EHR Essentials for Safe and Effective Care

“Finally, a company that doesn’t put its products on spinning pedestals but instead shows the product being used in a healthcare environment.” 

This is a comment I heard over and over again as they walked into our booth at the recent HIMSS Conference from Healthcare IT professionals. Of course they wanted to see new products and innovations but more importantly they were interested in the day-to-day workflow issues nurses and other caregivers face, and about how any product can help how they interact with information and their patients.

At Ergotron we have this conversation in the field ErgotronBoothHIMSS2015every day. How to effectively bring information to the point-of-care while at the same time allowing for the caregiver to be comfortable. Caregivers need to deliver patient-centered care at its best while the caregiver remains healthy, happy and focused.

Ergotron coined the term Triangle of Care 15 years ago. Mind you, this is long before the myriad of cart vendors and flat panel monitors and tablets we know today were even thought of as being useful, if not necessary, for Healthcare applications. I guess imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, as I saw one of our competitors using this term in their marketing materials at HIMSS.

I still remember drawing this picture below at a customer site in 2003 (yes, I’m a digital data hoarder):

ErgotronTriangleofCare

 

Fortunately our marketing department does a better job at this than I do and we have a great graphic now:

Ergotrons_triangleofcare

Giving caregivers and IT staff the flexibility to create an environment like this is what we do best. Being able to see through all the gadgets per se, to the underlying structure required to help keep caregivers connected to their patients, while comfortably interacting with their data.

Why am I bringing this up? Early in April, the Joint Commission issued a sentinel event alert, warning that while electronic health records (EHRs) and other health IT have the potential to improve care quality and safety, such technologies can pose inherent risks to patients.

The alert cited an analysis of event reports received by the Joint Commission showing that between January 1, 2010, and June 30, 2013, hospitals reported 120 health IT-related adverse events and about 33% stemmed from human-computer interface usability problems.

In the safety guide related to the alert they stated: “Rapid, reliable access to the patient’s computer-based record is essential for safe and effective care. Such access depends critically on configuring the EHR in clinical care areas such that a computer is always conveniently available.”

In other words, an efficient triangle of care is useful in creating an environment that allows for safe and effective care.

In this scenario, the caregiver is a critical player. We concentrate specifically on the caregiver because we know, if the caregiver isn’t comfortable they may not be able to provide or will not provide quality care.

It’s really that simple. All workstations need to adjust to the user’s ergonomic needs while at the same time allow for easy access to the patient. It needs to be both and that creates a positive workflow.

If in real-estate the three most important things are location, location, location then in point-of-care computing the three most important things are workflow, workflow, workflow. A great workflow that takes both patient care and the caregiver’s needs into consideration will lead to less mistakes and an increase in quality of care. I guarantee it!

Steve Reinecke, MT (CLS) CPHIMS, AVP Healthcare @ Ergotron

Steve R

 

 

 

 

Celebrate Nurses Week in Plain-Speak

NurseDay

When you are visiting a loved one in the hospital, it is not hard to get distracted by the drama surrounding you. If you are like me, you compare it to the latest hospital show you are watching, and find yourself uttering things like, “He needs some water, stat!” with strange assurance.

When my dad was sick, I took on a very Sherlockian view of things. Deductive powers gone amuck, i.e., “Surely that beeping sound means something!” Although my dad’s nurse never said it, I imagine “nervous Nelly” was one term that could have described me.

Amidst the chaos of changing shifts, moving patients, and impatient families, one thing was missed. What’s that you say? An ingenious Nurse code according to scrubsmag.com.

It is often a waiting game, right? Waiting for results, waiting for the doctor, waiting for the “all clear” sign or even, “here’s what’s coming next” plan. However, during it all I can’t honestly remember hearing code like “Line & Lab” or “walkie talkie” when the nurses tending him were heroically moving heaven and earth, my dad, and my own heightened sensibilities about the place.

Maybe dad was a “frequent flyer.” Still, I was glad when the nurses seemed to be happy to see him again, although maybe not happy to see him back. I kind of wish now I would have known about nurse slang. And I wonder…there are codes for dramatic patients apparently, but what about dramatic family members? I might have earned that code once or twice, the name of some horribly gone-wrong reality star I am sure.

What nurses may not realize is that the family often has a similar unsaid code. It’s not too fancy, usually along the lines of “ministering angel” or “life saver.” Frequently it’s “wonder worker” or a “sensible Sally.” Sometimes, in the midst of a Jerry Seinfeld-ish “Newman” moment, the still small inkling lingers. Even though this nurse is giving me some tough love right now, the honest thought behind my blank/angry/tired or sad eyes is TGYH. Translation: Thank God you’re here.

Here’s to an amazing National Nurse Day today and a wonderful National Nurses Week ahead! And to all the hard working men and women who make up this field, let me speak for the patient and the family alike here…just call us “grateful.”

Michelle Judd, Sr. Marketing Manager, Global Communications @ Ergotron

MJudd

 

 

Stand Up and Celebrate “Get Fit Don’t Sit” Day on May 6th

Hopscotch in the workplace

We hop to it on “Get Fit Don’t Sit” Day

On The American Diabetes Association (ADA) National “Get Fit Don’t Sit” Day — and everyday! — here are suggestions from our employees for adding mini-bursts of activity to your routine. (They don’t require you to set up a pick-up hopscotch game — watch the video here — but they’re just as fun and healthy.)

Everyone at Ergotron and our partner brands, Anthro and OmniMount, wants to empower you to cut your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers by sitting less, moving more. Check out the ADA’s workout-at-your-desk videos or try these simple activities:

  • Take the stairs whenever possible.
  • Exercise at lunch with colleagues or friends.
  • Stand and walk around the office every 90 minutes.
  • If you must remain in place, do some non-strenuous leg lifts, lunges or squats.
  • Stand up and walk over to get some water when thirsty.
  • Walk to the farthest restroom in your building.
  • Always stand or pace when talking on the phone.
  • Visit co-workers in person instead of e-mailing.
  • Walk or bike when doing personal errands.
  • In the office, stand up and stretch, walk or lift hand weights.
  • When driving, stop every two hours for a walk or mini-workout.
  • Consider getting a sitting AND standing desk so you can raise or lower your work surface.
  • Instead of breaking for coffee, take a 5-minute stroll break.
  • When watching TV or a video podcast, get up and move during the opening or ads.
  • Get a piece of exercise equipment, like a stepper or elliptical, to use at your desk.
  • While reading email, squeeze a ball or do toe raises for stronger hands and feet.

Want more ideas for activating your day? The ADA has you covered. Use the hashtag #GetFitDontSit on all social channels – now is a great time to spread the word!

This is the fourth in a series on the ADA’s “Get Fit Don’t Sit” Day. Take a look at: #1 – Save the Date; #2 – Take the Pledge; #3 Move at Home.