Application: Design Considerations and Workarounds
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.