The healthcare sector is no exception as we move towards a more digital future. With an aging population and increasing demand for healthcare services, there is a pressing need for patient-centric services that are efficient and effective. However, introducing new technology can also have unintended consequences for healthcare professionals, particularly nurses.

Research has shown that work engagement in healthcare is complex, with nurses often experiencing high levels of exhaustion and stress. In light of this, it is essential to study the effects of digitalization on work engagement in patient-centric services.

Person sitting in front of a computer

In this study, researchers conducted contextual and semi-structured interviews with nurses using a new chat function and telephone system to provide medical advice to patients. The results showed that the new chat function positively and negatively affected work engagement. While nurses experienced less time and emotional pressure, they also felt a loss of job control and feedback from colleagues working from home.

This research highlights the need for a more nuanced understanding of the impact of digitalization on work engagement in healthcare and the importance of considering both the positive and negative effects. By taking a user-centered approach, we can develop patient-centric services that improve efficiency and patient outcomes and support healthcare professionals’ well-being and engagement.

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