New digital healthcare technologies will significantly reduce repetitive work of nurses, a medical professional said.
Digital systems are likely to replace unnecessary or merely repetitive nursing work, according to Kim Jae-hak, head of the Innovation Center at Asan Medical Center, during the “Digital Healthcare Fair 2018” at KINTEX in Goyang, Gyeonggi Province, on Sunday.
“I analyzed why nurses’ work is physically and psychologically exhausting. I found that there were too many types of work,” Kim said. “Their tasks include medication, nursing, computerizing, recording, taking over, logistics, and even administration. The specific work-related activities can go up to dozens and hundreds.”
Kim went on to say that transforming a medical institution into a “smart hospital” by going digital will help nurses’ work become efficient.
The smart hospital will apply to outpatient care using artificial intelligence-based communication tools, to operation rooms for better safety and efficiency, and to operation management such as tracking real-time locations of patients and medical suppliers.
“If we use a mobile chat robot, we can come up with a service where patients receive the location guide through the smartphone. It will tell patients where they need to go next, how many other patients are waiting before them, and how much time they should wait, though push alarms,” Kim said.
However, hospitals should have their infrastructure, rather than rushing to adopt the newest technologies, he added.
“Large hospitals do not have an efficient management system, compared to conglomerates. Nurses, administrators, and raw material suppliers are doing manual work, most of the time,” Kim said. “But many hospitals try to introduce AI without making much effort to increase automated work.”
Another expert said hospitals should do away with the old mindset relying on the existing system to advance innovations.
Park Jin-sik, CEO of Sejong General Hospital, shared Kim’s view that hospitals were still outdated concerning manual work, although some have adopted the newest technologies such as robotic surgeries.
“There are lots of technologies, but hospitals cannot apply them to patient care because they couldn’t change their mindset. There is a considerable gap between the advancement of technologies and the hospital’s medical service,” Park said. “We can solve these problems one by one to make medical care efficient.”
Park added that hospitals could use the time carved out from a more efficient system to improve the quality of medical care.
“I hope that medical staffs will be able to do more productive work and spend more time on patient education. Hospitals that fail to change won’t survive,” he said.