With its 36 hospitals all at top-rung Stage 7 on the HIMSS EHR adoption scale, Kaiser Permanente knows a thing or two about electronic records. And while having visionaries at the top who champion I.T. is an important part of the program, listening to clinicians in the trenches—particularly nurses—is critical to growth and user acceptance, said Ann O’Brien, R.N., national director clinical informatics, at Kaiser. Speaking before several hundred nurses at the HIMSS Nursing I.T. Symposium in New Orleans on Sunday, March 3, O’Brien noted how in the day to day operation of a hospital, nurses function as a type of “information integrator,” meaning they must pull information from a variety of sources, some digital, some human, in the formulation and delivery of the care plan.
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