When I was a nursing manager, it amazed me how much the resident physicians could pull from their lab coat pockets. Once, a very pregnant Chief OB Resident even produced a three-day old banana! How’s that for a mental picture?
Nurses are also known for what they carry – scissors, stethoscope, tape, band-aids, sterile 4x4s, alcohol wipes, hand-cleaner, pens, flashlight, equipment cheat sheets and their “worksheet.” These items are just in their jacket or pants pockets. Attached at the waist or in a cargo pocket might also be one or more pagers, phones or scanners.
One interesting finding from our recent survey, was the relationship between the number of devices carried and the perceptions of these nurses about technology. Carrying one device correlated with perceptions of far fewer communication barriers when compared to carrying multiple devices. It makes sense that with several devices and many technology interactions, there would be more opportunity for something to go wrong. Think about busy charge nurses who check batteries and operation of as many as four devices during one shift. During a recent clinical workflow assessment, I saw a charge nurse carrying six legacy phones as she covered staff lunch breaks. Healthcare executives and IT vendors are all working to find the solution to nurse “sagging pants syndrome.”
What will emerge as the device that replaces them all?
Will there be a mobile device capable of securely documenting critical assessments inside the hospital, while connecting care team members outside the facility with on-duty clinicians or the patient health record?
Which company will come out on top with a single smart device that will replace the legacy phone, the pager, the scanner, the monitor alert, the cheat sheets, and maybe even the flashlight?
Some can only guess, but at Voalte, we can do something about it!