Digital health program launched for nurses and midwives

Tuesday, 04 February, 2020

Digital health program launched for nurses and midwives

A professional development program has been launched to identify the digital health skills nurses and midwives need to further improve the quality, safety and efficiency of the care they deliver.

Run by the Health Informatics Society of Australia (HISA) — in collaboration with the Australian Digital Health Agency as part of the National Digital Health Strategy’s commitment to building health workforce capability in digital health — nurses and midwives across Australia will be consulted on the specific digital health skills they need, what is practical and relevant for them, and how a draft digital health capability framework could be used in hospitals and health services as a professional development guide for nursing and midwifery in the digital world.

The six-week consultation is being conducted in collaboration with the Australian College of Nursing, the Australian College of Midwives, the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF), the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council, the Digital Health Cooperative Research Centre (DHCRC) and Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officers representing federal and state government jurisdictions, along with other key stakeholders from across the nursing and midwifery sectors.

HISA CEO Dr Louise Schaper said, “In the emerging field of digital health, nurses and midwives are at the forefront, combining knowledge, data and technology to produce best possible outcomes for patients.

“In this new program, nursing and midwifery organisations will be collaborating to create the first national framework to support nurses and midwives in an increasingly digital workplace, with all the challenges and opportunities that provides.

“Our goal is to raise awareness among nurses and midwives of the value of digital health skills, the opportunities in the area, and the knowledge to improve quality of patient care,” she said.

Dr Schaper said once consultation was complete, the final capability framework and resources would be launched at the Nursing Informatics International Congress, NI 2020, taking place in Brisbane on 27–29 July.

Registered nurse Angela Ryan, the agency’s Chief Clinical Information Officer, said, “Nurses and midwives are once again ensuring that they are at the centre of their educational and professional development so that they can deliver the best care possible.

“This program will identify the specific skills nurses and midwives need for them to maximise the benefits for their patients from Australia’s digital health system.”

The program’s Advisory Committee Chair, ANMF’s Julie Reeves, said, “The ANMF is Australia’s largest union and professional nursing and midwifery organisation, representing more than 275,000 nurses, midwives and care workers across the country.

“We understand how important it is for our members to be skilled in the use of digital health tools and technology and see this as an opportunity to contribute to the ongoing development of our professions.”

Consultations began on 3 February 2020 and will run for six weeks. Information on the program is available here.

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