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We all know knowledge is power.  This makes information – and data – the wind beneath knowledge’s wings. Kathleen McGrow, Chief Nursing Information Officer for the Microsoft Health & Life Science Industry Team, believes nurse informaticists and artificial intelligence (AI) will revolutionise healthcare across the world.

Kathleen McGrow’s clinical background includes many years as a trauma nurse and building an electronic health record system for the Amazon basin. She’s also worked at GE Healthcare, Phillips, Johns Hopkins and the University of Maryland trauma resuscitation unit. During her time things have changed beyond recognition.

Having experienced computer systems built by engineers who never went near a hospital ward, let alone asked nurses what they wanted, she could see the potential in developing user-friendly tech to help healthcare workers. So her next adventure saw her taking a Master’s in nursing informatics.

Kathleen believes that a lot of power from the frontline was given away in the early days, and organisations still deploy systems that don’t necessarily meet the needs of the workflow. With hindsight, information was not collected and stored in a truly useful way. And now that computers, tablets and phones are used in wards, do they create a barrier between the practitioner and patient?

Artificial intelligence is going to be huge in automating manual processing for nurses, Kathleen believes, with the possibilities being transformative – from imaging helping to stage wounds, to automating everyday manual processes. It’s just a case of working out the best way to fit that into the process.

In the face of growing challenges such as ageing populations, decreasing birth rates and a lack of new talent coming into nursing, Kathleen believes AI can not only take on some less technical roles but has great potential for education. Making your organisation open to digital improvement is vital and nurse informaticists can be thought leaders in this.

Find out Kathleen’s predictions for the future of healthcare including:

  • Why there will be more hospital at home care
  • Why ambient experience or voice recognition is going to be huge in nursing
  • Why generational differences in healthcare staff should be given more attention
  • Why interoperability and standardisation are crucial
  • And why it’s more important than ever that we look after healthcare staff properly

Show notes:

Learn more about ImproveWell

Connect with Na’eem and Lara on LinkedIn

Connect with Kathleen on Twitter and LinkedIn

Download the full episode transcript

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