Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/10/15/nurses_digital_pens/

NURSES' natural DESIRES to be SATISFIED, by technology

No more drinking tea and filling forms, empty that bedpan

By Anna Leach

Posted in Government, 15th October 2012 07:58 GMT

Nurses will get £100m worth of mobile tech including digital pens and other handheld tools, Prime Minister David Cameron and Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt have just announced.

It is hoped that the digi pens and other piece of comms tech will let nurses spend more time with patients and less time sitting around filling in paperwork with old, non-digital pens. Hunt said:

Most nurses and midwives chose their profession because they wanted to spend time caring for patients, not filling out paperwork. New technology can make that happen.

The nurses and midwives don't have to spend the £100m dosh on pens, they can chose other pieces of kit depending on what they think would work best for their workplace: the idea is that the gadgets will allow more face-to-face time with patients.

Digital pens capture the handwriting of a user and convert the pen marks into digital data, which can be sent off and synced with a central database. That means the notes made about a given patient – provided they're written legibly – can be collated easily and will only need to be written out once.

Community nurses in Devon got 3G tablets in February - to help them find patients' houses for home visits, among other things.

Hunt has stipulated that the pen money isn't a handout: it's a loan. But if the hospitals register good feedback from the "friends and family satisfaction" tests that rate hospital treatment, then the NHS won't have to pay back the £100m pen money loan. ®