Posts Tagged ‘meaningful use’

h1

Health information Technology, EHRs, Meaningful Use, and Nursing

August 15, 2012

By Maureen Shawn Kennedy, MA, RN, AJN editor-in-chief

If you’re like most nurses working in a health care organization, you’ve been involved in a migration to electronic health records, computerized physician order entry (CPOE), or bar code medication administration.

If you’re lucky, nursing input was considered during the planning stages of all this health information technology (HIT). We’ve heard from many nurses (and have had a few submissions from nurses about their experiences—see for example the Reflections essay “Paper Chart Nurse”) who have had “issues” with the systems or who wonder, why the big push?

In the August issue of AJN, which is available online and on the iPad (download the app here), Susan McBride and colleagues John Delaney and Mari Tietze debut their three-part series on HIT. The first article, “Health Information Technology and Nursing,” examines the federal policies behind efforts to expand the use of this technology, the importance of meaningful use, and the implications for nurses. Subsequent articles upcoming in the fall will take a closer look at the use of HIT to improve patient safety and quality of care, and the important role nurses are playing—and could play—in this system-wide initiative.

It’s crucial for nurses to understand HIT. As the authors note,

“If HIT systems are going to truly improve care, nurses need a voice in their planning and development to ensure patient safety and system usability. The success of this technology depends on nurses informing the industry—at all levels, from influencing federal policy to providing feedback to their department and facility leaders—about what works best for the patient and the clinician. If wisely implemented, HIT may eventually free up more time for nurses to spend at the bedside . . . ”

We’d love to hear your experiences: Were nurses consulted and included in planning the implementation of HIT at your facility? Was there a thoughtful plan to “roll out” adoption? Do you see computerized health records as a help or hindrance? What would you change? Let us know how it is in your practice area.

Bookmark and Share

h1

Top 10 (New) AJN Posts of 2011

December 20, 2011

"Consumer Choice,' BdR76, via Flickr

Some of our posts, like this one from 2009 (“New Nurses Face Reality Shock in Hospitals–So What Else Is New?”) keep getting found and read. They remain as relevant today as they were when we posted them. Our top 20 posts for the year (according to reader hits, that is) include several others like this: “What Is Meaningful Use? One Savvy Nurse’s Take”; “Is the Florence Nightingale Pledge in Need of a Makeover?”; “Do Male Nurses Face Reverse Sexism?”; “Are Nursing Strikes Ethical? New Research Raises the Stakes”; and “Workplace Violence Against Nurses: Neither Inevitable or Acceptable.”

But putting aside these contenders (why do so many of them have questions in their titles?), here are the top 10 (again, according to our readers) new posts of 2011, in case you missed them along the way. Which doesn’t mean that these are (necessarily) our best posts, or a representative sample, or that many others didn’t hit home for various subgroups of readers.

While we all get a little tired of lists by this time in the year, we don’t really use them an awful lot here at Off the Charts. So please indulge us this once, and thanks to everyone who wrote, read, and commented on this blog in 2011.—Jacob Molyneux, AJN senior editor/blog editor

1. “Notes of a Student Nurse: A Dose of Reality,” by Jennifer-Clare Williams

2. “Placenta Facebook Photos: Nurse and Mommy Tribes See Expulsion Differently,” by AJN editor-in-chief Shawn Kennedy

3. “Dispatches from the Alabama Tornado Zone,” a series of posts by Susan Hassmiller, senior adviser for nursing at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

4. “Confused About the Charge Nurse Role? You’re Not Alone,” by Jacob Molyneux

5. “The Priceless Clarity of Inexperience,” by Marcy Phipps, an ICU nurse and regular contributor to this blog

6. “Don’t Cling to Tradition: A Nursing Student’s Call for Realism, Respect,” by Medora McGinnis

7. “Bullying Wars: Theresa Brown vs. ‘the entire profession,’” by Shawn Kennedy

8. “Remembering 9/11: Nurses Were There,” Shawn Kennedy

9. “Killing Traditional Nursing Duties #2,” Shawn Kennedy

10. This one’s a tie: “Nurses, Hospitals, and Social Media: It Depends What Business You’re In,” by Julianna Paradisi, artist/nurse/blogger, and “One Take on the Top 10 Issues Facing Nursing,” by Shawn Kennedy

 Bookmark and Share

h1

Today’s Notes from the Nursosphere

December 7, 2010
Image of Japanese Attack - Pearl Harbor, Hawai...

Image via Wikipedia

As noted today by Joni Watson at Nursetopia, it’s Pearl Harbor Day, and nurses were (surprise) key players in that day’s awful events. Here’s how the post begins:

My heart was racing, the telephone was ringing, the chief nurse, Gertrude Arnest, was saying, “Girls, get into your uniforms at once, This is the real thing!”

Speaking of safety, “Top 10 Health Technology Hazards for 2011″ (pdf), from the ECRI Institute, gives us a list of hospital patient safety risks that, according to the authors, “reflects our judgment about which risks should receive priority now, a judgment that is based on our review of recent recalls and other actions . . . , our analysis of information found in the literature and in the medical device reporting databases of ECRI Institute and other organizations, and our experience in investigating and consulting on device-related incidents.” These include “radiation overdose and other dose errors during radiation therapy,” “alarm hazards,” and eight others.

And now to electronic charting vs. doing it the old-fashioned way: we have a comment thread going on at AJN‘s Facebook page about whether or not EHRs save nurses time or not. Go there to comment, or leave a comment here.

Also noted: Stephen Ferrara at A Nurse Practitioner’s View wonders whether the preceptorship model is still adequate for training NPs. Or is it time for a residency model instead?

I’m not necessarily referring to the typical residency training of physicians which takes place in hospitals but a residency-type of program in an out-patient setting (ironic that we use the term residency). We realize that healthcare is not exclusively delivered in hospitals. It takes place in independent providers offices, in community health centers, in mobile health vans, and in retail settings. It takes place in people’s homes and places of employment. It takes place in many of the health decisions that we make on a daily basis. I found this NP residency program in Connecticut that claims to be the first NP residency in the US. The programs admits 4 NPs each year and trains them to handle scenarios encountered in Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs). The residency lasts 1 year and appears to be a wonderfully structured program and setting.

Just a few items of interest. As always, we welcome your comments.—JM, senior editor/blog editor 

Bookmark and Share

h1

What Is Meaningful Use? One Savvy Nurse’s Take

October 14, 2010

By Jared Sinclair, an ICU nurse in Nashville who has a blog about health care and technology

If you follow health care news regularly, and yet you still feel unsure what “meaningful use” means and how it will affect your job as a nurse, then you have something in common with even the most knowledgeable people on the subject. Despite the fact that discussion of meaningful use among health care IT and informatics folks has reached a fever pitch since the HITECH (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health) Act was passed last February, in many ways we are no closer to understanding how it will change health care than when discussion first began.

What do we know for sure? The HITECH Act promises incentive payments to providers and hospitals that use electronic health records in ways that meet a minimum set of requirements called “meaningful use.” That sounds simple enough; however, there isn’t just one set of requirements. The criteria for meaningful use will come in three stages, and the requirements for stages two and three have yet to be determined. This is why your local hospital’s nurse informaticists may be less than enthusiastic about the next five years of their jobs. They bear the responsibility for preparing their hospitals for huge changes—without the luxury of knowing what those changes will be.

We can get a glimpse of stages two and three by taking a closer look at the requirements for stage one. There are dozens of requirements, ranging from the use of computerized physician order entry (CPOE) to providing an electronic copy of a health record to a patient upon their request. To qualify for the incentive payments, hospitals must meet all of the requirements, but only to a specified degree. In the case of CPOE, for example, the Final Rule (see PDF link here) states:

More than 30% of unique patients with at least one medication in their medication list [must] have at least one medication order entered using CPOE.

In plain English, that means that a physician must order at least one drug for one third of his patients directly via a computer, and not with a handwritten order entered into a computer by a clerk.

The really worrisome issue. All of the meaningful use criteria merit discussion, but CPOE in particular stands out above the rest.  According to a comment made in the Final Rule (see PDF link above), CMS has received more concerned responses about CPOE than any of the other criteria. Stage one only requires a fraction of orders to be entered via CPOE, but the general opinion among industry leaders is that either stage two or three will require as much as 100% CPOE adoption. Consider what it would mean for a hospital to permanently do away with paper charts:

1. How would the transition be accomplished: all at once, or by one group of physicians at a time?

2. If a hospital physician can write an order via his office computer, how will the bedside nurse be alerted that an order has been written?

3. What if two physicians, one of whom has not been transitioned to CPOE, unknowingly order the same stat drug, one on paper and the other by the computer? Will the bedside nurse be able to manage keeping track of orders on two systems?

There have been some eyebrow-raising studies on the impact of CPOE on patient outcomes in the past several years, with stunning contrasts between their conclusions. Read the rest of this entry ?

h1

‘Meaningful Use’: What’s It All About, And Why Should Nurses Care?

July 26, 2010

By Susan McBride, PhD, RN, professor at Texas Tech University Health Science Center School of Nursing. McBride and fellow nurse informaticists Mari Tietze and John Delaney will be blogging here on the intersection of nursing and informatics in the coming days. 

By DeclanTM, via Flickr.

Everyone knows by now that the Obama administration has made electronic health records (EHRs) a high priority and is providing financial incentives to health care providers (and yes, nurses are included in that group) to adopt them. But not everyone knows it’s not just about converting records from paper to digital—its much more than that.

On July 13, the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology (HIT) released the final rules establishing definitions for the “meaningful use” of EHRs. The final rule is 864 pages and contains critical information for nurses to understand about how electronic records will change our lives. 

(No one expects every nurse to read the entire document. That’s why we’re going to be blogging about some important aspects of the topic. In the meantime, click here for a good overview of meaningful use and electronic medical records, as well as links to more exhaustive information. And for a short, useful table breaking down the rule by health outcomes policy priorities such as “improving care coordination,” have a look at this PDF: Stage 1. Meaningful Use Objectives and Associated Measures Sorted by Core and Menu Set.)

Ongoing concerns. The idea behind these rules is to establish EHRs within a National Health Information Network that will allow us to exchange health care information regardless of where we are in the nation. There are many concerns about privacy and security related to this network, and these concerns are likely to be the most difficult component to address in establishing it. But there are definite clinical advantages. Read the rest of this entry ?

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 608 other followers