Placed on – 13 June 2019

Nurses to the rescue: Adopting IoMT devices within healthcare

Adopting IoMT devices within healthcare

The widespread concern about data privacy, the fear of diminishing job security and regulatory standards are hindering the uptake of IoMT devices. Many medical professionals are cautious about its application in healthcare. Do you see the possibilities but are your colleagues worried about the adoption of these devices? The emergence of the chief nursing information officer (CNIO) in hospitals might offer a solution.

For some, digital transformation can be unsettling. A considerable obstacle is the widespread concern about privacy arising from the use of personal data. The question is clear: if healthcare professionals monitor and record detailed measurements, what happens to an individual’s data? Can they be leaked or hacked? It’s easy to understand why anxiety arises. Another obstacle is fear of technology which can be related to worries regarding diminishing job security and data security. These worries can often disrupt the process of adopting IoMT devices within healthcare. Thirdly, regulatory standards can be a hindrance. In response to developing technologies, new regulations often emerge that healthcare providers need to navigate. 


Digital innovations high on the agenda
A new study from the BDO Center for Healthcare Excellence & Innovation and the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing shows that more and more healthcare organizations are aware of their nurses being closely involved in healthcare processes. Therefore, they should include nurses in innovative health solutions. Dutch hospitals increasingly assign CNIOs who strive for building a bridge between healthcare and technology. They have a positive outlook on the uptake of IoMT devices. In an article on Computable, Christine Aberson, CNIO and nursing specialist, addresses the tasks of a CNIO: “CNIOs fill the gap between the nursing domain, IT department and the Board of Directors…It is also our job to place digital innovations high on the agenda and to initiate and support eHealth.” They are open to what is needed to optimize patient care and encourage other medical professionals to train with and use innovative products. Besides this, CNIOs support digitization and stimulate changing the management system of hospitals to optimize healthcare processes, such as reducing the administrative burden and stimulating data exchange between various organizations (hospital, general practitioners, home care). By inhabiting these tasks, CNIOs stimulate the adoption of IoMT devices within healthcare.

“Without a nurse on board it is a waste of money”
Besides, for instance, helping their colleagues overcoming their fear of technology, CNIOs are the ones who work in the field and know exactly how the innovative devices should work to be adopted within healthcare. This is highlighted by nursing expert Shawna Butler in Skipr. She held a plea about the EntrepreNurse who is at the heart of healthcare: “Nurses are closer than anyone to patient care. They know better than anyone what the patient needs. That is why they must be involved in the development of new products and solutions as early as possible. Only when nurses are involved, all those billions can be put into digital systems and produce real results. Without a nurse on board it is a waste of money.” It is this collaboration between CNIOs, innovative companies and healthcare organizations that makes a difference and results in realizing products that fit and optimize healthcare in its entirety.

Train your staff
The Dutch association V&VN has established the CNIO Network Netherlands where CNIOs share knowledge and experiences to further develop their role. In addition to 53 CMIOs (Chief Medical Information Officer), there are currently 21 CNIOs active in the Netherlands, mainly in hospitals. What can you as a healthcare organization do to support the CNIOs? For many medical workers, IoMT will be a new way of providing healthcare services, so it is important to take the time to train the staff in preparation to enter this world. Moreover, they have to understand that these devices are implemented to improve patient care. The CNIOs who think outside the box are indispensable and will play a key part in developing unique and innovative healthcare solutions.

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