Case Study: Nursing as Technology

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[. . .] One immediate error that should be reduced is the problem of issues with illegible orders. Also when an electronic system is put into effect this should reduce overall transcription errors made by nurses as well. Any pharmacy transcription errors that occur should be identified by nurses pretty quickly as well with and electronic system. Thus, I think that all orders should be handled by an electronic system and any concerns can be addressed to the physician.

However, the use of EMR systems has not resulted in the entire world of nursing being turned into a paradise. First, these systems crash from time to time. When they do this is a major source of stress for nurses. There should be some type of backup system in place for these systems like people have on their PCs in order to keep things running smoothly.

Second, security concerns are a big issue when dealing with confidential patient information on a computer system. This is even a bigger issue compared to the traditional paper documentation. Traditionally the patient's chart was in a secure location (well not always secure, but it was supposed to be at the nursing station when not in use). However, computerized information can be accessed on any computer hooked up to the system. The issue is that while a nurse is entering information in the computer anyone in eyesight of the nurse can see what is being entered. It is not uncommon to see a nurse entering patient information into a computer while someone else, either a patient's relative (perhaps not even a relative of the patient on the computer screen), coworker, or anyone, stands over the nurse and engages in a conversation with them. EMR systems have made sensitive information much more accessible in a number of ways. Moreover, nurses sometimes do not log off and leave the computer up for anyone to access.

There are security features available for computers and handheld devices. All patient information must be password protected on electronic devices. Passwords are required for PDA's in an EMR. It is crucial when handheld devices are used to have security settings in place. However, passwords and security settings are not infallible. When uploading patient information onto another computer or if one is sending patient information by means of email there should be some form of encryption developed to prevent unauthorized access to such information. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) has led to the creation of HIPAA compliant security settings that are available on PDA devices, but are not always used. These should be mandatory and other safeguards such as lockout programs should be developed for devices that have not been in use for a period or when unauthorized attempts to gain access to information are encountered.

Finally, there has been a loss of the personal touch when all this technology is used. For example, many computerized documentations are formatted. There is little room for personal reflections. I notice many nurses and aides just getting the required data from patients and not spending time talking to the patient. Once data is collected they are off to the nursing station or doing something else. It is important to make sure that in our quest to be more efficient we do not become less human.

Conclusion

Technology has benefited the nursing field. The improvements in technology for patient documentation have been demonstrated to improve nurse efficiency, patient outcomes, and safety. This technology can save time on documentation but should allow for more time to be spent with the patients; however, this is not always the case. While the risk of error and harm is decreased the risk of treating patients as data ports is increased. We must remember that patients are people and require subjective care.

References

Bradley, V.S., Steltenkamp, C.L., Hite, K.B. (2006). Evaluation of reported medication errors before and after implementation of computerized practitioner order entry. Journal of Healthcare Information Management, 20, 46-53.

Courtney, K.D., Demiris, G., & Alexandre, G.L. (2005). Information technology: Changing

nursing processes at the point-of-care. Nursing Administration Quarterly, 29 (4), 315-

Gearing, P., Olney, C., Davis, K., Lozano, D., Smith, L.B., & Friedman, B. (2006). Enhancing patient safety through electronic medical record documentation of vital signs. Journal of Healthcare Information Management, 20 (4), 40-45.

Hardwick, M.E., Pudilo, P.A., & Adelson, W.S. (2007). The use of handheld technology in nursing research and practice. Orthopaedic Nursing, 26(4), 251-255.

Kaplan, B. & Harris-Salamone, K.D. (2009). Health IT success and failure: Recommendations

literature and an AMIA workshop. Journal of the American Medical Informatics

Association, 163, 291 -- 299.

Lee, T.T. (2007). Nurses' experiences using a nursing information system: Early Stage… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Nursing as Technology.  (2012, January 19).  Retrieved April 24, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/nursing-technology-becomes/1365631

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"Nursing as Technology."  Essaytown.com.  January 19, 2012.  Accessed April 24, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/nursing-technology-becomes/1365631.