Nurses say interoperability failures affect patient care

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For all the benefits and efficiencies technology provides, it can also be a source of disruption and harm to patients and the nurses who care for them.

While 99 percent of nurses interact with some type of technology everyday, 50 percent have witnessed a medical error due to lack of connectivity, according to the West Health Institute Nurses Survey conducted by Harris Poll.

The poll surveyed 526 full-time nurses about their experiences using technology and medical devices in the workplace.

Here are 11 more key statistics from the poll.

  • Seventy-two percent of nurses indicated interacting with at least two medical or electronic devices per shift. Twenty-three percent indicated interacting with six to 10 devices and 15 percent indicated interacting with more than 10.
  • The majority of nurses — 93 percent — either strongly or somewhat agree that medical devices should be able to seamlessly and automatically share data with each other, and 39 percent said medical devices' inability to communicate with each other is the most challenging element of using them.
  • Just under half of nurses — 48 percent — estimated up to 24 percent of medical errors and adverse events could be prevented if devices seamlessly shared information.
  • Sixty percent of surveyed nurses said medical errors could be significantly reduced if devices automatically shared data, and 96 percent said errors could be "reduced at least slightly" if devices were coordinated.
  • Three-quarters of nurses said it is burdensome to coordinate data collected by medical devices.
  • Eighty-four percent of nurses said it would be either extremely or very helpful if devices could remove sources of errors by eliminating the need to manually transcribe information at a patient's bedside.
  • Additionally, 91 percent of nurses said they would spend more hands-on time with patients if they could spend less time dealing with medical devices.

More articles on interoperability:

Two bills scrutinize healthcare spending transparency, interoperability
Epic president hints toward interoperability initiatives
Is interoperability the new meaningful use?

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