The implementation of new working processes that include the adaptation and the use of new technology can be challenging and troublesome. The nursing activity is no exception, as resistance to change often impedes the effective integration of new technologies in the nurses activity. The improper management of the resistance to change is actually the cause for which many institutions and organizations have failed to integrate and install change. The executive positions in the nursing facility’s administrations are responsible for changing the staff’s perception about new technologies. The case of the Veteran’s Affairs facility illustrates how Vocera and iPad technologies improve the facility’s efficiency, serving as an excellency model for other institutions that deal with the implementation of change.
Attaining transformation in nursing implies accepting change. However, nursing is based on bureaucratic processes and on a very strict working environment. Nevertheless, because of its main goal of providing patient care, nursing is at the crossroads between classical, bureaucratic systems and innovative, modern working processes. In this context, the adoption of new technology, such a Vocera and iPad within the Veteran’s Affair facility is both a challenge and a real and effective benefit for the facility.
Rose (in Ball, Weaver and Kiel, 2004) state that in the healthcare, specifically in the nursing profession, transformation requires not solely a technological change by adapting to new software or hardware computing systems, but a general change of the reasoning system. The outlined case suggests a monotonic acceptance of the obsolete pagers or other less effective technology as a communication means, solely because people were used to working with those systems. Rose (in Ball, Weaver and Kiel, 2004) notes that in nursing, the obsolete care practices and technology accounts for 30% to 50% wasted time and resources, of which patients have no use. Moreover, the case of Veteran’s Affair facility suggests that continuing working with obsolete technology and refusing to adjust to modern, and effective working practices can even implicate serious aggravations of the patients’ health and can impede effective intervention.
Although the role of nursing for the society is, together with the entire healthcare industry, to generate progress for helping the patients, Rose (in Ball, Weaver and Kiel, 2004) observes that among nursing facilities prevails a sense of profit interest rather than patient wellbeing focus. Going back to the essence of nursing profession, the role of healthcare practitioners is to provide accurate and effective services for their patients and for this reasons they need to embrace change and implement it within their working processes for delivering “value, safety and appropriateness” (Rose, in Ball, Weaver and Kiel, 2004, p. 149).
Because applying changes, even if they are for the better of the working processes and of the patients in the nursing domain, often encounters resistance, the executive body needs to step in, manipulating the acceptance and embracement of change (Rose, in Ball, Weaver and Kiel, 2004).
In the case of the Veteran’s Affairs facility, the transformation and the acceptance and embracement of change (adopting the Vocera and the iPod new communication technologies) need to be inculcated as needs for saving patients. This approach implies a degree of manipulation from the side of the facility’s CEO, CIO and Nursing Administrator. Their role is to also create a general expectancy mood among the staff, making the employees eager to use the new technology.
The introduction of the new technology should include accurate benefits of the new technology in the day to day work of the nursing profession. The Nursing Administrator, talking in the name of the nurses, need to explain and to demonstrate how the new technology will change the staff’s work, not only in terms of time saving, but also in terms of accessorizing the facility with a modern practice.
Providing assistance to the staff, even after they were trained on how to use the new technology should be the focus of the Nursing Administrator, who will have to report to the CIO and CEO on the establishment and the institution of the change. Similarly, from time to time, after the staff started using both Vocera and iPad, activity accomplishments (statistics about effective interventions, time saving, contribution to progress, etc.) should be promoted within to facility for celebrating the success of the new working systems.
Rose, J.S. in Ball, M.J., Weaver, C.A. & Kiel, J.M. (2004) Healthcare information management systems. New York: Springer.