Tuesday, January 20, 2009


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Integration of IT in nursing: new avenue for better patient care

This article discusses about the effects of errors in documentation of patients' records. It was reported that, "According to a recent report of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, medical errors cause the death of an estimated number of 98,000 people in the USA every year".

Hence, to rectify the situation, it was suggested, and currently tried, that nurses as well as student nurses be taught to carry a Palm handheld device that can be used in recording patients' data effectively and accurately.

"Software programs developed in house and databases provided by ePocrates allow students to access important data with their Palm right at the bedside to check treatment protocols, medication dosages, side effects and so on." This is to ensure that no mistakes regarding patients' treatmeant occur so that death of patients due to misinterpretation of documentation can be curbed and eliminated completely.

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Technology-Infused Nursing Education: The Drexel Model

This article discusses about the usage of technology in documentation and patient care plan for nurses as well as nursing students.

"The PDA-based Patient Assessment and Care Plan Documentation (PACPD) and Gerontological Reasoning Informatics Project (GRIP) tools help teach nursing students how to collect patient data at the bedside."

By using this PACPD technology, nurses can collect patient's health history, baseline datas such as lab results and vital signs and store effectively without using pencil and paper. These datas can be compiled into the PDA device and later transfered to the computer for effective storage.

The GRIP tools used to assess elderly patient effectively, which covers these domains: "health perception/health management, nutrition/metabolic elimination, activity/exercise, cognitive/perceptual, sleep/rest, self-perception/ self-concept, roles/relationships, sexuality/ reproductive, coping/stress tolerance, and values/beliefs"

This system can be used by providing a number of interview questions for the patient. Based on the answers given, risks for complication that a patient might get can be calculated, hence, the necessary actions to be taken to prevent it can be planned accordingly.

Clinical Evaluation Tool (CET) is also developed for lecturers to monitor their students' clinical performances, skills and exams results through integrated web-based companion. They can also assess the students and give more comprehensive feedbacks to the students, which also benefit the students and the faculty.

Drexel plans to create a new focus of study for its programme. "The program will explore theories of innovation and invention as applied to health care, including disruptive innovations, breakthrough dilemmas, and the roles of mentoring and apprenticeship in innovation." This new programme aims to encourage nurses to use technology to solve problems in innovative ways that go beyond traditional approaches.

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Drug safety
Technology helps reduce mistakes on medications
Henry Ford system tracks dosages to limit errors

This article discusses methods to prevent mistakes in drugs administration for patients.

Mistakes can be made in manufacturing, prescribing, filling and administering medications.
A system where a hand-held scanning device can be used by nurses to scan a medication and a patient’s armband in a hospital is being designed. This way, the nurse can be alerted when the drug used for the patient is not the right one or if it's not being given at the right time.

This new system is hoped to reduce death due to mistakes in medications administrations by nurses as well as other healthcare practitioners.

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