How do nurses use technology to enhance care?

This week’s EBN Twitter Chat on Wednesday 4th May between 8-9 pm (UK time) will be hosted by Professor Alison Twycross (@alitwy) who is editor of EBN, and will be lead by Dr David Barrett (@barrett1972), associate editor EBN, from the University of Hull.

Participating in the Twitter chat requires a Twitter account; if you do not already have one you can create an account at Once you have an account, contributing is straightforward. You can follow the discussion by searching links to #ebnjc, or contribute by creating and sending a tweet (tweets are text messages limited to 140 characters) to @EBNursingBMJ and add #ebnjc (the EBN Twitter chat hash tag) at the end of your tweet, this allows everyone taking part to view your tweets.


Technology has a vital role to play in the delivery of healthcare. In the UK, documents such as the ‘Five year forward view’ (NHS England, 2014) and the Scottish eHealth strategy (NHS Scotland, 2015) outline the importance of harnessing the potential of technology to make healthcare more effective and efficient. Internationally, the World Health Organisation (WHO) is working to promote the use of information and communication technologies in healthcare (WHO, 2016).

The evidence base for using technology is growing. For example, the use of telemonitoring (remote monitoring of vital signs and symptoms) appears to reduce mortality and hospital admissions in some patients (Kitsiou et al, 2015). Teleconsultation (the use of real-time video communication to support healthcare) has been shown to provide benefits in a range of clinical contexts, including acute management of patients with symptoms of stroke (Demaerschalk et al., 2012). Other technology-enabled services include phone-based motivational interviewing, electronic care planning and health-focused mobile applications.

Despite the exciting opportunities presented by technology, problems can arise with its implementation and adoption. The use of technology can be limited by issues such as the top-down imposition of change, discomfort with a move away from face-to-face care, and technical limitations/failure.

This Twitter chat provides a chance for nurses to discuss their experiences – good and bad – of using technology in healthcare. By doing so, we can celebrate best practice, identify common challenges and explore the means by which the use of technology can be expanded.

Some things to think about before the Twitter Chat

  1. How have you used technology to enhance the care you provide?
  2. What evidence underpinned the choice of technology?
  3. What challenges did you (or do you) face in the implementation and use of technology within nursing care?
  4. How have you and your colleagues addressed these challenges?
  5. What are your key messages to other nurses wishing to use similar technology within their place of work?
  6. Are there any areas of practice where you think the introduction of technology could enhance care?


Demaerschalk, B., Raman, R., Meyer, B. (2012) Efficacy of telemedicine for stroke: Pooled analysis of the Stroke Team Remote Evaluation Using a Digital Observation Camera (STRokE DOC) and STRokE DOC Arizona telestroke trials. Telemedicine and eHealth, 18(3), 230-237.

Kitsiou S, Paré G, Jaana M (2015) Effects of home telemonitoring interventions on patients with chronic heart failure: An overview of systematic reviews. Journal of Medical Internet Research 17(3): e63

NHS England (2014) Five year forward view. Available from:

NHS Scotland (2015) eHealth strategy, 2014-2017. Available from:

World Health Organisation (2016) eHealth at WHO. Available from:

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