Staying healthy is something most people focus on in their lives as it can enable them to live a longer, happier life. It is also something that can protect mental health. While there are many effective ways to do this, individuals may still sometimes need the assistance of trained medical professionals at times. This could be when trying to manage an ongoing health condition or when recovering from a serious illness or injury in hospital, for example.
The key to providing the best levels of care in health facilities relies on the work of medical teams and their ability to perform to their maximum capabilities. By working as a team, medical professionals can deliver better patient outcomes and a better overall patient experience.
Nursing teams are crucial to healthcare provision
Although there are various teams of medical professionals (and even multi-disciplinary teams for comprehensive 360-degree care) who all play a major role in the provision of effective healthcare, nursing teams are perhaps one of the most crucial.
This is because they deliver primary care to patients and are the people who have the most direct contact with people in settings such as hospitals and or clinics. Nurses also play a key role in wider medical teams in terms of comprehensive patient care, delivering treatment plans, and monitoring patient’s vital levels.
Clinical nurse leaders drive the performance of nursing teams
Leadership is an important part of the nursing profession, ensuring that nursing teams can fulfill their role. Clinical nurse leaders provide a clear direction for their teams to follow, uphold standards of care, provide support to nursing staff, ensure team members work to the latest healthcare regulations, and drive the best patient outcomes.
As a result, clinical nurse leaders operate at a senior level to provide an essential part of the nursing profession. As an exciting, rewarding, and well-paid position, clinical nurse leader is also a popular career option for ambitious nurses.
But how you move into this role?
Training to become a clinical nurse leader
Attaining the right qualifications is key, as this gives nurses the advanced leadership knowledge these professionals require, and the credentials employers are looking for. The MSN-CNL course from Cleveland State University is a popular program that teaches students all they need to know to become top leaders in clinical nursing. Available to complete in just one year and seven months part-time, students emerge fully prepared for the clinical nurse leader certification exam after graduation.
One subject that is a hot topic in nursing and which all courses will touch on is electronic health literacy. This is something all nursing leaders in clinical settings must have a good understanding of to promote within their teams. Electronic health literacy is so important as it has real patient-focused benefits and improves performance among medical teams in nursing.
What is electronic health literacy in nursing?
Sometimes referred to as e-health literacy, electronic health literacy refers to the ability for nursing professionals to competently use online resources to find, share, and access health information. It can also refer to the ability of modern nurses at all levels to create content online and use the latest digital technologies, software, and platforms in their day-to-day role.
Who needs to know about electronic health literacy in nursing?
Everyone in the modern nursing sector needs to know about electronic health literacy and the benefits it brings to their own performance and the performance of their team. This is certainly true for Registered Nurses (RNs) as well as individuals in more senior roles such as Nurse Practitioner (NP).
Having a high-level of knowledge around digital health literacy is also something that people working at a more managerial level in this niche should have. This helps them perform better in their own role and effectively manage good e-health literacy levels in teams. This is something all clinical nurse leaders can benefit from.
Where is electronic health literacy for nursing important?
Electronic health literacy is crucial in the same way as this topic is crucial for anyone working in nursing to know about – it is also seen in all clinical nurse settings from hospitals to private clinics and community-based health centers. Here, digital health literacy is key for the positive benefits on patient care and its impact on the performance of medical nursing teams within the organization.
How good electronic health literacy leads to enhanced team performance
Although good levels of digital health literacy can lead to increased performance levels across all healthcare niches, this is particularly true in nursing. Focusing on building good levels of e-health literacy in their teams is something all clinical nurse leaders should focus on. This is done with the intention of helping staff in their teams to perform at a higher-level, via the most effective use of online health resources.
Here is how good digital health literacy in nursing teams helps clinical nurse leaders drive increased performance levels.
Better patient care and improved outcomes
This is perhaps the most important way excellent digital health literacy in nursing teams can translate to better performance. By helping their team develop and maintain literacy with online health resources, clinical nurse leaders can ensure they offer superior levels of patient care.
Better digital health literacy enables nursing teams to use the latest online platforms to access health information in general and the latest patient data. This allows nursing teams to deliver higher levels of care based on the very latest information. Electronic health records are a good example of this in action and a key digital resource any contemporary nursing team will utilize.
It can also mean that nursing teams competently use the latest digital resources and equipment when treating patients for the best results. This ensures nurses know how to use this kind of digital equipment in their daily role and correctly interpret the results. This not only enhances patient care but also better patient outcomes overall.
Boost for collaboration within medical teams
Collaboration is an essential part of the wider healthcare system and helps to ensure that patients always get the best treatment. It also enables professionals within health to access a range of perspectives when treating a patient.
By the same token, collaboration is important within nursing teams and something clinical nurse leaders are keen to encourage. This delivers more comprehensive patient care and boosts team spirit. After all, better collaboration within a team will result in staff who forge closer bonds and trust each other.
Good digital health literacy can be useful in this sense as it means individual team members can use the latest digital resources for better collaboration. This can include how using video conferencing tech enables staff to collaborate more easily or how using voice notes on mobile phones can help nursing teams share information more effectively.
Electronic health literacy can also play a key role in giving medical teams a simple way to keep everyone in the loop through changing patient situations or updated regulations. This ensures everyone feels part of the team and no-one misses out on any key updates or developments.
Good electronic health literacy helps drive efficiency
In addition to the way excellent e-health literacy among medical teams can result in better patient care and improved collaboration, it can also lead to better efficiency. This is an important area for clinical nurse leaders to concentrate on as more efficient teams get more done. This can enhance nurse productivity in their daily role and create more time to spend on direct patient care.
But how can better e-health literacy drive more efficient medical teams who perform better? In basic terms, being able to use online platforms, resources and software in their role allows nursing teams to work faster.
This can be something as simple as looking up information on a patient via their electronic health records, compared to speaking with a colleague in person to get the information. Being literate in electronic health in these instances enables nursing teams to be much more efficient and perform to a higher level.
Easier research into medical conditions and healthcare
Part of having good electronic health literacy is being able to access information around the latest treatment news and share relevant information digitally. This can boost the performance of medical teams by making it easier for them to discover accurate information online to work from. It can also make researching obscure conditions much easier, as this data is much simpler to track down online. This, in turn, leads to better treatment decisions for people with complex illnesses.
The ability good e-health literacy offers medical team members to perform research online is also worth exploring for individual performance. Individual nurses can develop professionally by keeping up with latest health news or breakthroughs in their niche.
For nurses, accessing the latest industry news online helps them develop professionally and bring this extra knowledge back into their team. This can have a positive impact on team performance and the level of care they provide.
Key for how medical teams handle online data
One area where all medical teams need to perform well in modern healthcare is the ethical handling of patient data. With so much data stored online in various health systems and platforms, team members must adhere to the latest data privacy guidelines.
By having good levels of e-health literacy, medical teams can avoid any data breaches or unethical staff behavior when handling patient information. This is better for patient confidentiality and avoids landing management staff or the facility in hot water.
How clinical nurse leaders boost digital health literacy levels in teams
The above section of this article sets out how good levels of e-health literacy can help medical teams perform better. But it is important to know how clinical nurse leaders encourage their staff to be digital health literate. Let’s have a look.
Perhaps the best option to begin with is explaining to all team members how important digital health literacy is and why it matters so much. Within this, it can be best to touch on the positives in terms of better performance in order to inspire teams.
It can also be useful to explain to team members how prevalent online resources are becoming in nursing and how Clinical nurse leaders can boost digital health literacy levels by stressing how important it is that nursing professionals are familiar with online resources and technology. If staff can see that being literate in online health is something that will only become more important as time passes, they may well be more motivated to become familiar with it.
How else can clinical nurse leaders boost electronic health literacy?
A good option for clinical nurse leaders to pursue in terms of boosting e-health levels in their team to positively impact performance is training. This could involve offering training courses to team members around e-health in general or specific training on certain online resources they may use in their daily role. For nurses looking to progress their careers, nurse leaders may also think about training courses which cover key digital health resources the new role may require.
Even if a structured training course is not available, clinical nurse leaders with skills in e-health may spend time with their team or individual members who need help in this area. Likewise, staff members on the team with excellent digital health literacy could offer in-house training to other team members looking to improve.
What next for electronic health literacy in the wider healthcare system?
There is no doubt that this is a subject which clinical nurse leaders need to know about and which can help to boost performance levels of teams they manage. This is also true in a wider sense across health, where good levels of familiarity with online resources can deliver increased performance levels. Although the current state of play around the modern healthcare system already involves numerous electronic competencies, it seems fairly certain that a shift towards an even greater use of online platforms, software, and resources will be seen in the future.
This may also see a drive to include more sophisticated online tech in health, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) or Virtual Reality (VR). VR tech, for example, could enable clinical nurse leaders to organize practical online training for team members in a new, immersive way. This could help team members pick up new skills in a more realistic and in a more timely manner.
AI may be seen more in medical settings and could make for easier research into medical conditions, faster development of treatment plans, and other features to help medical teams’ performance improve. This is just the tip of the iceberg too! The coming years will no doubt see new innovations in online health which medical professionals will need to become conversant with.
Good electronic health literacy makes for better team performance
As with most areas of life, the digital world is playing an increasingly important role in the healthcare system. Having good levels of digital health literacy is important for medical professionals. It also means that leaders in health must focus on ensuring their teams are competent with e-health literacy.
This is especially true for nursing teams in clinical healthcare settings and for the clinical nurse leaders who manage them. By driving up levels of e-health literacy in their teams, leaders can boost performance levels and offer better patient care. Ultimately, this is a great part of technology to utilize – for the bettering of healthcare systems and institutions everywhere.