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How to Get Nurses on Board the EHR Train

By Deborah Canfield, RN, for HealthLeaders Media, December 14, 2010

1.Get nurses involved in the EHR selection process
First, it is important for organizations to select a system that is intuitive, matches the ED workflow, and enables nurses to deliver care more efficiently and effectively. All systems are not alike and the system selected can greatly impact nursing workflow and job satisfaction. Wisely, Saint Barnabas made sure nurses were strongly represented on the committees that evaluated EHRs for Union and Newark Beth Israel.

The committees at both hospitals selected an EHR that is specifically designed for emergency departments, EDIMS. At Newark Beth Israel, EDIMS proved to be so easy to use that ED nurses successfully lobbied nursing directors and hospital management to upgrade the system, which was initially implemented in 2006. In November 2009, the facility installed the latest version of the software, which is interfaced with the inpatient EHR. Union Hospital deployed its EHR in 2004

2). Show value to nurses early on
When Saint Barnabas automates a hospital, it starts the project in the ED because it believes the best and fastest way to win over employees is to prove the value of an EHR in a demanding and complex environment.

By streamlining access to information, offering decision support as well as enhancing efficiency and coordination in the ED—which historically has the highest volume and treats the most seriously ill patients—the health system can quickly show the usefulness of the EHR. Once nurses see the positive impact the technology has on productivity, as well as on quality, safety and efficiency of care, they not only embrace the system but also promote it to ED colleagues within and across other hospitals.

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1 comments on "How to Get Nurses on Board the EHR Train"


kit (12/28/2010 at 2:38 PM)
Good article. I think that an RN-informatician should be added to any hospital above 150 beds. In addition, 24/7 super user support is needed for longer interval than many vendors provide. Finally, a hospital blog should be dedicated to real world insights on IT integration; Three questions for the author/informaticians Does ANIA/AMIA have data on the number of RN-informaticians that we have? Are these nursing informatics programs capitalized like the med informatics groups? What programs lead to the most innovative thinking? (ie. Purdue or Baltimore are two that come to mind)