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Posted 11 months ago
For staff nurses, the nursing shortage has resulted in an increase in both the number of work hours and the number of patients on a team. Despite the nursing shortage, however, nurses are being asked to complete more tasks related to patient care. After all, nurses are at the frontline of patient care. As a safety measure, nurses are relying increasingly on mobile applications as patient-safety and productivity tools. Data shows that computerized documentation and related IT innovations have made patient care more efficient and effective.
The following are demonstrative examples to support the inevitable marriage of nursing and IT technology:
■Accessing Patient Databases. Especially in the hospital, nurses work with huge patient databases, and accessing the patient history might take a great deal of time. But, computerized patient databases have made this much easier. The patients’ databases are now computerized and can be easily accessed. This results in patient safety and facilitates patient teaching. Similarly, with computerized patient databases, lab data and imaging results can be accessed in a more efficient fashion.
■Supporting Patient Safety. Because of computerized documentation, patient safety has been enhanced. Because of EMAR and related systems, it is less likely that a medication will be given to the wrong patient; and it is equally less likely that an incorrect dosage or drug will be given.
■Facilitating Communication. When one member of the interdisciplinary team documents on a patient, this information can be made readily available to other team members. Similarly, when one nurse documents an intervention or a narrative note, the oncoming nurse can read it. This too, can equate to patient safety.
■Facilitating Order Entry. Similarly, through computerized documentation systems, a physician can be off-site and add an order for either a medication or intervention via the computer. This saves time, it can result in patient safety, and it can improve patient satisfaction.
■Improving Job Satisfaction. Before computerized documentation, many staff nurses reported staying after their work shift ended to complete paper documentation. Likewise, many reported that documentation prevented them from spending time with their patients. However, because of computerized documentation, less time is spent doing “paper work,” and more time can be spent with the patient. Similarly, because computerized documentation is more efficient, nurses are less likely to have to spend extra time (after their shift) doing paper charting.
■HIPPA Compliant Off-Site Back Up Systems. Many worry that electronic data could be easily erased, lost, or read by someone with ill-intent. However, there are HIPPA Compliant Backup Systems to protect the integrity of this data.