In the light of the Digital Compass, launched by the European Commission, the Madeira’s Digital Transformation Summit responds to this challenge in a forum where the EU’s Digital strategy is debated to achieve the visionary objectives at European and regional levels. The EFN Secretary General, Paul De Raeve, was invited, as keynote speaker, to shed the light on the digitalisation of the nursing care process as key component to simplify and lower down the frontline nurses’ workload.
The EFN priority is to engage nurses in the co-creation process to develop useful tools and skills for supporting nurses’ daily activities, knowing these new technologies will never replace the work of frontline healthcare professionals, but could really simplify it.
In the context of the Pact for Skills, the EFN is one of the main partner in the BEWELL Project (Blueprint alliance for a future hEalth Workforce stratEgy on digital and green skiLLs), a 4-year EU project on digital skills, which aims at building an alliance, is an important movement of most healthcare stakeholders supporting and committed to the development, implementation, and upscaling of the strategy on upskilling and reskilling of the European health workforce. The final goal is to develop a green and digital skills’ strategy for the healthcare ecosystem in the context of the Blueprint for sectoral cooperation on skills.
In an increasingly digitalised and connected world, digitalisation and artificial intelligence are gaining ground and are profoundly changing the way we live and work. The COVID-19 pandemic showed, more than ever, all the weaknesses of the healthcare systems highlighting the digital support frontline needs to lower down the workload generated by the entire healthcare ecosystem to ensure better outcomes for citizens and patients. Although the pandemic has contributed to a great acceleration of the digitisation process in the EU and Europe, pointing out all benefits and challenges to implement the European Skills Agenda and the European Social Pillar Action Plan, it will be key to engage frontline to develop fit-for-purpose digital solution.
As stated by the EFN Secretary General “Digital solutions must create a more resilient healthcare eco-system and nurses are the best ally being the most trusted healthcare professionals and closest to patients.”
Indeed, nurses are at the patient bedside, 24/7 and, for this reason, they really know what the healthcare eco-system needs and where digitalisation should support them for achieving better health and care outcomes.
For the EFN, representing 3 million nurses in the EU and 6 million in Europe, it is essential to support the digitalisation process through the engagement of nurses for developing digital tools and upskilling skills, which can really support everyday nurses’ frontline work. This was confirmed by the European Commission present, DG Connect, who stated that future EU digital projects need to empower nurses in the co-creation, so the end-result will be fit-for-purpose! This is an essential step for creating sustainable and resilient healthcare eco-systems.