Australian Healthcare Workers Demand New Technology To Improve Patient Care

Two-thirds of Australian healthcare workers agree their organisation needs to invest in new or better technology to improve patient care.

A global healthcare study by mobile and IoT management solutions provider SOTI reveals that only 33% of Australian healthcare workers’ time is spent caring for patients.

With research conducted across seven countries (Australia, UK, Germany, France, Sweden, the US and Canada) among homecare workers, visiting nurses and nurses in the field, in both private and public sectors, the report finds that two-thirds of Australian healthcare workers agree their organisation needs to invest in new or better technology to improve patient care.

In fact, 66% of Australian healthcare workers indicated that the technology currently deployed by their organisation wastes valuable time that could otherwise be used to help patients. In addition, 84% said they often struggle with their technology set-ups in the field — when they are outside of the healthcare facility visiting and caring for patients — which further takes time away from patient care.

“In this new research report, we’ve looked at how current systems and technology are supporting healthcare workers on the frontline to meet the incredibly demanding challenges brought on by the pandemic,” SOTI APAC VP of Sales Michael Dyson said.

“From our findings, it is clear that legacy systems and outdated technology are holding frontline workers back from prioritising face-to-face patient care.”

In Australia, healthcare workers said that only 33% of their time is actually spent caring for patients, with the rest (67%) spent on tasks such as accessing and updating patient records, accessing test results, travelling or recording information for administrative purposes, much of which technology could help to automate.

Another major factor taking critical time away from patient care was the time spent dealing with technical or system difficulties. The research revealed that on average, 90% of healthcare workers in Australia estimated they lose up to five hours in a typical working week dealing with technical and system difficulties, translating to over 240 hours per year.

“Today healthcare workers have a responsibility to not only care for their patients, but to attend to a range of other important administrative tasks,” Dyson added.

“Juggling all of these responsibilities means healthcare workers are under enormous pressure, and with the added burden of a global pandemic their time is more constrained than ever before. If the pandemic has taught the healthcare industry anything, it is that technology is critical and can support and free up time for healthcare workers. Healthcare workers can’t afford to needlessly lose time to technical difficulties or inefficient technology, which could put lives at risk.”

The research reflected this, with more than half (58%) of Australian healthcare workers saying that COVID-19 had an impact on the systems and technology they use. Only 32% of Australian healthcare workers said that existing technology and systems were able to manage pandemic-related patient needs, yet 44% indicated that new systems and technology were introduced to help them care for patients during this time.

“Those healthcare providers that are implementing and equipping healthcare workers with the most up-to-date technology, backed by advanced systems — including an integrated mobility and IoT management platform — are playing a crucial role in helping their frontline workers to devote more of their time to caring for patients,” Dyson said.

Originally published at Hospital Health

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