As I have blogged before, clinicians are ill-served by technology, EHRs in particular. EHRs' primary purposes are: Data gathering (legal and regulatory), and Billing ...not supporting clinicians. Here is my recent first-person essay on what this is like for this nurse.
Here I am, on a new clinical rotation during my last semester of nursing school, having taken my patient’s vitals, assessed her skin (she is elderly, bed-bound, and at risk for bedsores), tracked her Is and Os, straightened up her bed, and it is time to do the charting before moving on to my next patient. Some earlier clinicals had been in pre-EHR (electronic health record) hospitals and I had appreciated the fine-tuned process in which, with a few check-marks („charting by exception“) and notating the changes (fortunately, my patient’s health was improving) I would have been done with this task in a couple of minutes.
When nurses complain that the technology-based tools (especially EHRs) that they are tasked to use slow them down, usually what they mean is that these tools don’t model their workflow. We talk about workflow a lot! But what is it? Why is it so important? And why is it so hard to model with computerized/electronic/mobile tools?