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issue analysis, knowing the patient, nurses, technology





Nurses want to know the patients for whom they are providing care. Historically, hospital stays were longer, and nurses felt that they had the time to get to know the patient. During the past 2 decades, nursing research has found that "knowing the patient" is important to nurses and patients; however, nurses do not believe that they have the time to get to know the patient. The world in which we live and in which healthcare is delivered has changed. The emergence of technology has driven a significant amount of the change. Technology has the potential to help nurses "know the patient." The purpose of this article was to outline the importance of knowing the patient and describe how investment in technology can support this important concept. A clinical issue analysis framework was used to develop this manuscript. The main conclusions from the analysis include as follows: knowing the patient is central to quality patient care, time to get to know patients is increasingly difficult, and technology can provide a clinical patient portrait potentially enabling nurses to have time to get to know the patient as a person, resulting in improved patient and nurse satisfaction.