The role of nurses as communicators and integrators of care is well-established.1-3 Advances in technology generate new opportunities to enhance the role of nurses and to establish a linkage between nursing practice and patient safety outcomes. This is particularly true in acute care hospital settings at which nurses are at the hub of communication between professional and paraprofessional providers, patients, and family members. Nurses’ access to technology improves communication and workflow and prevents information bottlenecks from occurring.4 Information and communication tools such as messaging, tracking systems, hands-free paging, electronic medication administration, and components of clinical information systems are examples of technologies that hold potential to support effective and safe nursing care. However, poorly designed systems including systems that are not interoperable are frequently implemented.5 Most end-users may reject these implemented systems as unhelpful and unsafe, but when used by others, these systems may present a danger to patients. To promote efficient and safe care, technology or devices must be implemented within a safe workflow process.5 Recent studies suggest poorly designed or implemented technologies may be an impediment to effective communication and a contributor to adverse events.6, 7 The ability of bedside nurses to carry out integrating activities is dependent on ubiquitous access to information and tools to support effective communication. As is happening internationally, while hospitals are transitioning from paper-based to electronic systems, it is necessary to develop ways to explore the impact of health IT on nursing practice.
|Title of host publication
|Nursing and Informatics for the 21st Century
|Subtitle of host publication
|An International Look at Practice, Education and EHR Trends Second Edition
|Charlotte A. Weaver, Connie White Delaney, Patrick Weber, Robyn L. Carr
|Number of pages
|Published - 22 Feb 2010