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Nurses, technology, and the changing face of healthcare

- May 9, 2013 11:28 am

Recently, I had the honour of speaking at the Saskatchewan Registered Nurses Association’s annual general conference – what a thrill! It was an opportunity to speak to nurses about how technology can help change the face of healthcare, and the many ways we can go about achieving it. This is something that I think is so very crucial to not only ensure the sustainability of our healthcare system, but also to ensure we are striving to deliver better patient outcomes and experiences.

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I’d like to share an excerpt of my remarks to this group of dynamic nurses:

It starts with the work we are doing every day in the name of passion, in the name of challenge, and in the name of commitment to empower patients to live at their highest level of health.

This will take a lot of guts on your part, to embrace the positive disruption that can lead to innovation in healthcare technology. But there is no better profession than nursing to lead us there. You understand the patient like no one else, because you have the empathetic ability to think like them, and to understand what they are going through. You understand that the more knowledge and information a patient has, that most of them will take better care of themselves.

You also know that we need to manage health, not disease—which is a huge paradigm shift for everyone. But as nurses, you sit at the very center of our healthcare system. And if any of you have read Jeffrey Simpson’s book “Chronic Condition”, you will remember he says that healthcare in Canada isn’t just public policy, it’s a public icon. In my mind, that makes all of you icons. And as icons, you have the power to lead innovation in healthcare technology.

So in the words of Mickey Drexler, a retail CEO guru, “Have conviction in what you do and don’t be afraid.”

Healthcare and technology run concurrent paths. As technology improves, so does healthcare. After all the positive feedback I received at the conference it’s clear a lot of nurses share my feelings. I, for one, am very excited about the bright future of nursing and technology.

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