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Sisk’s own software paves the way for paperless nursing work

CORK: Documentation is the system that most nurses in Ireland hate. Many hospitals are in a situation where eight or nine or even more patients need to be cared for by a single nurse.

In most hospitals, there are no carers. The nurse is responsible not only for the medication but also for the ‘A to Z’ care related to the patient. In the meantime, work including emergency, admission and discharge.

Not only the congestion doubled due to COVID-19, but the suffocating situation of the PPE is leading the nurses to a lot of mental stress.

Some nurse managers, on the other hand, use documentation prepared by nurses to prove their ‘efficiency’.

There have even been reports of some nurse managers quitting their jobs because they could not resist such stubbornness and cruelty, even in extremely stressful situations. The fact that even the nursing unions have not raised a significant voice against the harsh documentation is forcing health workers to comply with the managers.

In the meantime, a new initiative from East Cork is noteworthy. A nurse from East Cork has developed a paperless nursing management system. This paperless system gives nurses more time to care for patients, reducing documentation and audit time.

The discovery was made by Ali-Rose Sisk, from Rostellan, East Cork, who began working in healthcare at the age of 15. Ms. Sisk says a pilot project implemented in a nursing home was a great success.

With the help of the Health Innovation Hub Ireland (HIHI), Ms. Sisk implemented her pilot project at the Oaklodge Nursing Home in Cloyne during the lockdown. Ms. Sisk said everything went smoothly and the feedback from the nursing home and staff was amazing. “It proved to us how desperate the sector needs very basic software like this,” she added. With that, the average three to four hours spent on paperwork per day was reduced by as much as 70%, Ms. Sisk said.

“It proved to us how desperate the sector needs very basic software like this,” she said.

SafeCare Nursing Software is supported by New Frontiers, Enterprise Ireland’s national entrepreneur development programme for early-stage startups. Ms. Sisk hopes to raise €250,000 in a funding round in April to move forward with the innovative idea.

“What our software does is very simple. It provides us with the least amount of information needed to do the best job and have the best outcome.” In this way it is possible to collect the status of the inmates in less words. Through algorithms and computer-programmed calculations, those responsible can quickly determine the status of patients. Auditing is also possible at low cost.

Ms. Sisk, who had a four-year undergraduate degree in nursing at the UCC, lived in London until recently. There she worked on a Marie Curie PhD scholarship to develop NHS palliative care services for people with early-onset dementia. She came back in March at the time of COVID-19 pandemic.

Ms. Sisk says that, throughout her career, she has had great difficulty finding time to get in contact with patients because of the paperwork. “It’s a problem in many sectors, but in nursing it was really taking from the patient contact time and I found that very conflicting internally. I came up with the idea of SafeCare which simply digitises what we were doing on paper, but reduces the time spent on the task, making our lives easier and returning time to care,” Ms. Sisk said.

She said there are 580 private care homes in Ireland and 70% of us need a nursing home at some point in our lives. She added that the increase in the number of care homes is indicative of the huge demand for such products. But “they’re really not on the market,” she added.

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