How much longer is this going to go on?

  1. Today I saw the charge nurse and the unit secretary repeatedly putting their heads together to try and decipher doctors orders. I could not help but wonder at the zillions of hours that have been wasted to this time consuming activity. Here I am at a facility that is completely computerized except for one thing, the docs still hand write orders. This is a disgrace because it has been known for years that doctor handwritting is number one on the list of causes of med errors. Personally I have seen the doctors resist computers more than any other profession. They all have pass words but most of them want the labs put in their hands or someone to look it up for them. Just venting because I took 2 years off and I come back to the same old thing.
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   P_RN
    AMEN!!!
  4. by   ucavalpn
    At our hospital the doc's have to put orders in the computer . When we first statred with the computerized system , this was the only positive thing about it . Now I like the system . I makes it so much easier than having to look for the hard copy.
  5. by   P_RN
    How many computers are available on your unit?

    Our greatest problem was we only had 3 in the station plus 6 laptops with very poor wireless modems, that usually lost your input before you could save it.

    The 3 were 1 for the doctors, 1 for the unit secretary and 1 for the charge nurse to double check orders.
  6. by   OneChattyNurse
    I work at a VA where everything is put into the computer...even the DR's orders. That is one of the few things I like about my job. I once worked with a nurse that you practically had to stand on your head to read her writing. And the doctors...you hoped that you could read all the orders BEFORE they left from doing rounds as there were always things you had questions about!!! I think computerized charting is WONDERFUL. At the VA...they did not have a choice...maybe it needs to become a mandatory facility policy so EVERYONE has to comply...just a thought!

    Shari
  7. by   psnurse
    Ahhh, the leisurely pasttime of deciphering the undecipherable.

    I don't waste my time. I just call them EVERY TIME! The ones who have received several calls already, now read the orders to me before they leave the floor.
  8. by   P_RN
    What happens when you can't even figure out WHO wrote the gobbledigook much less what it says so it would give you a clue as to WHO.....?
  9. by   ucavalpn
    The number of computers varies per unit . On average I'd say 6 . 1 for the charge , 1 for the unit clerk , 1 for dr's. and 1 for staff at the nurses station . Then a couple at other areas on the unit . Also the ones at the nurses station can be used by anyone , if you get there first.
    I also work at a VA , so I think the fact that it was mandatory helped . Some of our doc's and other nurses resisted at first , but they had to do it anyway .
  10. by   shyviolet78
    We have two nurse's stations on our 24-bed ICU. At one station, we have 3 computers, at the other we only have 2 and one of these is dedicated to pharmacy use only. There are a couple of computers in the hallway and 2 in the supervisors office. There is a computer in every 4-bed pod, as well as in the 2 isolation rooms. The doctor's have been to training sessions on entering orders into the computer system. Do they put in their own orders? Of course not! Sometimes we get lucky and have a doc whose handwriting is legible, but most of the time it takes me (I'm the unit secretary) and a couple of nurses to figure out the orders. I wonder why the hospital wasted all the money on the computers and doctor's computer training!
  11. by   justanurse
    And, don't you love it when the Doctors can't read each others writing. I had a doc a few weeks ago ask me what another's progress note read. When I didn't quickly respond, he proceeded to rip it off the chart, hand it to me and say "Tell him I don't want a chicken scratching on my chart." Needless to say, I turned to the chicken-scratcher's own nurse and asked her what it meant and if she was going to tell him. She smiled broadly and said "Yes I'm going to tell him." (He 1. can't write 2. writes with a purple felt pen, & 3. is a royal jerkand thinks everyone thinks it's cute.)
  12. by   psnurse
    Figuring out who wrote is easier than figuring out what was written. If impossible, it is a simple process of elimination. Start with the admitting and work your way through the consults.

    Haven't had to take that route yet.
  13. by   radnurse2001
    Cripes---


    [FONT=century gothic]Doctors Don't Know How to spell the medications that they are giving!!!!!

    They don't know how to type

    And this would take away time that they could be abusing the nurses!!!!!


    I feel a new thread!!!!!!


    Anne
  14. by   deespoohbear
    I have the same policy as psnurse. I just call or page them. I don't even mess around with it anymore. I work for a small hospital with not many docs, so it is fairly easy to track down the guility party. I am not going to be liable for some med error or another error just because I can't read the doc's orders. We actually have a couple of docs whose handwriting is very legible. I can see a couple of docs at our facility just having royal tizzies if we went to a system where the orders were entered in the computer. Talk about teaching an old dog new tricks!!!
    Last edit by deespoohbear on Nov 16, '01

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How much longer is this going to go on?