All those paper forms that are so easy to look at and get information quickly...
Have you seen what happens to them when they're stuffed into a chart and patients have multiple admissions, or a complex history?!?!
I can't tell you how many times I've had to use those white circle thing-ies to keep three hole punched papers in charts! I wish I'd invested in their stock!
How many times have you found a piece of paper with info and no name?
Or found flowsheets that belong to a chart for a patient that's been discharged (and their chart sent to Med. Records)?
Computer charting saves trees and preserves records!
Now before you say 'yeah, but systems crash', decent ones will have redundant servers to preserve information for just that possibility.
Right now, we have online (accesible via the internet and a password through the firewall) real-time ekgs and x-rays.
Think of it...sometime in the near future, patients could enter any facility (big city, rural, in another country) and if they have connection to the internet, they can have their doctor, or even a specialist review their EKGs/x-rays...
It's revolutionary! We're on the cusp of something great happening here!
How about a disc, or even a chip, that the patient could bring with them to appts that would have all their information encoded (accessible with appropriate security). Patients who are unconcious, or unable to communicate due to injury or language barriers could be appropriately assessed and treated.
I'm thinking Star Trek technology here, and it's right around the corner!
The trick is, making sure that Nursing is involved in the evolution of this technology, not only to insure user-friendliness, but to be sure that their needs/desires for charting are included.
Sorry...but I'm excited about this whole thing