Touch screen technology is increasing the time district nurses spend caring for their patients Health Minister Tony Ryall says.
“District nurses at Gore Health are piloting the new Agility TRx technology, from a touch-screen tablet, which allows them to get up-to-date information about their patients instantly and securely while out in the community,” says Mr Ryall.
“Since introducing Agility TRx last year, the eight district nurses at Gore Health have reduced the time they spend on unnecessary paperwork and travel by at least an hour per nurse, per day.
“This means hundreds of extra hours of nursing care are being provided to people in the Gore community. Care provided by district nurses includes home-based chemotherapy services, dressing wounds and intravenous therapy.
“In the past these district nurses made multiple trips to and from the general practice and hospital each day to collect hard copies of up-to-date patient information – this new technology means they have all the information they need at the touch of their fingers.
“I congratulate the district nurses and staff at Gore Health for piloting the new technology and improving health services for people in their community.
“Southern District Health Board began piloting the new technology with 16 of their district nurses last month. The success of the pilot will be evaluated at the end of the year and a decision will be made about rolling the technology out across the country,” says Mr Ryall.
Health Workforce New Zealand has contributed $360,000 towards the pilot.
District nurses who service rural areas travel long distances to visit patients.
Reducing the need to return to base for patient information saves time, fuel and wear and tear on vehicles.
City nurses won’t travel as far but will take longer to go shorter distances in traffic. If the initial success of the pilot continues it would be better for nurses, patients and health budgets to roll the technology out nationwide.