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Use of Technology to Save Time

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Use of Technology to Save Time

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analog devices

analog devices

Consider how much technology has changed our personal lives. Would we go out without a cell phone? Would we use a travel agent to make flight arrangements? Would we go to the bank to transfer money when we could do so on line? I realized just how much technology affects us when I described the usefulness of OneNote, a Microsoft program, to one of my 26-year-old son’s friends. OneNote enables you to set up sections of notebooks and collect the stray bits of information that drift into your life. My son’s friend was grateful to know there was a digital solution for collecting and organizing data. He said, with a look of horror, that before I told him about One Note, he had been considering “going analog”. It took me a few seconds to realize he was discussing what was to him the most archaic of practices- writing something with a pen.

Nurses are relying increasingly on mobile applications as patient safety and productivity tools, a recent survey showed. “Nurses can quickly look up clinical information on their mobile device right at the patient’s bedside, which helps reduce medication errors and save precious time,” Snyder said. Pam Davis, RN, program director for Centennial Medical Center’s bariatric surgery product line, agreed. She has been using Epocrates for the past four years, initially as a case manager. In her current position, she provides educational information for her patients. This program can be downloaded for free onto Blackberrys, Iphones, Palm Pilots and Windows Mobile devices.

Instead of hauling out the hefty paper drug reference, Davis can search for updated medication information “at her fingertips,” she said. Davis is not alone. More than half of the survey respondents noted they look up drug or disease information on their mobile devices during patient consultations. “Technology makes the processes more efficient,” Davis said. “It makes encounters with patients more effective.” Forty-eight percent of respondents said they have saved more than 30 minutes per day using Epocrates’ drug formulary and reference. Using a mobile application has reduced the time spent on labor-intensive paper charting, Davis said. Davis said that Nashville-based Centennial Medical Center has felt the constraints of the nursing shortage, although the health system has not had to lay off any nurses because of the economic recession. Having health IT has helped nurses do more with less, she said. If nurses are fully trained and the technology is utilized appropriately, mobile device applications are “definitely a time saver,” she said.

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