With no role out of bounds for the IT revolution, a US healthcare technology provider has devised electronic decision support software which effectively replaces Matron.

PR Decision Tools Inc. says that the software – nicknamed eMatron by its UK distributors – will be marketed as Nurse Leader Online. The idea is that hard-pressed hospitals will be able to replace their chief nurse with the decision support software, enabling authorised senior personnel to feed in data on problematic nursing issues and receive evidence-based guidance on the optimum solution.

The program has been devised in collaboration with a leading nurse academic, Dr Suki Grommitt, Hillary Clinton Professor of Healthcare Reform at St Albion’s University, Arizona.

Dr Grommitt told E-Health Insider, “We believe this will be a significant tool for facilities that are seeking to contain their nursing leadership costs and redeploy outwards their higher remunerated personnel. Our decision support covers every eventuality.”

PR Decision Tools, senior vice-president for sales and marketing, Hal T. Jacques MD, said, “We are delighted to be working with Dr Grommitt and her talented team. As our president, George W. Bush, said, ‘Drug therapies are replacing a lot of medicines as we used to know them,’ and so it is with matrons and other nurses of a leadership kind.”

The software is loaded onto a PC on a trolley that can be trundled around hospital wards to where it is needed. To make the system more user-friendly the PC screen displays a computer-generated avatar of eMatron, an animated head with a series of suitably stern expressions.

eMatron not only provides definitive guidance on nursing care but can also tackle thorny issues such as the appropriate attire for nursing staff and is programmed to automatically detect instances of tardiness, potential alcohol abuse and practical jokes among student nurses.