According to a survey of more than 600 nurses conducted by LinkedIn last month, 25 percent of respondents said artificial intelligence will have the greatest negative impact on nursing.
Only five percent believe it will have the greatest positive impact on the field.
“While remote patient monitoring systems, ‘smart’ devices and artificial intelligence are becoming more common, nurses are apprehensive about technologies that could interfere with their relationship with the patient and potentially take away from their ability to provide a personalized approach to patient care,” LinkedIn healthcare news editor Beth Kutscher said via email. “They’re also concerned that nurses will become overly reliant on what the technology says instead of trusting their clinical judgment.”
As for remote patient monitoring, 10 percent see it having the biggest negative impact on nursing, while 47 percent perceive it as having the biggest positive impact. Twelve percent of nurses said “smart” devices/biosensors will negatively affect the field, and 41 percent said they will positively affect nursing.
Respondents’ thoughts on electronic health records are also noteworthy. While 75 percent of nurses indicated EHRs will have the greatest positive impact, 19 percent believe they’ll have the greatest negative impact.
Despite these concerns, the majority of nurses seem optimistic about tech in the healthcare sector. Eighty-two percent of respondents said they have a somewhat or very positive view of how technology is affecting patient care. Additionally, 64 percent noted computer and tech skills are key to advancing their careers.
The survey also asked about new entrants to the world of healthcare. Nearly 50 percent of respondents indicated they think companies like Apple and Amazon will make healthcare technology more user-friendly.
“While nurses appreciate the positive impact that tools like electronic medical records have had on patient care, they often find the software hard or time-consuming to navigate,” Kutscher said. “Data entry is a burden.”
They think the tech industry’s focus on consumers could be a good thing for healthcare, she added. Plus, over one-third of respondents said more competition in the market will increase innovation.
Still, 36 percent of nurses surveyed said new technologies will require workforce retraining.
When asked which survey findings surprised her, Kutscher had this to say: “The reason we did this survey is because we’ve heard from a number of nurses that the documentation burden is one of the most frustrating issues of their job. So I was a bit surprised to see how overwhelmingly positive nurses were about technology.”
There were, however, details to their general thoughts. Although nurses like when tech automates certain tasks, they dislike when it seems to be an obstacle between them and the patient, Kutscher said.