Tell us about your computer system


  • Specializes in CCU, Geriatrics, Critical Care, Tele. Has 29 years experience.

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36 Posts

The LDRP unit I work in uses the Watchchild system. Progress hasn't gotten as quickly as anticipated, but it looks hopeful! At first many of the nurses, especially those with less computer experience, grumbled; but, most of the staff have become converts!!! At this time, we do our admission and labor room record in the system, and print the information out on laserjet printers and place that in the chart. The labor record is easy to use with "pop up" boxes for key info, but some nurses find it difficult to keep up the every 15 minute charting per our protocol. Also, when entering sensitive info that clients and their families perhaps don't need to read as it's being typed, nurses have to go to an empty room (a rare event!) or to the nurses' station; this has led to the "monitor hog" situation! smile.gif Despite the inherent problems with change and adjustment, the system has really improved charting and decreased the amount of time spent on paperwork, freeing us up to spend time doing what we love---taking care of our moms and babies!!!


26 Posts


glad to see there is more than one computer system that is made for nurse charting


28 Posts

I worked from June '96 to Sept. '99 in a computerized charting environment in a small hospital (75 beds), specifically in the ICU. We used a system provided by HMS out of Nashville, TN.

First let me tell you that I am a computer advocate, I love the darn things. Also, I believe that when things change there should be a demonstrable improvement in something. This is where our computerized charting system fell short. It was not demonstrably better than the written system it replaced (although all charting was legible). It was clumsy to work with, slow movement from screen to screen, very difficult to customize and link care plans, outcomes, etc. Nurses spent far more time charting on computer than they used to on paper, but there was probably less information placed on the computer.

I felt it (computer charting) was detrimental to patient care in that nurses were not very likely to just toss down their portable computer to respond to patient needs, and of course the aforementioned increase in charting time.

I must say that HMS was responsive to our needs and requests, it just seemed like the program was to clutzy to be improved much. Since I left that institution in Sept. they have returned to paper charting due to the number of problems with their system. Portables wearing out, batteries dying (very expensive), numerous software and hardware glitches.

I know that someday we will all have to use computerized charting, so I hope that software providers will continue to seek solutions.


14 Posts

I work in an 8 bed ICU @ a small hospital and, as many of the small hospitals mentioned above, we use computer charting. I think there are pros & cons. Personally, I think it's use in the ICU definately leans toward the "cons". First, as someone mentioned above, I&O's are done Q8H. If you put in hourly amts (as most ICU's policy calls for) you end up cutting down a few trees for all the wasted paper. Also, it definately wastes precious time in a crisis situation. to chart Q5min BP's, for penmanship is alot faster than my typing skills. And the double charting!! Wow, lawsuit bait... most surgeon's (and other doc's) like to see a flow sheet with hourly totals, therefore we chart on those, plus the computer PLUS the VS print out from the monitor (our's isn't set to print to the computer terminal's yet). Anyway, I can't tell you how much it costs in overtime, that's a given. Just today we had an admission @ 0615 and I put in 1/2 hr OT just to chart the admission note and history. And think of all the wasted paper.....Bad idea.

Guest ruby mcbride

0 Posts

We also have been utilizing the computer for charting since April, 1999. It has been a slow process getting started, but are moving forward now. Our system is A4 HealthSystems out of Raleigh, NC. It is a good system and works off of laptops and desktop computers. The laptops are slow, but are durable. Some of the nursing staff have been hesitant to use the system, but others have adjusted very well and love the system. The best thing about the system is it interfaces with all the other departments - so we all have easy access to the patient information and can plan care on a more comprehensive level. Good luck with your system.


20 Posts

Our hospital uses patient care manager. It is not bad, kind of slow (coming from paper documenting). The system is hospital wide so if i float to another unit its the same program. Its nice because everything is at our disposal: labs, vs, i/o etc. Love that last entry button. My 8:00 assesment takes a while to put in but the others are quick because of last entry.

Joanne D

5 Posts

Originally posted by bshort:

If you have Computer Charting at your job, please start a new topic in this category. Tell us if you like it, or hate it.

Also, please stop by our homepage / to take this months survey: Do you have electronic/computer charting at work?


We use the Hewlitt Packard Carevue system in our critical care units. It is user friendly, downloads info from the monitors which can be accepted as is or changed, can be added to by the nurses as in new screens, and we have mega support when needed. The nurses like the computer charting as it is quick and thorough. Any type of screen can be programmed such as a flowsheet for restraints, pressure ulcer documentation. We do print out a hard copy every 24 hours. This is done automatically at a pre set time. We even added QA studies such as how much time a patient is out of a restraint while on a vent. Things like that. WE hope to go hospita wide with a similar system. Joanne


131 Posts

Originally posted by bshort:

If you have Computer Charting at your job, please start a new topic in this category. Tell us if you like it, or hate it.


I work in LTC and 2 years ago we went to computerized charting. We use the American Data System called ECS for Electronic Charting Sysytem. As those of you in LTC know we have to transmit our MDS' so we went with a system that would translate our charting right to the MDS. I am the system manager and I feel that AD listens to what I say and when there are problems they are quick to respond.

Many of the nurses had no computer experience before we started this program, but it did not take them long to learn and feel comfortable with it. I am not sure if they have a system that may be more hospital oriented.

Good luck NA


2 Posts

We use emtek computerized charting in a 50 bed neonatal ICU. The staff would mutiny if we had to go back to paper charting. The screens were made specific for us by 2 of our staff nurses. They are user friendly. The vital sign data is automatically downloaded from our HP moniters. It took about 3 months for every to fell very comfortable with it.We'll keep it.


Guest ruby mcbride

0 Posts

Originally posted by icurn:

I work in a seven bed icu in a small community hospital.. We are getting ready to change to computerized charting.. Our nurse manager is wanting us to update our assessment flow sheet for the computers, but not sure exactly what she wants.. Was wondering if I could get examples from other as to what their screens look like, what kind of information they are putting into the computer and how... thanks for any help you can give me....

We have computerized charting at our facility and I would be more than glad to chat with you regarding electronic forms. e-mail me at and I will discuss it with you.

Guest ruby mcbride

0 Posts

We also have computerized charting at our facility. I and another RN design and build nursing electronic forms for our 225 bed facility. There are many advantages and disadvantages to computerized charting. Anyone want to e-mail to discuss issues or just get ideas, e-mail at


2 Posts

I work in the SICU in a 1100 bed hospital in the Houston Medical Center. Everything related to the patient except Physicans orders link and the information can be obtained from any computer in the hospital. After working with this system that was already in place when I started here, 2 years ago, I can't imagine going back to paper charting. When your in code, getting second by second vitals to update your chart is just a click away because the monitors and computers interface. Med history etc. is all available even after the chart is thinned. Wonderful working with this method of charting.

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