SHIFT YOUR ATTENTION: From Data Input to Patient Engagement
When a nurse wheels an EHR workstation into the patient room, it’s easy to blame the machine for dehumanizing the quality of care. Attention that once flowed warmly toward patients is now consumed by the demands of data input at the keyboard and monitor.
In 2016, EHR’s effect on the quality of care was so concerning that a study was commissioned to measure its impact on bedside time. Surprisingly, the “good old days” weren’t necessarily so good after all as the study reports:
Paper documentation and care coordination systems [of the past] were found to be full of inefficiencies, required duplicative charting between data collection systems, and forced nurses to spend a majority of their time outside of patient rooms at the nurses’ station, resulting in significant time lost from patient care activities. 1
The study measured the time spent with patients before and after implementing EHR. The black bar (after EHR implementation) shows increased purposeful interaction and time in the patient room. Score one for EHR promoting patient engagement.
The same study also noted that “nurses being in the room with a patient does not necessarily equate to higher quality care if interactions are not patient centered.” The study concluded that technology can indeed get “in the way,” as it explains:
Technology is a tool that should help frontline nurses deliver the highest-quality, safe, and patient-centered care achievable. It should never get in the way of treating patients as vulnerable human beings…
EHR technology increases the time spent by nurses in the patient room, but it still can get in the way. That’s why Enovate developed new ergonomic solutions that fit seamlessly into the natural clinical workflow and maximize nurse-patient engagement – solutions that shift your attention away from interruptions and back to the patient. These include FollowMe™ personalization with sit-to-stand ergonomics, OneTouch ticketing to request service, AutoTrax™ easy-steer casters, and our ReadyReplacement™ service program.
Shifting attention back to the patient – Enovate’s unique workstation design supports full patient engagement and minimizes the distractions that can lead to medication errors and extended hospital stays that drive up costs. Informed by 25 years of collaboration and input from nurses, Enovate designed its SightLine™ monitor arm to 1) maximize eye-to-eye contact with patient, 2) lowered and moved forward for proper ergonomic when sitting with patient, and 3) fold flat for safe workstation transport down the hallway.
“Too many times nurses multitask, taking vital signs, doing paperwork, checking medication sheets, and are not focusing on the patient. We recognize patients and families need more than that.” says Kari Szczechowski, a nurse at Oakwood Hospital in Dearborn, Michigan. 2
Enovate has taken a major step of leveraging the benefits of EHR while bringing the relationship basics back to nursing.
- Gomes, Melissa et al. “Connecting Professional Practice and Technology at the Bedside: Nurses’ Beliefs about Using an Electronic Health Record and Their Ability to Incorporate Professional and Patient-Centered Nursing Activities in Patient Care.” Computers, informatics, nursing : CIN vol. 34,12 (2016): 578-586.