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Question:

Describe a hospital work setting
a. Within the context of the hospital work setting, identify one specific piece or type of information that is handled well.
b. What, if any, problem areas do you see?
c. What would you change if you could, and why?
Reference should be from 2013 and up, one of the course textbooks can also be used as reference
Course textbook
Hebda, T., & Czar, P. (2013). Handbook of informatics for nurses & healthcare professionals (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
McGonigle, D. & Mastrian, K. (2015). Nursing informatics and the foundation of knowledge (3rd ed.). Burlington, MA:Jones & Bartlett.


Answer:

Nursing Informatics: Handoffs in the Emergency Room

A hospital emergency room is the department of a hospital responsible for providing immediate treatment to patients with acute illnesses and trauma. The ability by nurses to determine the urgency of a patient’s condition during the triage process designed to get the most seriously injured patients in front of a doctor first, is exceptional. Sure, there may be occasional misjudgments but overall, this is usually a job well done on their part.

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To begin with, handoffs between doctors and nurses while changing shifts and patients being moved to other departments can be catastrophic (Burström et al., 2013). During the handoffs, a lot could be missed or handed off wrongly leaving the doctors with little to no information about the patients in their care (Hebda & Czar, 2013). While they try their best to make sure information is delivered correctly, medical staff tend to err, especially after a long day of running around attending to countless patients. In many cases, errors occur during the use of clinical information systems that have traditionally been built for use by a single department or unit within an institution (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2015). However, doctors and nurses working in other units of the healthcare facility need to gain access to this information. It is for this reason that efforts are being made to use the electronic health record in the management of these information systems.

If given the chance, I would ensure that the average waiting time is minimal, and information is shared systematically during handoffs between the emergency unit and other departments. Such efforts would help healthcare providers ease the existing tension among the patients and nurses and to make them overcome the frustration of trying to find patients or pass signals. In between the hustle and bustle that goes on in emergency rooms, patients’ records getting lost in the way, passing stethoscopes every second and non-acceptable waiting, one cannot imagine what life would be left if the emergency department was non-existent.

 

References

Burström, L., Starrin, B., Engström, M. & Thulesius, H. (2013). Waiting management at the emergency department – a grounded theory study. BMC Health Services Research, 13, 95-106.

Hebda, T. & Czar, P. (2013). Handbook of informatics for nurses and healthcare professionals, fifth edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

McGonigle, D. & Mastrian, K. (2015). Nursing informatics and the foundation of knowledge, third edition. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett.


 

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