By Julie S. Grenuk, RN, MS, RCC / Nurse Executive
Nurses are central to care coordination, patient safety, and streamlining collaboration. Nursing has become one of the largest segments of the US workforce, employing 3.8 million nationwide within hospitals, healthcare agencies, schools, clinics, nursing homes, and home health, as well as hospice, mental health, and even the military. It’s no surprise that nursing opportunities have skyrocketed in the last year as care demands have become unprecedented. As a result, we can expect a few major shifts in nursing industry trends.
A truly seamless patient care experience occurs only by connecting nurses with physicians, patients, and the entire care team. Amplifying communication and collaboration for nurses allows them to spend more time focusing on what really matters — their patients, and facilitating the best quality care.
Technological advancements for nurses also pave the way for a future where care delivery is no longer limited to the four walls of the health system or by toiling away within silos. By igniting collaboration throughout the patient journey, hospitals are better able to drive improved outcomes and positive patient experiences.
With these in mind, we look at the ways in which the nursing industry will change and innovate in the coming year, and how new nursing technology and workflow trends will impact those who care for us the most.
Looking ahead, we anticipate significant job growth for all nurses throughout 2021. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that nursing will become one of the top careers to flourish over the following decade, expected to grow by an estimated 370,000 new jobs.
As society becomes more mindful of their health and newly implemented safety precautions, caregiver and nurse adaptability needs will also increase. Likewise, aging populations and higher interest in remote care further suggest the need for caregiver versatility.
Specialized tools like alerts, alarms, and nurse call middleware provide flexible options for caregivers, allowing nurse leadership to route alerts and notifications to the right staff via smart, rules-based workflows. Clinical roles, assignments, prioritization, and availability also function to save time for nurses, reducing unnecessary interruption and maximizing flexibility.
Seen at nearly every touchpoint within the hospital, nurses are expected to become experts in bridging communication and collaboration gaps between providers, care teams, and patients. Delivering a hybrid of care and caring, nurses will ensure patients have a significant say in their own healthcare and that families are brought into the care process.
Communication in nursing is a key element of effective healthcare delivery. Historically, nurses are involved in communication workflows significantly more often than physicians. Through dynamic chat tools like video, voice, and text, communication for nursing specialists has never been easier.
The benefits of nurse communication are overwhelmingly important. Communication in nursing is based on the exchange of information; the patient conveys their concerns to their nurse, allowing the nurse to provide proper treatment. Clinical communication has a lot of moving parts, but with HIPAA-compliant, secure messaging, nurses can communicate safely and securely with colleagues at the point of care from a smartphone, tablet, or desktop.
Nurses and caregivers should always be seeking strategies that improve their communication, routines, and the overall patient care experience. By eliminating barriers and communicating effectively, nurses perform their jobs better, save time, and expend less effort.
At the beginning of the pandemic, telehealth visits skyrocketed by 150%, accelerating demands for virtual care. Although the situation required remote care for the safety of all, the convenience and benefits of virtual care signify that telehealth will continue to expand.
By uniting all members of the care team in a single video session, telehealth conveniently connects patients with the right staff for fast, expert care. As telehealth trends for nurses shift, an increase in home health consults, remote video check-ins, and conversations with family members will occur.
Virtual care puts patients and safety first. Patients have more say in managing their healthcare and can access their own data. Nurses can not only chat in real-time with patients, but also share vital patient data, review labs, schedule appointment visits, and create follow-up reminders.
With nurses at the forefront of healthcare, it’s critical to keep their needs, skills, and expertise in mind when building out your care delivery strategy.
By reviewing trends in the nursing field and within care delivery, we learn more about the direction of healthcare and the nursing industry as a whole.
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