Nurses should be taking a more active role in shaping healthcare technology and advocating for active involvement in design processes, a new study concludes. They also should be trained and equipped with tech literacy to do so. The report highlights instances where the absence of nurse input led to issues, such as overly complex electronic health records (EHR) systems that consumed excessive time.

“The actual design of healthcare technologies is mostly performed by engineers,” the study authors wrote. “Nurses are rarely involved. This lack of involvement could be seen as a missed opportunity, as nurses at wards are experts in delivering care and have the most adequate insights into what technologies are needed.” 

Particularly within long-term care communities, interviews with nurses reveal a desire to be engaged early in the design phase, and emphasize the importance of providing them with the necessary technological competencies.

Study authors touted the idea of creating intentional spaces for collaboration between healthcare workers and innovators as a way to get nurses more involved, citing successful examples like Innovation Centers in the Netherlands. 

Recent similar studies, including one on healthcare students’ support for robotics in senior living, and another addressing nursing students’ concerns about seniors adapting to technology changes, align with these findings. 

The full report was published in the International Journal of Nursing Studies Advances.