A massive hospital will make a dramatic move based on patient feedback. But the nurses’ union has safety and other concerns.
A massive hospital will make a dramatic move based on patient feedback. But the nurses’ union has safety and other concerns.

Hospital move that has nurses up in arms

ELDERLY patients could be left without entertainment as a Brisbane hospital plans to remove its televisions and move to digital devices only.

The Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital is moving to phase out televisions, claiming staff and patients found the use of the current television system to be low, and will move towards patients having free wi-fi to use their own devices to stream video content.

But the Queensland Nurses and Midwives Union said cords could cause falls for patients and staff, some elderly patients could be left without entertainment, and some patients would be unable to hold or position themselves to hold a device.


Some patients who are victims of family violence means they may not have any form of digital technology for fear of being tracked could be placed at a disadvantage and left unable to distract themselves.

Other concerns workers have reported to the union include bedside and electrical safety, multiple devices cluttering the power points at the back of bedsides limiting clinician's ability to use the power points for medical devices and patients who are unable to hold or support a device.

The union said the hospital's management had failed to adequately consult with health staff regarding the transition and its associated impacts on staff.

The union's members are now writing to Metro North Hospital and Health Services to seek the immediate inclusion of health workers in consultation regarding the move.

"Nurses and midwives are understandably concerned they could experience patient dissatisfaction around the transition from TVs and should devices go missing or be damaged on site," a union spokeswoman said.
"Concerns include fears some elderly patients could be left without entertainment, existing wi-fi may not support the change and fears around electrical and patient safety with multiple devices charging in a small and already cluttered space."

Similar grievances have occurred in Western Australia's Fiona Stanley Hospital.
However a Metro North Hospital and Health Service spokeswoman said feedback from patients had been supportive of phasing out televisions, and digital platform could also provide patient information and health literacy.
"Many industries have transitioned to digital platforms for entertainment and information purposes, and Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital is embracing this technology to optimise patient experience and outcomes," she said.

Originally published as Hospital move that has nurses up in arms


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