COUNT: More time for patients through meaningful technology

How can we successfully develop technology that supports nurses so they have more time for their patients? So far, only 30% of the technologies developed for support have been successfully implemented. This needs to change.


What is the best way to design technology that supports nurses in
their work, in such a way that it is actually implemented? Nurses
spend a third of their working hours in direct contact with their
patients, while the rest is spent on matters such as registration,
administration and logistics. So far, only 30% of the technologies
that have been developed to change this situation have actually
been successfully implemented. This percentage is so low because
innovation, the work that nurses perform and existing (information)
systems are not compatible with each other. Ideally, these aspects
should be brought together in one common approach, something
that is currently not the case.

The University Medical Centre Utrecht approached the HU to tackle
this issue.


Further information about the COUNT research project and the
results can be found on the COUNT project site.


01 July 2018 - 30 June 2021


We combine research methods from the fields of co-design, process analysis and systemic design.

  • Co-design, which includes the end user (the nurse) in the
    design process, is based on the premise that the end user is in
    the best position to know what is required, as well as how to
    integrate the technology in the daily work flow.
  • Process analysis involves studying the process of
    development, from a nurse’s innovative idea to the practical
    implementation thereof in the hospital setting. This includes
    reflective analysis aimed at improving this process.
  • Systemic design takes a wide-angle perspective to ensure that
    the innovation is properly embedded throughout the
    organisation (the hospital). It also asks which persons need to
    be involved and how, and what changes will occur as a result
    of the innovation.

We are currently applying these methods in collaboration with four nursing wards of the University Medical Centre Utrecht and seven nursing wards of the Sint Antonius Hospital. Together, we are searching for shared insights in an effort to reduce the overall work load. We subsequently design and test a number of innovations with the nurses, who play a vital role in the design process. This is expected to yield two or three labour-saving products and/or services, such as a smart nurse calling system. We are also writing a supplement to the 2020 nurse training profile of the Dutch Professional Association of Nurses & Carers (V&VN). Nurses don’t just use technology, they also help to improve it.

HU researchers involved in the research

Collaboration with knowledge partners

Co-financing: RAAK-publiek (of the Taskforce for Applied Research,SIA)

Would you like to collaborate or do you have any questions?