It’s no secret that hospitals are suffering from a nurse staffing crisis like no other. According to recent reports, registered nursing was the fifth most in-demand job in America. With experts projecting that 1.2 million nurses will be needed by 2030 to address the current deficit.
Reasons behind the nurse staffing crisis include the aging of baby boomers. This means that more nurses are retiring (70,000 annually), and the patient population is growing. The recent global pandemic has also underscored just how overworked and underappreciated nurses may feel. Many are leaving the profession early because of increased burnout and stress.
Under these conditions, healthcare organizations must compete fiercely to attract talent while also making their nursing staff more productive and engaged. Improving the data capture technology that nurses use daily for a range of scan-heavy workflows is key to addressing this challenge.
Barcode scanning to verify patient details or medication, and track medical supplies, can help healthcare providers become employers of choice. Reliable, familiar, and easy-to-use data capture technology allows nurses to focus on what they do best: caring for patients. This leads to benefits including better recruiting and retention, improved patient care, and greater productivity and efficiency.
Smart data capture on smart devices provides actionable insights and automates end-to-end processes by capturing data from barcodes, text, IDs and objects. Let’s look at some ways it can make nurses more productive and engaged, and improve patient care at the same time.
Give nurses the tools they want and need
Nobody spends years of education and training hoping to become bogged down by slow, manual processes or cumbersome, outdated equipment.
By providing your nursing staff with the best technology, including augmented reality (AR), multi-scan capability, and high-performance barcode scanning on familiar and easy-to-use smart devices, you’re demonstrating to prospective and current employees that you value their time and expertise.
Save time and effort on operational processes
Speaking of time, resource-strapped healthcare organizations need to get more done faster than ever before. This often means nurses work to exhaustion, which can cause burnout, turnover, and increased patient risk.
Smart data capture on smart devices mobilizes tasks and processes while greatly reducing the risk of human error. It can also reduce the risks associated with task and process workarounds that staff must pursue when dedicated scanners fail.
These benefits allow nurses to do more without adding time and effort or increasing stress. Everything they need is on a single, familiar smartphone that fits in their pockets. This smart device offers reliable, multi-mode connectivity (5G, WiFi, Bluetooth), super-accurate scanning of multiple barcodes at once, instant availability of critical information right on the screen, and AR-powered picking to quickly find the right medication for patients, even on a crowded shelf.
The scanning technology can work within applications adapted to each nurse’s specific role (no more one-size-fits-all), and it reliably exchanges information with core systems so that data is updated everywhere at once in real time — automatically.
Dedicate more time to patient care
By speeding administrative functions securely and accurately, smart data capture on smart devices offers nurses more time to do what they are best at: directly caring for their patients. Spending more time with patients has been shown to improve job satisfaction and retention, as well as patient safety and the overall patient experience.
Registered nurses spend less than one-third of their total work time, approximately 32 percent with patients.
It stands to reason, then, that any technology giving nurses more time with their patients can improve job satisfaction and patient safety alike.
Easy implementation and onboarding
In a remarkably short time, development teams can add scanning capabilities into new or existing smartphone applications. For example, the University of California, San Francisco implemented its entire Epic Rover smartphone solution in 14 days — from planning, to staff using it on the floors.
Nurses are already familiar with the hardware — i.e., the smart devices — and can even take advantage of AR-based training right on the device to get up and running in no time.
Low cost of ownership
The costs associated with dedicated scanning devices can add up. The devices are used on medical carts to allow for bedside medication administration. The total cost of both the cart and the device can run up to $10,000.
Many hospitals already equip their staff with smart devices, be it phones or tablets. But even if that is not the case, the total cost of ownership (TCO) of a scanning-enabled mobile device substantially undercuts that of a dedicated scanner or mobile computer.
In fact, the TCO for smart data capture on smart devices is typically one-third that of traditional scanning hardware. That leaves more money to put toward additional incentives and compensation to attract the best talent.
Implementing smart data capture on smart devices can be an integral part of an overall program to attract and retain valuable nursing talent in a historically competitive labor market. Scandit Smart Data Capture helps healthcare organizations automate manual workflows, comply with regulations, and free up clinicians to spend more time caring for patients.
Our high-performance mobile scanning software powers apps to make swift work of processes like verifying patient details and medication and tracking medical supplies on the go. And in doing so, it gives healthcare organizations an advantage to attract a new generation of nurses armed with flexible technology to face current and future challenges.
Connect with us to learn more about leveraging Scandit Smart Data Capture to improve healthcare operations.