More and more health systems are taking steps to “fully unleash nurse innovators at the leadership level,” a new report shows, tapping their specialized expertise for technology deployment, process improvement, patient experience and more.

Nurses are well-positioned to lead innovation and digital transformation

Digital Transformation – More and more hospitals and health systems are recognizing the innovation their nurses can bring to the table, shows a new study from the BDO Center for Healthcare Excellence & Innovation and the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing.

WHY IT MATTERS
On both the clinical and operational sides, nurses are appreciated by colleagues for their skills in areas such as “interface of clinical innovation and technology” and “design-thinking for process change,” according to the report.

But the study also finds that health system leadership needs to do better encouraging and optimizing the forward-thinking skills these nurses can contribute.

“When people think about nurses, most view them as caregivers,” said Therese S. Richmond, associate Dean for Research & Innovation at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. “They don’t really think about nurses as innovators or the impact nursing can have when it’s applied to creating research-driven, innovative health solutions – both products and processes.”

She added: “Every product and process that touches a patient goes through a nurse.”

Until recently, hospitals have been slow to recognize and capitalize on that fact. The new report shows that just 31 percent of clinical leaders surveyed say they currently have a designated nursing leader whose primary responsibility is innovation. And only 46 percent of business leaders say they make a point of including people with a nursing background in their C-suite.

But it also shows that in the next few years – by 2025 – both the clinical and financial sides are planning to make much better signal that they’re taking steps to “fully unleash nurse innovators at the leadership level.”

This article originally appeared on healthcareitnews.com To read the full article, click here.

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