TABLE 4-1 Areas of Promising Technology Innovation





Staff and patient safety

Patient lifts, mobile D&T equipment

Education and training

Recruitment and retention

E-learning, distance learning, simulation


Communications and process streamlining

POCT, wireless, RTLS, facility design


Use of scarce, highly trained staff

Telemedicine, remote monitoring, care management

Clinical practice

New models of care

A-ICU,a family care units

aAmbulatory Intensive-Caring Units (A-ICU) is a model of primary care developed by Arnie Milstein. “The model pairs high-performing clinical teams with high-risk patients—those with chronic illnesses or socioeconomic issues that contribute to high healthcare usage. The aim is to prevent higher ‘downstream’ costs related to traditional primary care, specialty care and hospital admissions, by implementing these cost-saving features” (Shaw, 2009).

NOTES: A-ICU = Ambulatory Intensive-Caring Units; D&T = Diagnosis and Treatment; POCT = Point-of-Care Testing; RTLS = Real-Time Location Systems.

  1. Education and training technologies such as e-learning, distance learning, and simulation can provide better and more flexible opportunities for nurses and nursing students across the country to learn from nursing professionals—an especially important consideration given projected shortages of direct caregivers.

  2. Technologies that can improve nursing productivity include innovations related to better communications, streamlined processes, and improved coordination among caregivers at all levels. Foundational innovations include point-of-care testing, wireless communications, real-time location systems, and software that incorporates workflow data into facilities design. Individually and collectively, these innovations can increase nursing time at the bedside while reducing repetitive communications and administrative burdens. In particular, improvements in wireless communications and real-time location systems hold great promise in the next 2 to 5 years.

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