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5 Ways Digital Bedside Solutions Can Help Retain Nurses in Hospitals


February 1, 2022 – Peter Varga, Chief Clinical Executive

Nurses are essential within the healthcare system and provide critically valuable services to patients and families. 

And yet, the state of nursing in Canada is in crisis. 

Stretched thin due to preexisting shortages, retirements, and now the crushing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, nurses are exiting the profession at an alarming rate. 

At the same time, when compared to peer countries, Canada has been slow to adopt digital healthcare technology, and the pandemic has revealed our old processes are not sufficient. The public has also made it clear they want more investment in digital health. 

In this article, we discuss how the right digital bedside solutions can help address nursing retention and burnout, while also reducing errors, enhancing patient safety and improving the overall care for patients. 

It’s time to embrace technology that supports nurses, patients and the entire healthcare system.

Nursing retention within hospitals

Nursing shortages is a very real problem for Canada and the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated this. A 2021 report conducted by the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario found that Ontario’s healthcare system is at significant risk post-pandemic, with nurses leaving the workforce and struggling with mental health challenges.

The COVID-19 Advisory Science Table for Ontario published in spring 2020 that the prevalence rate of severe burnout was between 30-40% of healthcare workers. By spring 2021, that rate had risen to more than 60% in nurses, physicians and healthcare professionals.

These challenges have contributed to nurse burnout, early retirement and in some cases a complete departure from the profession.

5 ways digital beside solutions can help improve the situation

As the effects of the global pandemic continue to be felt, it’s apparent that many of our older healthcare technologies, processes and workflows simply no longer serve healthcare workers or patients.

While in the past, digitizing health information was seen as a way to curb nurse burnout and improve workflow efficiency, the reality is that many of these efforts were only partially implemented, making matters worse. Systems weren’t integrated, information was scattered and most of the patient chart was removed from the bedside—leaving nurses running around trying to track down siloed information.

However, with technological advancements and an increased willingness from hospital administration to adopt new solutions, systems don’t need to be broken and frustrating. A seamless digital bedside solution is possible.

Here are five ways bedside technology can improve nursing retention.

1. Centralized bedside digital access

Nurses are busy and have many patients to care for at one time. Accessing correct and up-to-date information is essential for delivering safe and effective care. However, fragmented patient documentation stored in multiple platforms is a reality for many hospitals today.
As patient charts shifted from analog bedside notes to digital documentation, gaps in the system created a web of online and handwritten information living in multiple places. This has made providing care to patients challenging for clinicians—and especially for nurses.

Bedside technology can offer a solution for this. It brings the chart back into the patient’s room and allows nurses to access all the information they need to provide care to patients right at the bedside.

2. Simple to use and easy to adopt

The nursing workforce today spans several generations, ranging from Baby Boomers to Gen Z, and proficiency and willingness to adopt new technology runs the gamut. This is understandable. It’s difficult to learn a new technology in a busy environment that can’t afford mistakes or waste precious time.

Bedside technology that’s designed with the end user in mind can reduce complexity and appeal to nurses who expect a modern approach. A user-friendly interface that brings together different information – including physicians to input their notes at the bedside – is much easier to use and adopt than multiple fragmented systems and devices that exist at nursing stations and in the hallways of the units.

3. Seamless integration with other technologies

Gone are the days of simply writing everything in a patient chart and storing it at the patient’s bedside. With technological advancements, multiple systems are in play and sometimes that can create a barrier for nurses.

Digital bedside solutions can help alleviate errors caused by multi-system disconnects by integrating with digital healthcare technologies. For instance, connecting a medication barcode scanner at the bedside means nurses can perform medication reconciliation faster and with greater accuracy – reducing the stress nurses experience and enhancing patient safety.

4. Improved nurse-patient communication

Effective nurse-patient communication is essential to delivering a positive patient experience. But responding to patient requests can be distracting and time consuming for nurses. Often, it means running back and forth between rooms to assess requests and priority levels.

Bedside technology can alleviate this by introducing 2-way communication between nurses and patients. Under this model, a nurse will no longer have to run over to the room when they hear a call bell. Instead, they will be able to connect with the patient through the bedside solution and speak to them over an integrated phone or video system, allowing remote communication without the burden of being in multiple places at once.

5. Enhanced quality and safety of patient care

Engaged patients are shown to have the potential for better health outcomes. Conversely, patients who are not engaged in their healthcare planning are more likely to be readmitted to hospital within 30 days of discharge. This creates a poor patient experience, increases the cost burden on the healthcare system, reduces system capacity and increases workload and stress on nurses.

Digital bedside technology can significantly improve patient engagement by giving them power, information and control over their own healthcare and environment. It allows patients to make calls to friends and family, access in-room televisions, adjust environmental settings, complete their meal ordering, and best of all, access their health information to help them recover successfully.


Our healthcare system has the opportunity to dramatically improve patient care through digital transformation. Now is the time to take action. By investing in digital bedside solutions, many of the challenges nurses face on a day-to-day basis can be alleviated today and for the future.


Learn more about HealthHub’s bedside solution by visiting:

Refund Policy

Rental orders with HealthHub Patient Engagement Solutions are refundable within the following guidelines:

  • Days that have been paid for (paid days1 ), but cannot be used due to a service interruption3 caused by a qualified technical issue4 may be refunded at the daily rate.

  • A day is considered used 2 hours after rental start time. Rental start time is defined by the rental order.

  • Any free days2 of rental included in a multi-day rental package cannot be exchanged for money or transferred to another patient.

  • If a refund is processed before all paid days are used, any free days are forfeited.

  • Refunds are processed from the time they are requested, and will not be backdated.

  • Once a service interruption is reported, paid days will be either refunded or added to the rental period (the choice is up to the patient). Free days will be added to the rental period, and cannot be refunded or exchanged for money.


1 Paid days = Days of service paid for with your chosen service package. All paid days must be used before the free days in a package begin. There is 1 paid day in the daily package, 5 paid days in the weekly package and 15 paid days in the monthly package. (Please note: some sites may have different rental packages).

2 Free days = Days of service that were gifted to you by HealthHub with your chosen service package. The weekly package includes 2 free days (5 paid days, 2 free days) the monthly includes 15 free days (15 paid days, 15 free days). (Please note: some sites may have different rental packages).

3 Service interruption = Service use disrupted due to a qualified technical issue, or due to being moved to a new room with a missing or damaged HealthHub terminal. (Please note: this policy applies to service delivery problems for which HealthHub is responsible; it does not apply to those for which the hospital is responsible).

4 Qualified technical issue = A technical problem that impacts service delivery or enjoyment of services on your device.