Boosting nurse retention through digital transformation in healthcare

  • Solutions
  • 2023
  • Healthcare
June 02, 2023

Digital transformation in healthcare for nurse retention: smiling nurses walking

There’s a major disconnect between the promise of digital transformation in clinical care settings and the reality of hospital systems and clinics today. Nurse retention depends on bridging this gap.

Many of us remember the first wave of digital transformation in healthcare, where paper and triplicate forms gave way to electronic charting. Although electronic medical records (EMR) systems are remarkable and essential, they don’t provide a complete digital solution for care providers.

Hospitals and care centers run on dozens of siloed and disconnected systems. These systems are typically not proactive and do little to automate manual tasks, work processing, and care transitions. Hyperautomated and intelligent technical platforms can solve this.

The reality of clinical care

Nurses enter the challenging healthcare field to help provide top-notch care, solve complex cases, and support people in regaining their health. No clinical professional ever intended to spend their time in front of a computer screen for hours on end or regularly leaving the patient bedside to find an available clean, working infusion pump or orthopedic bed.

Clinical care in most settings is broken, and this is an expensive problem. The most talented, licensed staff are spending a great deal of time on administrative duties. Nearly one-third (31%) of clinicians plan to exit the direct care environment because of this, according to McKinsey.

As a registered nurse, informatics architect, and former hospital supervisor, I urge IT employees to shadow a nurse, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant for a day. Only then will they understand how much effort it takes to get the required work done and how little time there is for clinical care.


Enterprise service management for healthcare can simplify the clinician experience. It provides a one-stop shop for getting help, researching information, and launching work automation requests quickly.

The heart of the issue

The frustration is not with sick patients, concerned families, or health disparities, but with the complex administrative coordination done manually through calling, faxing, and paging to get services at the bedside.

Given the advancement of technology in our personal lives, nurses wonder why they can’t easily notify the dietary or facilities department about a problem with a patient tray or a broken bathroom light through their computer or workstation on wheels.

They question why admission orders entered into a system can’t trigger workflows to all essential support services to ensure availability of a room, a bed, transport, pumps and monitors, welcome supplies, and staff.

Solution: Enterprise service management

Enterprise service management for healthcare can simplify the clinician experience. It’s precisely what it sounds like—having all clinical, operations, support, facility, and IT services connected to the same service management system. This provides a one-stop shop for getting help, researching information, and launching work automation requests quickly.

Imagine notifying connected teams with a single click on an icon when there’s a change in patient status or transition to a new location. With a few clicks, the coordination aspect of supporting a patient admission can be solved through workflow, notifications, and automation.

Picture this type of intelligent automation for admissions, discharges, trips off the floor for procedures, surgery, transfers to other floors, and transfers out of the facility. With ServiceNow Healthcare and Life Science Services Management, provider systems can offer a seamless digital experience for nurses, managing healthcare operations and administrative tasks with automated, intelligent, prebuilt processes.

To simplify getting help, seeking services, or finding information, ServiceNow has these functionalities integrated into EMR systems as well. There’s no need to leave the EMR and toggle to other systems. Everything is in one place, reducing the complexity of the process and the burden on nurses. This is what will help retain nurses.

With streamlined tools to comprehensively support their practice, nurses can go back to doing what they’re passionate about: caring for patients.

Find out more in our ebook: The voice of the front-line healthcare worker.

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