MEDITECH’s Nurse Forum 2021: From “New Normal” to “Better than Normal”

July 1, 2021 |  Nursing

Two nurses hugging

MEDITECH’s Nurse Forum always leaves me feeling refreshed and inspired about our shared partnerships with our nursing community. But our events for 2020 and 2021 were especially memorable, as they framed this undeniably difficult, traumatic, and pivotal time for everyone. 

Hundreds of members of our nursing community joined us during this year’s virtual forum to reflect upon the world of healthcare as it is right now — and how technology helped to get us here. We can move from a “new normal” to what I call a “better than normal,” an opportunity to learn from challenges and move beyond them.

Through everything we’ve faced together, I am heartened by the positive transformations we’ve witnessed. Being able to remotely check in with nursing peers from across the globe is proof of how far we have all come in such a short time. What we all need more than ever are dependable, trusted partnerships. The ability to stay connected even at a distance. To be human when it really matters.

This year we celebrated the ability of nurses to rise to the challenges of our new reality, and set the pace for an industry in flux. The leadership of the nursing community has been a thing to behold, and your stories of caring through adversity strengthen our desire to make healthcare more accessible for all people — from frontline nurses to executives, and of course, the patients themselves.

I think back to the story of Clinical Informaticist Stephania Fregeau, BSN, RN, who was called back to the frontlines to act as a charge nurse at her home hospital, Northwestern Medical Center. She jumped right back into the fray after being off the floor for several years, as her facility faced COVID-19’s winter surge. It’s selflessness like Stephania’s that we have seen countless times this past year. 

As keynote speaker Jody Urquhart said, “People don’t care how much you know about what you are doing, unless they first know that you care.” Our community has shown the courage of caring for others even during the hardest times, even when we must put ourselves at risk to do so.

I was also very glad to hear stories of how technology helped to support nurses during the tumult of the past year. Clinicians at Major Health Partners are now using their EHR to seamlessly connect the full patient journey across their enterprise. Lane Regional Medical Center has eliminated bulky peripherals, freeing up their nurses to respond to patients with more agility. And King’s Daughters Medical Center told us about how their decision to push forward with a big implementation in the face of the pandemic was the right call for their nurses.

More than anything, it was a pleasure seeing this nurse community pause for a breath — to listen, to share, to think, and to teach. Our time together this year really was a celebration of what people can do together. I look forward to seeing nurses set the pace in this next phase, with us at MEDITECH innovating right alongside you. We will continue to change, to question, and to face new challenges together.

For those of you who weren’t able to join us, or those looking to revisit a session, check out the video recordings from MEDITECH’s 2021 Nurse Forum.

 

Written by Cathy Turner, BSN, MBA, RN-BC, Associate Vice President, MEDITECH

Cathy Turner, BSN, MBA, RN-BC is a member of the Healthcare Information Management System Society (HIMSS) and the American Nursing Informatics Association (ANIA), as well as director of MEDITECH’s Nursing Informatics Program.
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