Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Paper Charting

Making my first graduate nurse post, I'd like to give my thoughts on the EHR, or Electronic Health Record for those nursing students. In comparison to paper charting, I only have one comparison:


In my current job as a nurse, at an acute inpatient rehabilitation center, we use strictly paper charting. I can honestly say I'm pretty happy with getting this experience, however, I just gotta say it totally sucks.

It's not the pre-carpal tunnel pains I'm feeling in my penmanship hand that's my primary reasoning; it's efficiency. I'm paid a pretty penny to take care of my patients. I'm sure that my corporate office would like to see all of their monies they kick my way go for patient care, however, that's just not the case. I spend nearly half of my time each night creating worksheets from scratch, or filling in daily or weekly forms.

Whether I'm writing a report sheet, or filling out multidisciplinary conference forms, I feel that all this paperwork could be easily generated with some decent EHR software. Why should I spend as much time as I do chart-diving when EHR software would easily generate these forms for me?

I think the key to this is training, training, training. I work with a bunch of older nurses and I think there may be a few hold-outs. This is more of a rant that a full blown article, however, I'd love to see an even wider range of use when it comes to EHR software.

For clinicals, I participated in a pretty sweet McKesson software based acute hospital. It was awesome, quite frakly. Well...not really, but in comparison to the documentation methods I use where I work now, it's like comparing tin cans with string to high-speed cable internet.

Here's to hoping rehab and LTC facilities start to see the light. Less paperwork time means better patient care. Better patient care means more of those sweet 100% score satisfaction surveys.

Any readers care to share their thoughts on the EHR?


Cartoon Characters said...

I am one of those "older" nurses, and I LOVE EHR's.

I do ALL my charting and work on computers.... :)

In fact, on a Worker's compensation form a couple years back, I had to HAND-FILL 17 pages!! and I was feeling it in my wrist. I never write anymore.

Those "older" nurses might surprise you.... ;) It's more than likely the cost of the new system that is holding your hospital back.

Rick said...

Yeah, many of them are at wits end with the system we use now too.

Cmon computers i cant wait ;)

Tin said...

Good thing that nursing schools nowadays has an advance equipment for any task not like before its really difficult..

IzziPasco said...

I really have to agree - electronic records just are the way forward - it makes our job a whole lot easier, records are easier to keep track of and less likely to get lost or anything. Plus,personally, my handwriting is not a thing of beauty, and I'm sure many people would be greatful for my typing instead.