Navigating the Future: Empowering Nurses as Leaders in Automation and AI Integration for Person-Centred Care and Addressing Global Shortages

Published On: February 28, 2024|

Navigating the Future: Empowering Nurses as Leaders in Automation and AI Integration for Person-Centred Care and Addressing Global Shortages

As we stand at the crossroads of healthcare’s evolution, nursing finds itself on the brink of a paradigm shift with the integration of Intelligent Automation (IA) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). The symbiotic relationship between human touch and technological prowess is reshaping the landscape of patient care.

Intelligent automation refers to the seamless integration of automation technologies, such as robotics and process automation, with Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities to perform tasks intelligently and adapt to changing circumstances, enhancing efficiency and decision-making in healthcare settings. Artificial Intelligence, on the other hand, involves the use of advanced algorithms and computer systems to mimic human intelligence, enabling machines to learn from data, reason, and make autonomous decisions to improve patient care and streamline healthcare processes.

One of the most ground-breaking developments in this area is the advent of Clinical Decision Support Tools. Embedded in Electronic Health Records, these tools can act as invaluable allies for nurses, equipping them with predictive insights that transcend human limitations. Imagine a world where nursing diagnoses, fall risk predictions, and guided decision trees to prevent infections are seamlessly generated by AI, guiding healthcare professionals towards more precise and effective interventions.

Mobile Health and Sensor-Based Technologies mark the dawn of a new era in nursing care. Wearable devices and sensors, monitoring vital signs in real-time, bring about a revolutionary shift in remote patient monitoring. Nurses armed with instant alerts for abnormal readings can proactively address potential health issues, preventing complications before they escalate. This real-time connection between patients and healthcare providers is a testament to the power of AI in augmenting nursing capabilities.

Efficiency takes centre stage as voice, conversational and digital assistants emerge as game-changers in the daily tasks of nurses. From medication administration to appointment scheduling and patient communication, these tools streamline processes, allowing nurses to redirect their focus to direct patient care. Simultaneously, Intelligent automation tools can automate ancillary and back-office administrative services, optimising resource allocation and creating a more conducive environment for nursing professionals.

One of the significant benefits of automation in nursing is the time saved. Tasks that were once manual and time-consuming can now be streamlined and expedited. Automation in scheduling and data entry further contributes to time efficiencies, enabling nurses to focus on critical aspects of patient well-being.

In the midst of this technological revolution, it is crucial to highlight the impact on person-centred care. While automation and AI augments efficiency and provides valuable insights, nurses must ensure that the human touch remains at the forefront of patient interactions. These technologies should be seen as tools that enhance, rather than replace, the personalised care that patients deserve. By leveraging automation to streamline administrative tasks, nurses can devote more time to understanding the unique needs and preferences of each patient, fostering a healthcare environment that is truly centred around the individual.

To surmount the current workforce challenges and unleash the full potential of automation and AI in nursing, collaboration with the MedTech industry is paramount. By fostering strong partnerships, healthcare institutions can gain access to cutting-edge technologies, receive tailored solutions, and benefit from the industry’s expertise in addressing regulatory, interoperability, and security challenges. This collaboration extends beyond mere adoption to co-creation, where nurses actively participate in shaping the development and implementation of solutions. By working hand in hand with industry, nurses can leverage their clinical insights, ensuring that the applications align seamlessly with the realities of healthcare delivery.

One of the leading automation industry partners in the NHS is e18 Innovation. A company who work alongside the NHS teams to identify, prioritise and implement automation, ensuring the new way of working has a positive impact on both patients and staff. Their collaborative approach is exactly what is needed to ensure these technologies are positively adopted and embraced rather than seen as a threat. Their partnership with the NHS has already saved hundreds of thousands of hours across a diverse clinical and non-clinical NHS landscape leading to improved patient care and an empowered workforce.

The integration of automation in nursing not only enhances efficiency and improves patient care but also presents a potential solution to the global shortage of nurses. Through automation of routine tasks and more streamlined processes, automation can mitigate the impact of workforce shortages by enabling existing nurses to handle larger caseloads. Additionally, the increased efficiency brought about by automation can potentially attract more individuals to enter the nursing profession, addressing the scarcity of skilled healthcare professionals on a global scale.

e18 Innovation Case Study: Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust – Pre-Assessment

The initial digitisation of pre-assessment data collection forms yielded benefits, but the real breakthrough came with the introduction of automation, described by nurses as “bots” or “worker bees” revolutionising the exchange of patient information.

Efficiency Gains and Time Savings:

Nurses at University Hospitals Leeds found that the bots acted as highly efficient colleagues, sending and receiving patient information swiftly. The cumbersome task of chasing down information was replaced by these efficient “worker bees,” enabling nurses to redirect their efforts towards critical aspects of patient care. This optimised workflow resulted in significant time savings.

Enhanced Safety and Legibility:

Moreover, automation contributed to enhanced safety in patient care. Nurses noted that data processed by bots was legible, eliminating potential errors associated with illegible handwriting. Through unique patient identifiers, nurses gained confidence that the right information was consistently placed in the right patient record, contributing to a safer and more reliable patient care environment.

Optimising Patient Interactions:

The introduction of automation allowed nurses to focus their attention where it mattered most. By automating the exchange of information, nurses could identify and prioritise patients who truly required in-person assessments to optimise them for surgery. This targeted approach not only saved time but also ensured that nursing resources were directed towards those in need, fostering a more efficient and patient-centric care model.

The Worker Bee Effect:

Describing the bots as “worker bees” reflects their transformative impact. These digital assistants tirelessly worked behind the scenes, handling data exchange efficiently and seamlessly. Their role in reducing administrative burdens allowed nursing professionals to concentrate on their core responsibilities – direct patient care and optimising the pre-assessment process for surgery.

To support the automation programme Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust have been working with one of the leading Healthcare automation partners – e18 Innovation. e18 Innovation provides market-leading Intelligent Automation solutions and associated services to healthcare organisations in the UK. By working in strategic partnership with NHS and private healthcare customers, e18 supports all aspects of an automation programme.


The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust improvement journey in pre-assessment serves as a real-world testament to the transformative power of AI and automation in nursing. The integration of automation not only streamlined administrative processes but also significantly enhanced efficiency, safety, and the overall quality of patient care. As we navigate the future, such examples underscore the tangible benefits that automation bring to the forefront of nursing practice, marking a promising era in healthcare.

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