Last updated: 31.01.13

Mobile technology 'boosts productivity in nurses'

Rolling out technology to community nurses could trigger a significant increase in the number of patients they are able to see and the amount of time they spend with them.This is according to the final report from the Department of Health's mobile worker project, which found mobile devices have the potential to boost productivity and efficiency among healthcare staff, Nursing Times reports.Upon its launched in summer 2010, the programme provided nurses with laptops - Panasonic Toughbooks - at 11 pilot sites, which included locations in Bristol, Yorkshire, Essex, Lancashire, Essex and parts of the Midlands.It was discovered there was a massive increase in the level of interaction between workers and their patients. In Hartlepool, contacts by specialist nurses rose by 142 per cent, while in Tower Hamlets, this figure was 104 per cent.The publication stated the technology also proved "extremely popular" with clinical staff and it called for mobile technology to become "a reality" for community nurses, adding: "In times of intense pressure to deliver good care outcomes within increasingly tight budgets, the potential savings that have been proven to be achievable by the introduction of mobile working cannot be ignored."It also noted that at some sites, the number of journeys made by employees could be cut by up to 11 per cent, travelling time by up to 33 per cent and "no access" visits by as much as 50 per cent.This comes after prime minister David Cameron announced in October last year that the government will be investing £100 million in new technology for nurses and midwives.Healthcare leaders who are thinking about providing their staff with mobile technology may be interested in an upcoming event organised by West Yorkshire-based e-learning solutions firm Virtual College.There are still a few places left for those who want to attend the Lean Healthcare Academy Annual Conference and Awards 2013, which is set share best practices and reward members in the sector for their adoption and sustenance of Lean working principles.