This article is quite a nice follow up to the point I made about nursing involvement recently.
See the following for details of that blog.
Nurses Often Left Out of Health IT Initiatives
by Bryn Lansdowne
For years, health IT has been touted as a means to improve documentation, ease the administration of medication and generally boost patient care delivery and coordination. Yet for many nurses, the adoption of health IT in hospitals is not a smooth road to improved efficiency.
Federal incentives for IT adoption have mostly been aimed at hospitals and physicians, not nurses. Also, most health care facilities direct their IT adoption efforts toward physicians because nurses are almost always employed by the institution where they practice, whereas most physicians are not. Many hospital administrators fear that if they force IT adoption on physicians, those physicians may take their business elsewhere.
But however slowly, the health care industry is shifting its focus to assisting nurses in the implementation of health IT. Of 150 CIOs surveyed by Health Data Management this year, 55% agreed and 29% strongly agreed that providing nurses with IT is an increasing focus of their IT initiatives. Further, the Joint Commission, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and the Institute of Medicine all have issued patient safety mandates that call for enhanced nurse involvement with IT.
Working With Vendors
Experts have suggested that health IT vendors solicit feedback directly from nurses and work with them during the initial design process.
Pam Cipriano, chief clinical officer of the University of Virginia Health System and chair of the American Academy of Nurses Workforce Commission's Workforce Commission, has said that involving nurses in the IT development process can reduce the potential for error and ensure that vendors' products are user friendly.
Many vendors already consider real-world implications during the design phase of IT development, according to Reed Gelzer, COO of Advocates for Documentation Integrity and Compliance. According to Gelzer, "Vendors often make a valiant effort to improve their" products by soliciting input from the users themselves, "but then they discover that the message was coming from only a subset of users," leaving the vendor to ask, "'Who do I listen to?'"
Gelzer recommended that vendors make a more concerted effort to incorporate nurses' suggestions into their offerings, but only after they first develop an input plan that will ensure the recommendations are valid and transparent to designers. Further, Gelzer said that suggestions can't come from just one component of users; instead, they have to represent all potential operators of the technology: physicians, administrators and ambulatory care workers, among others.
MORE ON THE WEB
- AAN Commission on Workforce
- CDW, "Nurses Tech Talk 2007" (.pdf)
- Rebillot, "Nurses Push for Input Into Clinical Health IT Design To Boost Hospital Workflow," iHealthBeat, 12/3
- "Hospitals Work To Make Health IT More Nurse Friendly," iHealthBeat, 12/5
Read the full article below:
I can do little better than refer the interested reader to the links above for more information and ideas on how the manage this critical issue.