That’s the title of an article seen in Healthcare Business & Technology. The article draws from a survey of 14,000 registered nurses and covers many of the systems in place today: 94% of nurses thought that the EHR hurt communication with patients and physicians instead of helping.
Among the factors nurses noted as frustrating were:
• Having different interfaces for doctors and nurses, which makes entering and reading information confusing.
• Having to locate another workstation when they are in use by others or are offline.
• A lack of problem-solving by the EHR vendors and IT staff.
• Nurses were often told to do workarounds instead of having the software adapted to their needs.
This is a sad commentary on an industry that has sucked billions of dollars out of hospitals in the recent past. What we found most interesting in this article is the conclusion: “Instead of limiting nurses to a few EHR workstations, consider allowing them to access the system using secure handheld electronic devices, such as tablets. This could help them enter clinical information into patients’ records faster, boosting productivity and reducing frustration.”
This does not mean simply porting the desktop EHR to a tablet, it means designing the nursing application from the ground up to take advantage of all of the tablet features. See our article ‘Will COWS Soon Be Extinct?’ Mobile devices such as tablets and an intuitive user interface designed to optimize EHR nursing workflow enhance the hospital’s ability to attract top of the line nursing staff, promote workplace satisfaction and employee retention.