Written by Molly McCarthy, MBA, RN-BC, National Director, US Health & Chief Nursing Officer
Microsoft is proud to support and celebrate nurses around the globe this Nurses’ Week May 6th – 12th as part of International Year of the Nurse and Midwife. This year is significant and exemplifies the importance of nurses’ work throughout the world for many reasons.
The World Health Organization declared 2020 the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale. The year-long promotion of nurses’ and midwives’ work highlights the crucial role they play at the forefront of patient care while encouraging increased organizational investment into nursing education and professional development.
We’ve seen first-hand the utmost importance of nurses’ leadership today during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nurses continue to serve as pivotal team members in patient care and communications between care teams and families, as nurses have done since the birth of their profession.
At Microsoft, we are grateful for all frontline nurses and clinicians. Our goal is to help empower nurses from the beside to the boardroom, across care settings with the help of technology.
High tech and high touch
Healthcare systems are complex and fragmented, and seamless bi-directional data exchange remains a challenge. One of the goals at Microsoft is to assist nurses, clinicians, and health systems with the use of secure technology to provide better experiences, better insights, and better care for their patients.
New communication and collaboration tools expand the effectiveness and responsiveness of virtual health resources, such as telehealth, virtual rounding, and care huddles. As we’ve seen with the recent COVID-19 outbreak, the risk of infection transmission between patients, caregivers, and families is high. Nurses, including the team at St. Luke’s, are using tools like Microsoft Teams® to increase their productivity and to help their care teams communicate securely to coordinate patient care and connect with patients in isolation.
Nurses are critical assets in the design, development, and deployment of technology. COVID-19 raises new healthcare challenges for an already taxed workforce and system. Nurses have a unique perspective given their proximity to patients. Microsoft recognizes an opportunity for nurses to leverage their experience, resourcefulness, and innovation to define new ways to improve our response using technology and ultimately, save lives. Microsoft is excited to present our first #NurseHack4Health: COVID-19 Virtual Hackathon May 15-17th, 2020 with Johnson and Johnson, SONSIEL, and DevUp.
Another example of technology changing healthcare delivery now is Microsoft’s Healthcare Bot service. The health bot uses artificial intelligence (AI) to help organizations, such as the Centers for Disease Control, Novant Health, Providence, and Walgreens, respond to patient inquiries and even allows patients to perform a symptom self-assessment. The bot decreases potential bottlenecks for emergency and nursing care and allows clinicians to focus on the most acute patients. The bot is implemented at over 1,200 organizations globally since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
The future of nursing is now
Every day, Microsoft recognizes and celebrates the nearly 4 million nurses working in the United States and the estimated 21 million nurses working throughout the world. Microsoft is proud to dedicate efforts to empowering nurses as they help transform the healthcare industry across the globe. Thank you for everything that you do to support patients and families!
For more information on Microsoft and partner solutions, as well as Microsoft’s Year of the Nurse and Midwife podcast and blog, please visit the Health Geeks podcast and Microsoft Health page.