Advances in healthcare IT continue to improve the quality of patient care, as well as create more organized and efficient workplaces. This eases daily stress for nurses and medical staff, and allows for more one-on-one patient interaction.
When it comes to health IT and workflow, however, sometimes the smallest changes can make the biggest differences. This is why Kaiser Permanente is working diligently to improve their technology in this arena. While many of their improvements are patient specific, others are simply designed to make the jobs of medical professionals easier.
Kaiser Permanente has broken their focus into two primary areas, designed specifically to improve a nurse’s workflow. They are:
- Developing across-the-board electronic health record standards at the system’s hospitals for recording and using patient data; and
- Cutting back on the complexity of inpatient care for nurses by reducing non-value-added tasks
A shining example of a small, yet powerful change, is adding an RFID chip to nurses badges. This chip frees up nurses time by eliminating the need to type in their login information each time they need to access patient charts. With the RFID chip, nurses are able to quickly and easily maneuver in and out of electronic charts until they log out the end of the day.
Being that it takes the average nurse around 8 seconds to login, and many nurses are required to login 100 or more times a day—that results in 13 more minutes each day. While it may not sound like much, it is more quality time nurses can spend with patients and family members. This added 13 minutes, is just one of the areas in which effective technologies can free up extra time in a nurse’s day.
The more time that can be made available, the less stress nurses feel, which means they are able to deliver a higher quality of care.