MAR 30, 2009

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Winner of Nursing I.T. Award Revealed

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Butler (Pa.) Memorial Hospital has been selected as the winner of the Health Data Management Nursing Information Technology Innovation Award. The hospital was honored in recognition of its co-development of a real-time bedside documentation system that uses speech recognition technology.

The award is co-sponsored by CARING, a national nursing informatics association. A panel of judges reviewed entries from some 41 organizations to select a winner based on innovation and excellence in using information technology to directly improve the quality of care or promote the effective use of nursing resources.

To help nurses who install intravenous lines better manage their repetitive documentation tasks, Butler Memorial Hospital took the extraordinary step of working with a vendor to co-develop the documentation system. Now nurses can document their tasks by simply dictating into a headset, with their notes automatically populating a clinical information system. The new approach to documentation also provides nurses with verbal cues of which case to handle next.

By using the new technology, IV nurses completely documented their tasks in the clinical information system 100% of the time, compared with 40% using the old, more manual process, says Cindy Esser, R.N., director of emerging technologies. This more complete data will help the hospital’s efforts to conduct research on the cause of IV complications, including infections.

The system streamlined the tasks involved, replacing the use of pagers, phones, computers and paper charts with simply dictating into the headset, Esser says. And by saving time on administrative tasks, including retyping handwritten notes on a computer, the nurses now can devote more time to treating patients instead.

To read the complete story about Butler, as well as other award finalists, click here.

--Howard Anderson

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