Survey: Has the use of computer technology taken the nurse away from the bedside?

  1. this months survey question:
    has the use of computer technology taken the nurse away from the bedside?

    here are the results from this survey of 827 vistors:

    no 60.96 %
    yes 39.04 %

    please add your comments by replying to this post!
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   HazeK
    No, because each of our patients has a computer right next to their bed, where we can chart assessments, interventions & evaluations; pt activities, et al. Charting HAS to be done, as part of nursing! Long gone are the days where a nurse took good care of a patient without having paperwork to do! With computer, data entered in one spot flows to several different chart options rather than making us 'double chart' like in the 'olden days'!

    Ex: I chart a patient's EDC ('due date') on a Triage outpatient form...it flows to the admission sheet, the delivery record, the high risk referral sheet for NICU, and the transfer to postpartum summary sheet! Nice, huh!

    :-)
  4. by   Mariah
    As a nurse involved with a bedside critical care information system, a few findings. A time-motion study was done in the mid 90's by the hospital to determine how a CIS changed the nurses time. It was found that with a CIS in place, nurses spent significantly more time caring for patients at the bedside with the CIS in place. An anecdote from a head nurse of a CABG unit - what was the difference she noted when a CIS was put in - She noticed more patients walking in the hallways more often (with their nurses of course).
  5. by   Q.
    I don't think so. If implemented properly, computer technology can enhance a nurse's role.
  6. by   oramar
    I have worked with several computer systems. Some were more trouble than they were worth. The worst ones were the ones where we spent so much time dealing with jammed printers and unsheduled down time that the patients were neglected. Some were actually labor saving devices. However, no computer system is good if all the IT people leave at 4pm and the nursing staff is left with a phone contact 100 miles away when problems arise. Every computer system should have on site IT people 24 hours a day who will get off there arses and come to your terminal when you ask. They also should not grouse about being called for hard ware problems. If they are nasty to nursing staff they should be sent packing.
  7. by   Brownms46
    Originally posted by bshort:
    <STRONG>This months survey question:
    Has the use of computer technology taken the nurse away from the bedside?

    Please take a minute to answer our yes or no survey at the bottom of the allnurses.com homepage

    Also, please reply to this post and give us your more detailed responses.</STRONG>
    Today was a good example of PC's taking me away from my pt's bedside and took up way too much of my time!

    First..pt. returned from pass on Sunday. This morning received NO breakfast due to the "system" refused to except that he was there! After hearing the feedback from the unit secretary about how sorry the evening, and nite shift was to not have had the problem resolved prior to this am. I called dietary..(in the midst of trying to give meds)..to have them just send a tray up! They replied they can't until they could print a ticket for that pt. Frustrated by this time, as my DM pt. needs weren't being taken care of, and unable to get my hands around the throat of the rude, and seemingly uncaring dietary staff, I finally was able to get them to send a tray up by sending a hand written request throught the tube system!

    Next...a pt. was transferred from another unit...AT LUNCH time!!! Why he couldn't have stayed on the floor until he ate lunch is waaay beyond me! Same problem! Same solution!!!

    Next...pt. transferred at 0945, unable to get med orders to come up! Orders needed to be released to our unit, but no one knew what the problem was! I called, talked, grabbed anyone I even thought could help! Finally got orders released, after talking to NP, CN, Unit secretary, Pharmacy TWICE, Nurse manager, and finally after I pitched a total hissey..got orders released at 1300hrs!!!! I ended up having to stay over to chart!!! I let my unit manager know that this was TOTALLY unacceptable, and took waaaay took much time! This man was in pain, and I had to give meds to him by looking at the history to figure out what time the last pain was given, so I could medicate him! I had to get the NP to verbally ok my giving the meds as without this, I could have given the meds, and later found out they had been DC'd!

    Give me paper charts anyday!
  8. by   imaRN
    No,
    With computers at each bedside I can get all my labs,radiology reports,call docs from the bedside and watch all trends in vital signs just by clicking the mouse.It also will figure all my drug calculations and my pt's hemodynamics.
  9. by   nu.garrvik
    Hi! I notice from the replies posted that most of you seem to be from the USA so I thought you might appreciate a scottish opinion.
    We've only recently become computerised and our unit is the pilot for what is known as the "clinical module".When it started, we got loads of support from our IT dept, but this has now significantly reduced. I think in principal computers are a good idea. Nurses are excellent at what we do,however,we're not so good at documenting all aspects of our care; so from this perspective it gives quality assurance and the recognition we deserve.
    However, from a practical point of view, I think it's a nightmare! Where before I could check a fluid balance or vital signs at a glance, now I have to log on, find the correct screen, find my patient, find the care plan, highlight the relevant part and finally the info is available. If I want a 24hr total, however, this is a different screen again so I need to come out and find the correct one again.
    To change directions for care it's as time consuming as the above.
    I find I load a lot of data retrospectively as it takes too long and is often impractical to load it immediately after giving care. Another bug-bear is the fact that at certain times of the day, the system seems to be on a go slow and it takes AGES to load on your data.
    We have 2 main PC's at the nurses station and 4 laptops. Each laptop covers a 6 bedded area, so maybe we need more hardware.......I think more nurses would be a better idea!
    Does any area employ staff specifically to load on the data? We suggested this but were told that as you are accountable for your own practice, you had to take responsibility for documenting your care; another idea good in theory, but useless in practice!
    Enjoyed the rant....!
  10. by   oramar
    The previous three post just validated everything I said in my original post on this thread. I would like to add one more thing. It would probably help a lot if managment got input from nursing about new computer systems. It would even be better if they did a trial run on one or two units before purchasing the system. The best system I ever worked with got input from staff during a trial run and then responded to complaints about problems. The worst system was purchased by a high level managment person with no input from the staff. When they tried to tell him there were problems his retort was that, "there were no problem computers only stupid nurses." This was the system that actually drove me away from a hospital about 10 years ago. A job that I had previously liked but the computers were a nightmare. I left after my nurse manager came into a patient room and started screaming at me because a printer was jammed and backed up quite a bit. The patient was going into adult respiratory distress and was really keeping me busy.(Another story from oramar's Why I Hate Managment Annals)
  11. by   NurseRachet
    Interesting, because at our hospital, the nurses believe that the computer is a waste of time and takes them away from patient care. From comparing QA results over the past 3 years, there is a definite improvement in clinical documentation from "paper" to "electronic charting". It is more legible, easier to track, and can readily be viewed when the patient is readmitted. I think a lot of it depends on the type of system that you have. If nurses designed the forms, perhaps they would like it more. Oh well, we keep trying:-)

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