Difficulties in Patient Care and Identification

  1. As a nursing prospect and student, I was wondering what the common issues with identifying rooms and patients are in the workplace.

    From a psychological stand point humans are innate to missing cues in high stress situations. Stress causes anxiety which can cause mistakes and confusion. To overcome these anxieties, devices like notes, or psychological reminders can be implemented. However, in a data heavy and personalized environment it is very common to miss information or misinterpret information. Especially in distinguishing a patient.

    In such a high paced and dynamic environment where time and service is key, what makes it hard in identifying patient rooms? What makes it hard to distinguish the medical precautions that are to be taken when entering a patient's room? What indicators, or visual cues make it easier in distinguishing specific patient rooms?
    •  
  2. 56 Comments

  3. by   brownbook
    WOW, your question is very erudite. (I Googled erudite to be sure of the definition, not 100% sure if I am using it correctly in the sentence?) What is your schooling or background?

    If I am understanding your question, hospital rooms are numerically ordered, 301, 302, 303, etc., it is not rocket science? Once you have worked a unit or floor a few days or weeks you quickly get a mental map of the rooms in your head.

    Not sure exactly what you mean about precautions. Infection control precautions? A million years ago when I worked acute care there was simply a laminated brightly colored sign outside the patients room stating contact isolation, droplet isolation, airborne isolation, etc. and it listed what steps to take when entering and leaving the room. Probably today that is a HIPAA violation!

    You are correct about high stress causing anxiety and mistakes. That needs to be discussed more often in nursing school and at the workplace.
    Last edit by brownbook on Sep 5
  4. by   Flatline
    This sounds like a marketer doing a market analysis for a new product or technology.
  5. by   sevensonnets
    I don't have a clue what he's asking, but whatever it is he is WAY overthinking it.
  6. by   JKL33
    Quote from chris5720
    In such a high paced and dynamic environment where time and service is key, what makes it hard in identifying patient rooms? What makes it hard to distinguish the medical precautions that are to be taken when entering a patient's room?
    Not being a "medical person"?


    *****

    ETA: Not even knowing what kind of important project you are working on, I can assuredly tell you that your premise is incorrect.

    Please tell me you aren't another one of those who are eager to spend your life coming up with fake Nursing problems and solutions instead of addressing staffing...
    Last edit by JKL33 on Sep 5
  7. by   Sour Lemon
    Reading that gave me a strong urge to slap someone, repeatedly ...and I don't even care who.
  8. by   chris5720
    Brownbook, thank you for your detailed response.

    My background is in management information systems and electrical engineering. I primarily work in healthcare systems engineering and process optimization. I have bachelor degrees in software, computer, and electrical engineering. With a specialization in neural networks and artificial intelligence.

    I created this thread to help with a process decision at my employing institution. I'm trying to lower the stress of nurses and optimize the flow of our floor's workflow. Thus, I'm focusing on cues that can ease the stress on the minds through lowering the amount of information needed to be remembered or known by caring physicians.

    In response to your answers, the numerical room identifiers are like you said, quite rudimentary. However, I am focused on the precautions side of the room identifications. In many hospitals there are still signage and documents that notify nurses and doctors of precautions to take when entering a patient's room. Displaying the precautions is not a HIPAA violation due to the fact that precautions focus on both the patient and staff safety. Thus, I'm wondering how often those visual cues added to a nurse or doctor's experience. In your experiences, did you pay attention to those cues? Did they accomplish their goal? If they did not accomplish their goal, what limited the cues' success?
  9. by   chris5720
    JKL33, thank you for your honest feedback.

    To elaborate on the project/problem I'm working on, I'm trying to lower the stress of our staff through easing their mind with visual cues and reminders. My goal is to implement new technology that makes it easier on staff to remember patient details. Thus, limiting the stress of memory on an individual.

    Where do you believe I'm missing the premise? What would you define as the problem that should be the main focus?

    Also, I'm not planning on spending my life solving this issue. I'm just reaching out to as many individuals with experience that I can, to help optimize the workflow at my employing institution.
  10. by   chris5720
    Flatline, not a marketer. I'm just trying to gather information from all ends to help the workflow at my employed location. I'm trying to see if my problem is an actual problem faced by others at other institutions. That way I can rank the need for the new workflow I hope to use to help our nurses and doctor's in their daily work.
  11. by   JKL33
    Quote from chris5720
    JKL33, thank you for your honest feedback.

    To elaborate on the project/problem I'm working on, I'm trying to lower the stress of our staff through easing their mind with visual cues and reminders. My goal is to implement new technology that makes it easier on staff to remember patient details. Thus, limiting the stress of memory on an individual.

    Where do you believe I'm missing the premise? What would you define as the problem that should be the main focus?

    Also, I'm not planning on spending my life solving this issue. I'm just reaching out to as many individuals with experience that I can, to help optimize the workflow at my employing institution.
    Chris, I appreciate your honesty very much. That said, can you see how the problem you are tasked with solving is probably not really the issue?

    The premise that administrators are always missing is that more time with each patient would solve (or improve) absolutely innumerable patient care issues. And yet it never fails that they would rather come up with 100 non-issue "problems" and provide 100 ridiculous (and sometimes even more burdensome "solutions") than to do something like, say, simply put another RN on the shift.
  12. by   Here.I.Stand
    I'm trying to lower the stress of our staff through easing their mind with visual cues and reminders
    Why would you think pt identification is stressful? My six year old manages to learn room numbers (at her school, her friends' house numbers on our street) and read nametags... The idea that professionals need technology to help us remember where and who our patients are is baffling to say the least.
  13. by   JKL33
    I have never once been confused about which precautions I needed to take based on patients' known diagnoses. I also don't get confused about which room I'm in, or which patient I'm presently working with.

    Therefore, and yes, I'm making an assumption - - I assume that someone has decided something like "we have to come up with a better way for RNs to 'remember' infection control measures specific to each patient" - - as if the majority of the problem is that we have "forgotten" where we are or what we're doing.

    No. The problem is that there is not enough time in the shift to care for each patient the way s/he deserves to be cared for based on staffing levels in many, many places.

    The problem is that nonsense has taken over, and we spend too much of the time we DO have, doing non-sensical "tasks" to meet non-sensical objectives instead of providing excellent hands-on care.
  14. by   Here.I.Stand
    However, I am focused on the precautions side of the room identifications. In many hospitals there are still signage and documents that notify nurses and doctors of precautions to take when entering a patient's room
    Ok, just saw this part. We too have the contact/droplet/airborne signs on the doors. I don't need reminders for MY assigned pts. However we enter other nurses' pts when they are tied up or on break -- you can bet I look at them, because I don't know their history. If they're not assigned to me, I haven't taken report. Plus, the signs are for the benefit of visitors, for non-clinical staff (e.g. dietary or housekeeping staff), for consulting physicians who are typically not located on our unit.

    The signs work fine. I don't see the need to improve on them because they are not a problem. They convey the necessary information to EVERYONE entering the room -- not simply those who have been in the chart to see the "Contact precautions: MDRO"... or those who know, say, a color code used by a hospital in lieu of the actual information. The directions, such as "gown and gloves, wash hands with soap and water" for C. diff, also spare the nurses from having to intercept Every. Single. Person approaching the room to TELL them what they need to don.

    I honestly don't see a problem to be solved.

close