Australia launches new program to equip nurses and midwives with digital health skills

The professional development program is being undertaken by HISA in collaboration with the ADHA.
By Dean Koh
04:44 AM

The Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) today announced the launch of a new professional development program to identify the necessary digital health capabilities for nurses and midwives to further improve the quality, safety and efficiency of care.

Nurses and midwives across Australia will now be consulted on the specific digital health skills they need, what is practical and relevant for them and how a draft digital health capability framework could be used in hospitals and health services as a professional development guide for nursing and midwifery in the digital world.

Consultation will start on 3 of February 2020 and will run for six weeks. Nurses and midwives are encouraged to provide their feedback by completing a survey or attending feedback sessions through information available on the Health Informatics Society of Australia (HISA) website.

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The professional development program is being undertaken by HISA in collaboration with the ADHA as part of the National Digital Health Strategy’s commitment to building health workforce capability in digital health. 

Once consultation is complete, the final capability framework and resources would be launched at the Nursing Informatics global congress NI 2020 in Brisbane, on 27 – 29 July 2020.


The 2020 focus on nursing and midwifery in the digital age coincides with the World Health Organization’s International Year of the Nurse and Midwife. Critically, it is also important to ensure that the voices of nurses and midwives are heard when looking at the implementation of technology in healthcare organizations. 

In an interview with HealthcareITNews last September, Katie Trott, chief nursing information officer at the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust said, “Often, there’s an emphasis on doctors, however, the nursing workforce is often much greater than the medical workforce. And so making sure that they’ve got full representation of that is really important, particularly as we have nurses taking on more and more extended roles where they’re seeing patients autonomously.”


“In the emerging field of digital health, nurses and midwives are at the forefront, combining knowledge, data, and technology to produce best possible outcomes for patients.”

“In this new program, nursing and midwifery organizations will be collaborating to create the first national framework to support nurses and midwives in an increasingly digital workplace, with all the challenges and opportunities that provides,” said HISA CEO Dr Louise Schaper in a statement.

Angela Ryan, the Agency’s Chief Clinical Information Officer and a Registered Nurse, said: “Nurses and midwives are once again ensuring that they are at the center of their educational and professional development so that they can deliver the best care possible.”

“This program will identify the specific skills nurses and midwives need for them to maximize the benefits for their patients from Australia’s digital health system.”

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