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User Survey

By GSG ·
We need to survey our users to objectively determine how much knowledge they have regarding PC usage. More importantly, we need to determine how comfortable they are with using technology in general. They will be using a new software suite and will be using what we call COWs (Computers on Wheels) with wireless laptops for bedside charting. We need to make sure our nurses and other providers are comfortable, and to determine how much additional training we need to provide. Has anyone done this, and if so, suggest good questions that we can ask? Does anyone know of any tools that we could download?

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As a first suggestion DO NOT EVER CONSIDER THIS!

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to User Survey

As this is obviously for a medical application you are taking people out of their existing training and forcing them to use specialized software that is not available in the market place so they will make mistakes. Also because a computer screen or print out says something it tends to be believed as computers never make mistakes and any erroneous data entries would have been picked up before they ever reached that stage {Well that is the belief!}

If you insist upon going down this path all you will achieve is to create more clerical positions than medical staff positions.

As far as training goes you have to take into account that the users will know absolutely nothing at all and treat them accordingly. If you do anything else you are only down on your knees inviting disaster. I can promise you that!

If you simply must have this put in place start off with getting better medical insurance and begin therapy now at a different institution without these pieces of hardware it will be far less painful that way. Also extended "Stress Leave" will prove usefully.

Now I'm assuming that the rules are the same there as they are here in AU and any equipment in a medical environment has to be certified that under no circumstance can it cause injury to staff or patients and the tech has to sign a piece of paper certifying this. So if some fool takes a metal medical instrument to a power lead and kills themselves through their own stupidity the person who signed the safety certificate is responsible for the death.

Now with LT's on wheels you have even greater problems as you simply can not guarantee that there will not be incorrect data entered and that the safety checks that are in place will pick up the error. If the medical staff can not even get Dangerous drugs correct how can you expect them to enter data correctly? This doesn't even take into consideration the possibility of improper readings because of poorly charged batteries and the monitor being hard if not impossible to read.

Stick to the Dr's scrawl at least that way the tech is not held responsible for any failures and there is a paper trail to investigate.


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Thanks, but

by GSG In reply to As a first suggestion DO ...

Thanks for your reply, however, we are moving forward. We know that this will slow down charting, but with current federal regulations, including HIPAA, JCAHO regs, etc... this is the way most hospitals are moving. It has been proven that most sentinel events in hospitals are directly related to medication administration... i.e. wrong medicine, wrong dosage, wrong time, wrong patient, and it is difficult to track who did what when. With a digital hospital, using Biometric passwords, RFID for the patients, clinicians, Barcoded meds, barcoded patients, then these sentinel events can be cut by over 80%.

By the way, the nurse/tech IS held responsible for the Drs' scrawl. I've worked in health care for 15 years, and represented the hospital in court cases, usually in cases of child abuse, or elder care neglect, but occasionally in cases of wrong medication, and every single time the judge has ruled that indecipherable writing is not an excuse.

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I to have worked in Hospitals

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Thanks, but

And while the idea sounds great in principal unfortunately it is in the execution of the process where things fall down. Currently there is a paper trail in place which is easily traceable and while the nursing staff carry the can for the Dr bad scrawl if you manage to implement a computerized system with no paper trail in place who exactly do you think will be left to carry the can when something goes wrong?

I've had the benefit of being blamed for not securing a work site properly that led to the death of a worker. It was in a bank in the mainframe room and the frames that where taken off line where not only fenced off but had the power plugs removed as well. But because someone replaced the plugs after I had left and a worker walked through the area that had been fenced off after removing the fences it was my fault that he died. It didn't matter that I still had the plugs the ruling was that I had not made the work area safe before I left for the day so I was held responsible for someone's else's actions that led to the death of an employee.

After all it was a lot easier to blame me rather than the fact that some one from the bank in question had done the wrong thing. Exactly how I was supposed to make those frames safe after all that I had dome is quite beyond me as even if I had of removed the power cords they could have been replaced after I left for the day and I still would have carried the can for that incident.

But in a Hospital environment there are just far too many factors out of the techs control and something as simple as the wrong value on a bar code can and will led to a persons death. What you have to remember here is that no matter just how good the program is how well the people are trained and how heavily you lean on the staff to do the right thing it all boils down to the weakest link and if a supermarket which is all virtually computer controlled can get things wrong with bar codes you can bet your bottom $ that the medical staff will do exactly the same thing. But this time instead of not being able to pass the buck they will have the IT department to carry the can. Computers are great for storing DATA but they should never be the finial reason for dispensing medication without further checks and balances in place.

I said it previously a lot of people think "That because it is on a monitor or printout it is correct" and they just do not ask questions but do as they are instructed by the computer. There is still and always will be some lowly paid git entering data that messes things up totally but they will never be held responsible as it is the IT department who should have put in the necessary checks and balances that prevents this from happening and it is the accounting department who cuts back on all these implementations that the IT department thinks are necessary.

It is also the Accounting Department who refuse to allow new procedures to be put in place when things start going wrong as their reasoning is that this should have been thought of in the beginning and there just is not the budget for the new procedures.

Believe me I've been in that position and it feels really good when you stop trying to bash your head against the brick wall that is placed there by the Accounting Department to cut costs. I also no longer have the problem of facing a court for something that I'm held responsible for when people out of my control are to blame.


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WE did it

by Mark.Kime In reply to User Survey

Just plan it out well. consider speaking with our designer Pat Keith. 219 263 4600 ask for her by name. we have been using this system for a while now. ask about the carts size and utility make a big difference.

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