Meditech in Critical Care Setting?

  1. The ICU in which I work has recently started using Meditech for charting and general documentation; we have used it for order entry for some time. Meditech seems to be a generally good system, although it uses a complex and balky series of screens which originate from the old DOS operating system. We are using several Compaq Thin Client terminals, as well as the Stinger/Fujitsu roll-around terminals.

    While most of the system seems to work well, it does not serve us as well in certain apllications, such as a code or a patient who is in need of rapid sequence documentation of many interventions within a few minutes.

    Is anybody using Meditech for Critical Care/ICU/ER applications? If so, how are you making it work for you? We are presently spending a lot of time switching between screens just to document an episode of C/P. During a recent code (successful), the event was documented on paper, and the nurses came away saying, "thank God we didn't try to do this with Meditech!"

    Is there a better way to do this?
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    About Overland1

    Joined: Jun '00; Posts: 486; Likes: 621
    Retired RN, and other stuff; from US
    Specialty: 22 year(s) of experience in Most (except psych and babies...)


  3. by   Stormy
    The facility where I work has recently made a commitment to move towards a management information system, including an electronic charting module. We have been using Meditech for order entry for some time as well. The electronic system that will be implemented for charting throughout our facility is also Meditech. I work in an ICU/CCU as well, and am also interested in what others have to say about Meditech.
  4. by   tracib
    I work in an Ambulatory Surigcal setting, and we use the Meditech system. For general charting, it's OK....but not great. Too many screens to input information.

    Just recently, we started using the system in our endoscopy area. I find it unweildy and overly time consuming to use when we are giving conscious sedation and monitoring VS q2-3 mins. Each entry needs to be timed and initialed...which takes an enourmous amount of "babysitting" of the computer. (Need to input medications given, amount, route, response, sedation level, VS (including sedation score), time of all of the above, and initials of RN performing interventions.)

    I have expressed my concerns to the manager on our unit and been told that "you'll get used to it - just have the computer right next to you at the patient bedside"....yeah, right! I can either take good care of the patient, or babysit the computer....not both at the same time. I've ended up recording the case on paper, then going back and entering it into the computer later. I can't even begin to imagine using this system during a code! (The patient died, but we got it all in the computer!)

    It is also limiting in that, if I am charting in a certain area on a patient, I can't enter a different area (order entry, for instance) unless I log off the chart area and re-log in in order entry. Talk about a pain in the ***!

    There must be some good programs out there that are geared especially to the nursing profession. The meditech model is based on a business language/model. Almost makes me want to go back to school to learn how to write something better.....
  5. by   TexNurse
    We have used Meditech in our ICU for several years, but we use it selectively. We do the initial assessment and care plan update in the computer, and may even do all nursing notes in the computer, but rely on our PAPER ICU flow sheet for vitals and drips. Even if you have the capability of putting your vitals in electronically, it doesn't correspond to your drips so unless you have it on paper, it makes no sense (like why did you increase your dopamine drip here?) Works great for us and the docs.
    Also, we have never attempted to put codes in the computer. Doesn't make any sense.
    Otherwise, meditech has worked pretty well. Good luck!
  6. by   eldernurse
    I work in a big city ER and the only computer charting I have to do is discharge stuff. However, I recently left floor nursing and let me tell you. They give you a space less than this to chart about an entire code. That always left me very uncomfortable. Also, you can't chart as you go. You better have it on paper for later computer charting when something is going on with a patient. In the middle of something you can't boot up and say "Hey wait while I chart this!." Then, the screens that you have to scroll through to get to the part you want to chart on! What a freaking nightmare.
    Admission paperwork went from 3-5 minutes to 15 plus minutes for each admission. No wonder the floors scream about new admits.
  7. by   robinhallrn
    I agree!!! Meditech is a nightmare! Now, our transcriptionists love it because they have ready access to the majority of the information that the physician's leave out of their dictation, but for the nursing staff - YUCK!!! We still use unit clerks (ward clerks for some of us older ones) and they will do alot of the data entry. But still - the hospital I work for is going to a primarily electronic medical record. So, everything has to be logged on the computer! Every aspirin, every surgical supply, EvErYtHiNg!!! The program could have been made a little more 'user-friendly'. Too too many screens to have to flip through to get the information you need. Would be so much easier to just pull the chart and look! I hear that Meditech is now looking at a new Windows based version which is much more efficient! Hope our facility UPGRADES!!!!!
  8. by   MTnurse
    We use Medi-Tech housewide. It is wonderful. Each patient has one page with threads to lab,xray etc. Care plans on each are on the same page to document in. We often use handheld versions for bedside charting. Works good unless there isnt an intervention loaded in the chart or you need to type in words to describe something. Our Information Systems Dept. has helped us streamline charting and having standardized careplans as well as interventions for each is wonderful. We worked hard to get interventions that are specific for our patients (ierthopaedic). I love it!