surveys, had conversations, and read the fact sheets about the surging numbers of nurses who have reached or soon will reach retirement age. Mass numbers of retiring nurses at any time would be concerning as we know that when experienced nurses leave the work setting, they take their knowledge and wisdom.
This loss of institutional knowledge and wisdom amidst a backdrop of an occupation already experiencing a severe shortage has placed an exceptional amount of pressure on nursing programs, nursing advocacy groups, healthcare systems, and politicians to work together to address the issue.
To compensate, nursing educators will likely look to technology to better prepare new nurses for the day-to-day work and decision-making they will be expected to make on the job. We've already seen some hospitals and facilities exploring different nursing care models, and perhaps we'll see new developments or adaptations.
Short-term staffing solutions, such as Nursa, offer opportunities to retired nurses to maintain active licenses and work less often by working per diem (PRN) jobs. PRN jobs are for nurses who pick up work when they want it, but are not scheduled, are not obliged to work full-time, and can choose to work in various healthcare settings. Furthermore, while every nurse who decides to retire has undoubtedly earned it, some may find that keeping in touch with the industry and lending their experience and knowledge on different terms may appeal to them.