The healthcare and hospital landscape has been significantly reshaped by digital health transformation. Post-COVID-19, patients and clinicians alike have new expectations of robots for hospitals and healthcare. Digital health transformation has been key in maintaining and advancing healthcare capabilities, creating lasting change in the global health ecosystem. Hospitals and health systems across Europe and beyond are embracing digital transformation to meet community needs, realize operational efficiencies, and grow across practices with robots.
The Burnout Crisis in Nursing
Nursing is a demanding profession, often characterised by long hours, high levels of stress, and an ever-increasing workload. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated these challenges, with nearly two-thirds of nurses in the US considering leaving the profession due to burnout1.
The Rising Expectations in Healthcare Automation
Enter robots like Gary. Gary, described as the most functional robot in the world, is designed to take over routine tasks, freeing up people's time for what they love2.
The COVID-19 pandemic has ushered in new expectations of healthcare delivery, with the majority of the world’s citizens now expecting healthcare support through digital services. Digital health transformation, including the adoption of robots like Gary, is key to maintaining and advancing these capabilities3.
Empowering Nurses Through Innovation
The role of nursing informatics has become increasingly crucial in this context, with nursing informaticists playing a pivotal role in enhancing patient care and optimizing healthcare systems. By supporting emerging leaders in this field, the nursing informatics community can drive positive change in healthcare4.
In recent years, robotics and digital transformation have been steadily shaping the landscape of healthcare. Technological advancements, coupled with the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, have accelerated this transformation, leading to the emergence of more efficient and patient-centered care models.
Robots like Gary are now common fixtures in many homes and hospitals. Gary, designed as an all-in-one service robot, can be tailored to the user's needs through an internal app market, enabling it to carry out a variety of tasks, including household chores, delivery of items, and even working with a dishwasher. Its design incorporates advanced features such as depth cameras, night vision capabilities, a multi-touch screen, and smart sensors that allow it to interact with users and perform a range of functions, including moving heavy materials1.
Nursing informatics has played a pivotal role in this transformation. This field focuses on using data and technology to improve practice, streamline workflows, and enhance patient outcomes. Leaders in this field, like Anne Dabrow Woods, emphasize the importance of innovation, challenging the status quo, and taking calculated risks to drive transformative breakthroughs in healthcare. She encourages aspiring informaticists to tap into the resources and insights provided by organizations like HIMSS, AMIA, ANIA, and ANI to deepen their understanding of the field and its impact on healthcare3.
The healthcare landscape has been significantly reshaped by digital health transformation. Post-COVID-19, patients and clinicians alike have new expectations of healthcare delivery. Digital health transformation has been key in maintaining and advancing healthcare capabilities, creating lasting change in the global health ecosystem. Hospitals and health systems across Europe and beyond are embracing digital transformation to meet community needs, realize operational efficiencies, and grow across practices and populations4.
In the face of increasing demand for healthcare services and a global shortage of nursing staff, technology has stepped up to provide solutions. Among these solutions, robots are at the forefront, offering promising applications that can make nursing care more efficient and less stressful.
Robots can perform routine tasks, thereby freeing up the nursing staff to focus on their primary duty: patient care. For example, robots can help with managing patient logistics in hospitals, transporting medications and supplies, and even assisting in patient mobilization. In a high-stress environment such as a hospital, these tasks, when done manually, can contribute significantly to the workload and stress of the nursing staff. By automating these tasks, robots like Gary can contribute to reducing the physical strain and mental stress associated with these activities.
Moreover, the flexibility of robots like Gary, with its internal app market, allows for a wide range of functionalities that can be tailored to specific contexts and needs. This means that the same robot could perform different tasks in different settings or adapt to new tasks as the needs of the healthcare staff evolve. This adaptability is a significant advantage in a field like healthcare, where the needs can change rapidly and unpredictably.
Robots are also exceptionally good at performing tasks with precision and consistency, reducing the risk of errors. In healthcare settings, where mistakes can have serious consequences, this reliability can be a significant advantage. For example, when delivering medications, robots can ensure that the right medication reaches the right patient at the right time, reducing the risk of medication errors.
By taking over routine tasks, reducing physical strain, and minimizing errors, robots can significantly reduce the risk of burnout among nursing staff. Burnout is a serious issue in healthcare, with potential consequences for the health of the staff, the quality of patient care, and the efficiency of the healthcare system as a whole. Robots like Gary represent an innovative and effective approach to addressing this issue.
Furthermore, robots can also contribute to improving patient care. By freeing up nursing staff from routine tasks, robots can allow them to spend more time with patients, providing personal care, and addressing their individual needs and concerns. This can contribute to improved patient satisfaction and outcomes.
In conclusion, robots are becoming an integral part of healthcare, transforming the way care is delivered and lightening the load for nurses. By taking over routine tasks, reducing physical strain, and minimizing errors, robots can help reduce burnout among nurses, improve the efficiency of healthcare delivery, and contribute to better patient outcomes. As technology continues to advance, the role of robots in healthcare is likely to grow, offering exciting possibilities for the future of nursing care.