World Health Day – Celebrating the efforts of nurses & midwives in an interview with Julian Nast-Kolb, Co-founder of Cliniserve

The World Health Day is celebrated every year on 7 April to draw attention to particular priorities in global health. This year’s World Health Day places focus on nurses and midwives’ role and dedication as part of the 2020 International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife. Today we join the global community in recognising and celebrating the efforts of nurses and midwives with an interview with Julian Nast-Kolb, Co-founder of Cliniserve.

  • On today’s World Health Day we pay a tribute to the world’s 22 million nurses providing vital health care everywhere. Cliniserve is addressing the challenges that these 22 million nurses face every day during their work with their digital health solution. What was the motivation behind Cliniserve’s task management solution?

We always wanted to found a company in an area where we can improve the situation for our users tangibly, every day. At the same time, we were looking for extensive potential for digital product development – both were ideally mixed in the care sector, where digitalization had hardly arrived yet and where nurses faced unnecessary challenges through outdated processes, aggrevating the lack of staff. Nurses only have 15% of their time left for patient care, and our task management can help nurses increase the time with patients. The first feature, digital patient communication, was actually suggested by nurses during our care internships, to solve one of their major sources of stress (the red button). So in the end, we are driven to help a profession in dire need of appreciation and workflow improvements!

  • Without a doubt Cliniserve CARE has helped reduce the workload on nurses in hospitals and care centers, but hospitals also face a nursing shortage. What is Cliniserve proposing to tackle this common problem in the nursing sector?

We see the shortage of nurses as a two-sided issue – on one hand, improving processes and the time nurses can spend on patient care, can reduce the demand for additional staff resources (which society currently can’t offer). This is what CARE addresses. On the other hand, we of course also see the need in the availability of nurses – that’s why we launched TEAM at the beginning of this year. TEAM helps care institutions by helping find short-notice replacements, manage flexible staff such as pools and prioritizing where staff are actually needed the most. We can’t directly influence the number of nurses in the workforce, but we can help with all aspects of ensuring that nurses are available when and where needed the most and that they can focus on the most important task – patient care – which is also the one they actually want to spend time on.

  • In light of the ongoing health crisis, the number of people infected with the coronavirus keeps increasing and nursing and medical staff in hospitals are reaching their limits every day. Cliniserve has decided to help those on the frontline of this health crisis. Tell us more about your offer.

What we offer always has an impact on the frontline of health, the nurses. However, with the current crisis we really wanted to make it easier for our help to be deployed and thus to help more healthcare workers in more institutions. We therefore decided to offer TEAM completely free of charge and with a streamlined onboarding process. This is important as decision makers are currently also overwhelmed and procurement processes on ice – our offer ensures they can still deploy support for their staff immediately. Thus, we help address one of the main issues that hospitals and other care institutions currently face: They are running out of available staff!

  • Cliniserve TEAM is a prime example of a digital tool that can relieve doctors and nursing staff in further crisis. Now more than ever is the best time to introduce these type of tools that can effectively support healthcare professionals in their daily work. How can Cliniserve play its part here?

First of all, by ensuring that our tools can be deployed and used even if the administration of care institution is also in crisis mode. But also, by finding means like direct support chat to our users and frequent feedback calls to find out how needs are different in the time of crisis. Our products are always designed in a way that we can support both working modes and also help institutions move towards more efficient processes. Of course, being a startup with rapid prototyping and development cycles, it’s easier for us to keep up with our users.

  • Going back to World Health Day, the theme for 2020 is “Support nurses and midwives”, highlighting their contribution during the COVID-19 outbreak. In your opinion, what can technology do more about this noble and rewarding profession?

The ultimate goal of all technological advances in this profession has to be to allow more time for direct patient contact and treatment, as well as more complicated care procedures. Nurses spend way too much time on tasks which could be automated or delegated, and this is very frustrating for people with extensive training and knowledge. Every step in that direction therefore also increases the general image and job satisfaction in nursing. From our point of view, technology will also help a shift in nurses’ role: towards a role as the case-manager of a patients recovery and wellbeing and experts for certain specific components of care. Of course, historically more “tech” in a professions job profile usually led to better payment and societal standing.

  • What is your key message for World Health Day 2020?

Nurses deserve better recognition and payment in general and not just in times of crisis. We have to make corresponding adjustments to their salaries and image and last and finally invest in digital solutions that support their workflows to give them time for what matters most: in-person patient care!