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New standard aims to reduce nurses’ documentation burden

New standard aims to reduce nurses’ documentation burden

A new standard has been developed to help nurses better document, share and access information around patients’ nursing needs across different health and social care settings.

Those behind the initiative hope it will help reduce nurses’ documentation burden and create ‘a seamless care experience’ for patients.

Published by the Professional Record Standards Body (PSRB), the Nursing Care Needs Standard was created with multidisciplinary professionals and clinical system suppliers.

It is designed to reflect best practice and standardise patient documentation across different nursing settings, meaning a nurse in a care home or community setting will be able to access and share information in the same way as a mental health or hospital nurse.

The focus of the new standard is on overall wellbeing and the scope covers eating and drinking, mobility, toileting and continence, personal hygiene and dressing, skin, and medication self-management.

By adopting what has been described as a ‘unified approach’, the aim is to free nurses from the administrative burden of repetitive data entry and give them more time to provide care.

The standard is also designed to help people and their families avoid having to ‘tell their story’ repeatedly.

Helen Balsdon, interim chief nursing information officer at NHS England, was involved in the development of the standard.

She said: ‘A unified approach to nursing practice across care ensures consistency and amplifies the patient voice in their own care journey.

‘By having a standard, we can begin to create a seamless care experience.’

According to the PRSB, it is estimated that nurses spend more than 25% of their time on administration and looking for documentation to inform care.

Professor Maureen Baker, chair at the PRSB, said: ‘Nursing is fundamental to delivering high quality care whether in hospital, or the community, and so it’s crucial that we support nurses’ work as much as possible.

‘To do this, it is key that we recognise the administrative burden of documenting and sharing care information on nurses and provide them with solutions that make their working lives easier, more efficient and rewarding.’

Professor Baker added: ‘The PRSB’s Nursing Care Needs Standard will help nurses have the information they need at their fingertips, enabling them to make informed decisions and deliver timely and safe care.’

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