Nurses General Nursing


We are a group of four nursing students getting close to graduation. During our time as students, we have been working with a variety of different charting styles at various institutions. Some of us have had the opportunity to use computerized charting during our clinical rotations. We have found this type of charting to be quite efficient. We are conducting an informal survey to find what the general consensus is among nurses regarding computerized charting. We would appreciate any feedback regarding opinions and/or experience pertaining to computerized charting. Some questions we are interested in asking include: Does your facility have computerized charting? Do you find it efficient and convenient or cumbersome and time consuming? Do you think the success or failure of computerized charting is in direct relationship to how computer literate a nurse is?


131 Posts

Hi, I work in LTC and in May,1998 we got our first computers. August 30, 1998 the nurses had to do all their charting on the computer. Many nurses complained and said they did not have enough time to learn what they needed to know. I am the System Supervisor and I felt these nurses were procrastinating. Thank YOU God, my DON stood tight with me and we set the day to completely turn it over. I would say that it took those nurses with no computer skills a little longer, but they all do it. I personally think computer literacy has an effect on those using computerized charting. We gave the nurses paid time to come in and practice because ir is part of their job standards.

Once they had time to learn the system it got easier.

Personally I enjoy it. But there are those nay sayers who will drag their feet on anything.

Good luck NA


53 Posts

Our hosital went to computerized charting about 1 1/2 years ago. We started out gradually and release new forms periodically. I am an RN that had formal training as a computer forms designer. There are nurses that never touched a computer before, doing better than the ones with computer skills. I have found the ones that are familiar with the computer think they know "it all" and usually are the ones that mess the system up and we have to go straighten it out. Our nurses were very resistive at first, but are getting very good now. We still have some that like to drag their feet and try to get other nurses to do their admissions for them, but we are now "honing" in on those nurses. Only RNs, LPNs, dietary, utilization review and respiratory chart electronically. We do not allow the Techs, nursing assistants or student nurses chart on the computer. They will in the future, but not right now. Student nurses can chart only under the access code of their instructors - they are not allowed to have their own. At the end of each semester, the instructors access code is changed. Students are not allowed to log on to the system, but the instructor will log on theirself. Physicians are becoming more receptive and learning the system as well. They still depend on the charge nurse to "pull up info" for them. One of the biggest problems is SLOW systems. We have had to upgrade ours several times, as we load more forms on. But, this is the biggest complaint from EVERYONE. Hopes this helps, if you need anything further, e-mail. Good luck with your venture.

[This message has been edited by NurseRachet (edited March 17, 2000).]


6 Posts

I work in ICU and we use flow charts and narrative sections for anything not on the flow chart. I also work agency and I experienced computer charting for the first time the other night, luckily the hospital just implemented this and the help staff was available for a little training. I did like it but I was concerned that I may have missed charting something, I feel with more practice I would like this type of charting.. I feel that if the hospital pays my salary and that is their system then that's what I will learn to use. I did hear a lot of complaining from staff that worked in that facility a long time, many are resistant to change but as RN'S we must keep up with the latest technology.


28 Posts

I worked for 4 years in a hospital with computerized charting. I am generally a computer advocate. I was on the the computer and charting standards committee. I worked with the software provider, etc.

We had a lot of problems. Resistant nurses. A hard to learn system. Poor technical support. Hardware problems. Software problems. System crashes. System unavailable, update being installed. Not enough workstations for the nurses.

As you can see, some of the problems were institution related. More workstations and an upgraded mainframe would have solved a lot of them.

My biggest issue with computerized charting is whether or not it is better than the charting system it is replacing. In my experience the answer was "Absolutely NOT!"

This is not to say that I would be completely resistant to trying it again. I am sure that the day is coming when almost all hospitals will be using computerized charting. I just hope that whatever institution I work at will be willing to go "whole hog." In other words, upgrade everything, be sure there are enough workstations, ensure that the hardware and software is reliable, inservice the staff adequately, in general, do what it takes to make it all work.

Brian, ASN, RN

5 Articles; 3,695 Posts

Specializes in CCU, Geriatrics, Critical Care, Tele.

You might also want to look at the following discussions about Electronic Charting:


Brian Short

It's how nurses surf the web!


28 Posts

We use a combination of computer charting and flo-sheets (for charting by exception). We have 12 hr shifts and each pt is to be computer-charted at least once in the 24 hr period. If a pt was computer-charted last shift, next shift will do the shorter narative charting. This seems to work okay, except when it comes to admissions- All admissions (including the assessment) are computer-charted and it is a very lengthy process. The program we have requires the nurse to choose and scan appropriate bar codes in designated categories, and there are tons of them! Since computer-charting is most likely here to stay, I hope the software programers will continue to develop and improve these programs until this becomes a more efficient way to chart.


6 Posts

The hospital i work at has had computer charting for many years now. I just started in a new grad program there. I am extremly computer literate and took to the charting easily, while others who have had very little computer charting have found it the most difficult part of the job. Our charting is by exception there are lists of things for each area and you pick and chose and make statements. It is quite easy once you get to know the system. We have several computers in the nursing station and each room has a computer. We still use paper charts for I/O and VS. At times it can be time consuming because all the meds need to be charted in the computer as well as on the paper MAR. On the occasions when we lose the computers the nurses would rather come back in and chart after the computers come back on, even if they are off. Paper charting is so foreign (and time consuming) for our nurse. We have had the system so long that nurses can chart on the computer quicker than on paper.

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