Digitalisation in nursing

Digitalisation in nursing

With 7,000 nurses and carers Buurtzorg is the biggest Dutch company providing outpatient nursing and homecare. It was founded in 2006 by Jos de Blok who had previously spent ten years working as a nurse and manager.

He founded Buurtzorg because he could not see any opportunity, as a senior nurse, to transform a company from the inside. So far outpatient services have been managed centrally. Along with the professionalisation of outpatient care, the reporting on finance, journey times, treatment times and quality standards for care has been progressively extended. Companies responded with central planning and hierarchical organisational structures. Buurtzorg does not do any of this. And yet the company’s success story has now been approved even by auditors. In Germany, however, establishing this type of care service is no easy matter on account of the enormous documentation requirements. But there is one such project underway in Weinheim under the management of Dominik Pauly.

Simplifying documentation in the sphere of nursing with digitalisation

One of the most important reasons why Buurtzorg now exists is that documentation takes up a lot of time for nurses. Staff are provided with iPads here to reduce the administrative workload. Inpatient hospitals such as the Eppendorf University Hospital in Hamburg have had very positive experience with digital media in the medical sphere. This should also be possible in the sphere of inpatient and outpatient care.

Robots in the sphere of nursing

In Japan a quarter of the population is already over the age of 65 today. In Germany this number will be reached by 2030. More than three million people will be in need of nursing care by that time. In Japan there is already a shortage of nursing staff, which is why robots have been developed there such as the entertainment robot Parlo, which has been produced by Fujisoft. The machine, which is 40 centimetres tall, has control of approximately 500 programs and provides entertainment with puzzles, music and sudoku. And that was just the start of digitalisation. At the biggest technology trade show in the world, the CES in Las Vegas, robots were presented in 2016 which have the following capabilities:

  • Reporting odours (incontinence)
  • Lifting people and loads (safeguarding the health of nursing staff)
  • Organising video and telephone conferences with doctors, nurses, relatives and patients
  • Monitoring patients
  • Making emergency calls
  • Producing medical diagnoses
  • Entertaining patients, telling stories, selecting music etc.