Look To Nurses To Help Accelerate The Transformation Of Health Care
The crisis of the Covid-19 pandemic has forced remarkable changes in the U.S. healthcare system. Nurses have been innovators in helping reshape clinical practice throughout the pandemic response.
From the use of virtual/augmented reality to push the training of nursing students to chief nursing officers stepping up to lead teams dedicated to the Covid-19 response. New approaches have surged to meet rapidly shifting needs in health care. While everyone longs for a restoration of pre-pandemic life, a return to business as usual would be a misstep for U.S. health care.
A takeaway from the pandemic so far is that it has created new momentum in the delivery of care to patients. These include nurse-led command centers, creative partnerships that connect homebound individuals to highly trained health practitioners, tighter collaborations between points of care and the academic institutions that prepare nurses to practice, and many more.
Adding the effects of these developments thoroughly can ensure that good investments continue to push forward solutions that have positive effects on the health well beyond the pandemic.
The findings of the quantitative and qualitative explorations present a clear map for health system leaders, policymakers, academics, community organizers, and nurses themselves to build on the nurse-led advancements of recent months.
The following steps forward are crucial:
Identify the gaps and appoint nurse leaders today.
Grow the pipeline of new nurses.
Embrace nurse-led experimentation within health systems.
Rethink systems and policies that hinder community-level access to care.
The decade ahead will be defined by the U.S.’s ability to address issues like ongoing disparities in health care, access to care within communities, and uneven adoption of health technologies such as telehealth, electronic health records, patient portals, and the like with the same urgency, resourcefulness and innovation we’ve applied during the Covid-19 crisis. Nurses are at the center of these efforts as we work toward a “new normal.”
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