ORLANDO, Fla. (July 12, 2012) --- Nurses at South Seminole Hospital are bringing patient care closer to the bedside by moving computer workstations inside each patient room. The computers serve as mini “nursing stations” allowing nurses to keep a closer watch on patients in their rooms while keeping a closer eye on the electronic information they need to provide patient care. The hospital implemented the program in the Progressive Care Unit – a 43 bed unit for patients with critical care needs.
Nurses agree the bedside nursing stations help them provide better care for patients.
“Computers inside patient rooms help us recognize changes sooner and respond to needs sooner,” said Kerry-Ann Farrow, RN, BSN, nursing operations manager, Intensive Care Unit/Progressive Care Unit. “Because electronic records are at our finger tips — medical histories, assessments, doctors’ orders, lab results, images, and lists of medications are readily available when making plan of care decisions.”
Valentina Duque, RN, clinical nurse I, adds, “The computer stations inside the room also make it easier for doctors to access what they need as well.”
Another benefit is the close proximity builds stronger relationships between the clinicians and patients.
“Patients are more involved in their plan of care,” said Duque. “This helps patients have a better understanding of their condition and treatment.”
The increased interaction helps nurses get to know patients and their families better, and leads to improved communication, quality standards and increased patient satisfaction.
Patients have also weighed in with positive responses and often wonder if the computer is for their use to check email or surf the web.
“Once they hear it is for us and why we have it in there room, they love it,” said Duque.
Before the pilot, nurses would chart, give updates to the new shift and access patient information from the traditional nursing station fixed at one end of the unit, move around computers on wheels or carry small sized laptops room to room. Though the portable computers offered benefits, the computers on wheels could be a challenge to push and pull along with other equipment, and the laptops had limitations with screen size and battery power.
“While there are good reasons to have a traditional nursing station and other equipment has helped, we find in the evolution of patient care and putting the needs of patients first, we need to look for ways that allow our nurses to provide patient care more efficiently and effectively,” said Farrow. “In using and evaluating a new approach we have found a way to make difference in patient care.”
In addition to the patient care benefits, the in-room access means fewer steps for nurses, less time waiting for an available computer, less equipment to carry or push and more time to spend with patients. The close proximity also makes it easier to chart while providing care and easier to share updates with nurses during shift changes. The computer also increases access to patient care protocols and corporate policies and procedures.
About Orlando Health
Orlando Health is a $1.9 billion not-for-profit health care organization and a community-based network of hospitals and care centers throughout Central Florida. The organization, which includes the area’s only Level One Trauma Centers for adults and pediatrics, is a statutory teaching hospital system that offers both specialty and community hospitals. They are: Orlando Regional Medical Center; Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children; Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies; Dr. P. Phillips Hospital; South Seminole Hospital; Health Central Hospital, South Lake Hospital (50 percent affiliation); St. Cloud Regional Medical Center (20 percent affiliation) and MD Anderson Cancer Center Orlando – the first affiliate of one of the nation’s premier cancer centers, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Orlando Health’s areas of clinical excellence are heart and vascular, cancer care, neurosciences, surgery, pediatric orthopedics and sports medicine, neonatology, and obstetrics and gynecology.
Orlando Health is one of Central Florida’s largest employers with nearly 16,000 employees and more than 2,500 affiliated physicians supporting our philosophy of providing high quality care and service that revolves around patients’ needs. We prove this everyday with over 110,000 inpatient admissions and nearly 690,000 outpatient visits each year. In all, Orlando Health serves 1.6 million Central Florida residents and nearly 3,000 international patients annually. Additionally, Orlando Health provides approximately $239 million in support of community health needs. More information can be found at www.orlandohealth.com.