Health leaders in Canada increasingly consider digital health and virtual care as mainstream activities in healthcare delivery to provide patients with health care and services in cost-effective and sustainable ways. Specifically, emerging digital health technologies operationalized in virtual care like electronic health records are already changing nursing practice and enable nurses to provide care for patients through supporting timely access to patient information, communication, continuity and documenting of care.
However, rapid advances in emerging digital health technologies (EDTs) like virtual reality, robots, artificial intelligence, and 3D printing, and especially the challenges nurse leaders will face integrating them into practice, and the extent to which nurses will use them to care for patients, has been identified as an important topic in the ethics of technology in nursing. While the integration and use of EDTs in healthcare held promise to unlock new potential for health, longevity, human capabilities and offer superior solutions to health system and nursing care challenges, they also raise pertinent ethical concerns.
To facilitate the ethical integration of emerging digital technologies in future practice that enable nurses to care for patients and improve nursing outcomes in ethically sound ways while leveraging these technological innovations requires thoughtful consideration of ethical challenges regarding EDTs.
The presenter will reflect on the ethical challenges and implications regarding the mentioned EDTs in virtual care from a nursing perspective and engage with attendees in fruitful dialogue on relevant and potential practical solutions to such ethical challenges in nursing practice and care.
Dr. Ebin J. Arries-Kleyenstuber, a registered nurse, academic and ethicist, is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Regina. He is a serving member of the University of Regina Research Ethics Board and Editorial Board for Nursing Ethics.
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