New guideline provides recommendations for interprofessional teams in digital health environments

May 6, 2024

At a time when digital environments are changing care delivery, the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) is proud to release a new best practice guideline (BPG) to support nurses and interprofessional health teams in their practice. Titled Clinical Practice in a Digital Health Environment, this BPG features evidence-based recommendations to support care across settings and sectors to improve people’s health outcomes and equity. 

“Nurses and other health providers are increasingly using digital health technologies powered by artificial intelligence and deep machine learning, in practice; and this BPG provides a roadmap to ensure high quality and equitable care regardless of setting,” says Dr. Doris Grinspun, RNAO CEO and founder of the world-renowned BPG program. The guideline also outlines the many resources available to guide the implementation of the recommendations, and evaluate their impact within organizations. “We look forward to supporting the work of all health professionals, teams, organizations and systems as they apply this novel BPG into clinical practice to provide safe, quality care using advanced technology, such as predictive analytics,” adds Grinspun.

The BPG’s interprofessional expert panel was co-chaired by the late Dr. Vanessa Burkoski, former chief nursing executive and chief of people strategy at Humber River Health, and Maureen Charlebois, chief nursing and clinical officer at Bayshore HealthCare. This guideline is dedicated to Burkoski, who passed away in August 2023. 

“This BPG is a testament to the legacy and vision of Dr. Burkoski, who once said ‘ensuring nurses have all the tools to deliver the best quality and safest care’ was important to her,” says Grinspun. “It was her idea to develop this guideline. Its recommendations will help nurses and other health providers feel confident while providing person-centred care alongside new and emerging technology. We honour Dr. Burkoski, her knowledge and expertise as the co-chair of this important BPG.”

The BPG outlines recommendations and good practice statements related to:

  • initial and ongoing assessments of using digital health technologies in care
  • providing persons and families, with education related to digital health technologies
  • being actively involved in implementing digital health technologies in clinical practice
  • ongoing education for nurses and other health providers
  • developing interdisciplinary peer champion models for education purposes
  • implementing policies to protect privacy, security and confidentiality
  • regulatory bodies embedding digital health competencies into nursing and other health provider entry-to-practice exams
  • employing early warning systems to support clinical decision-making

“It was a privilege to co-chair the development of this BPG with my colleague and friend Dr. Burkoski,” says Charlebois. “I would like to thank the esteemed expert panel for providing their time, thought leadership and passion to make this BPG a reality. Our objective is to enhance health delivery through effectively using digital health technologies. This guideline represents our joint endeavour to ensure that technology is seamlessly integrated into clinical practices, thereby improving both the experiences of health providers and the outcomes for patients.”

The BPG is available for free download on RNAO’s website.

RNAO’s Best Practice Guideline (BPG) Program is funded by Ontario’s Ministry of Health. It was envisioned by CEO Dr. Doris Grinspun in 1998 and launched in 1999 to provide the best available evidence for patient care across all health sectors and settings, with more than 50 guidelines developed to date. The Best Practice Spotlight Organization® (BPSO®) program supports health service and academic institutions that have formally agreed to implement multiple RNAO BPGs over a three-year period, and evaluate their impact on patients, organizations and health system outcomes. Launched in 2003, the BPSO program now has more than 1,500 BPSOs in Ontario, Canada and internationally.

The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) is the professional association representing registered nurses, nurse practitioners and nursing students in Ontario. Since 1925, RNAO has advocated for healthy public policy, promoted excellence in nursing practice, increased nurses’ contribution to shaping the health system, and influenced decisions that affect nurses and the public we serve. For more information about RNAO, visit or follow us on X (formerly Twitter)FacebookInstagram and LinkedIn.

- 30 -

Contact info

Madison Scaini
Communications Officer/Writer
Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO)
Marion Zych
Director of Communications
Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO)