In October the Institutes of Medicine (IOM) and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) published the long awaited Future of Nursing (FON) report. The four key messages provide an excellent framework for the application of technology to the nursing profession. How can web-based technology and social media support the IOM FON efforts? Here are some ideas.
Recommendation 1: Nurses should practice to the full extent of their education and training
The expansion of telehealth practices requires a unified approach to licensure and nurse practice acts. Nursing practice crosses state lines in the digital age. State boards of nursing need to standardize and maximize scopes of practice for registered and advanced practice nurses.
Technology can enhance nursing practice to improve patient outcomes. Examples of technology-enhanced practice can be seen in the many new interoperative equipment becoming available in the clinical setting. This video demonstrates some of the new products that assist in expanding nursing’s ability to improve clinical outcomes.
Recommendation 2: Nurses should achieve higher levels of education and training through an improved education system that promotes seamless academic progression.
Improving current nursing education systems to include educational technologies can help achieve higher levels of education. Advancing into mobile learning platforms can open up greater opportunity for higher education and lifelong learning. This goal also includes optimizing multidisciplinary education. There are many opportunities to increase dialog among the disciplines through social networking.
Recommendation 3: Nurses should be full partners, with physicians and other health care professionals, in redesigning health care in the United States.
Social networking can also bring nurses to the table through efforts to encourage social dialog among diverse healthcare groups. Efforts such as #RNchat and #MDchat are a good start. Using these mediums to unify the various disciplines toward improved patient outcomes is an exciting future goal. What other Web 2.0 platforms can be used to build consensus?
Recommendation 4: Effective workforce planning and policy making requires better data collection and an improved information infrastructure.
From improving interoperability of current documentation systems to expanding nursing workforce data collection, an information infrastructure is all about technology. By establishing standardized language for documenting nursing interventions, we can affirm the nursing contribution to patient outcomes.
The Global Technology Nursing Association (GTNA) looks forward to opportunities to advance the key components of the IOM FON recommendations. How about you? What is your favorite recommendation from the report? How can we use global technology to accomplish it? Share your thoughts in the comments section of this post.