When nurse informaticists are tasked with identifying the most appropriate technology to meet a specific need within a health care setting, there are many questions that must be asked.
Consider the following scenario:
Riverdale Hospital has come under recent scrutiny for their medication procedures. Many times, paper medication records are not up to date or have been misplaced. As a result, patients have increasingly received their medications at the wrong times. Though each nurse is performing to the best of his or her ability, the fast pace of the hospital has caused some to ineffectively manage patient records.
The lead nurse informaticist, Nancy, has decided that a bar code scanner could help streamline the documentation process while also improving patient quality and safety. Nancy knows that when selecting a bar coding system she must not only examine the hardware and software of the system but also consider the various human factors that can positively and/or negatively affect the outcomes of the system implementation. As such, Nancy asked three of the most reputable bar code vendors to bring sample systems to Riverdale Hospital.
In evaluating each system, Nancy role plays the process of scanning a patient’s bar code. She rolls the coding cart into the room to begin her mock demonstration. First, Nancy scans her identification card to gain access to the medication screen. To scan the patient’s bar code identifier, Nancy then pulls the medication cart to the patient so that the attached scanner reaches the bar code on the patient’s wristband. When the scan is complete, the computer displays a screen that houses the patient’s personal information. By navigating the screens, Nancy finds that she can use the computer to track medication administration. In addition, Nancy is able to view applicable vitals and medication history. As Nancy continues to examine this system, she reflects on the other hardware and software facets she should be sure to consider. She also thinks about how human factors will affect this and other vendor systems.
In this Assignment, you consider how hardware, software, and human factors can impact the implementation of an informatics system.
· Review Chapter 30, “The Role of Technology in the Medication-Use Process,” in the course text, Essentials of Nursing Informatics. When examining computerized prescriber order entry (CPOE) systems and bar code-enabled technologies, what hardware, software, and human factors did the authors identify?
· Consider how each of these factors can negatively impact patient safety and quality of care.
· How might these factors translate to the usability, implementation, and outcomes of other informatics technologies?
· Review the media presentation Selecting New Technologies in this week’s Learning Resources. How did presenter Dr. Patricia Button take the above factors into consideration when selecting an informatics technology for her health care setting?
· When planning and selecting a new informatics system, what steps should informaticists take to ensure the system will address the needs of their health care setting? In addition, how can informatics leaders encourage all nurses to commit to using a new technology?
Submit a 4- to 5-page paper that addresses each part of this Assignment:
· Part 1: Design Considerations
Identify two (2) major design considerations associated with each of the following: hardware, software, human factors. (6 considerations in total).
Describe why informaticists should play close attention to each of these 6 considerations when evaluating an informatics technology. In your description, include the potential dangers each of these pose to patient safety and quality of care.
· Part 2: Employee Workarounds
Even with a carefully thought out design and implementation, nurses and other health care employees may adopt workarounds. With this reality in mind:
What benefits and/or consequences do you associate with workarounds?
When selecting an informatics technology, would you opt to purchase a system that mitigates the opportunity for workarounds; or do you believe that workarounds are sometimes necessary? Justify your response.
Note: Your responses should focus on informatics technologies in general, not just bar code scanners as portrayed in the scenario. You may, however, use specific examples such as bar code scanners and other informatics technologies to justify your responses.
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