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Thread: I hate paper

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005

    I hate paper

    I'm an old Baby-Boomer and I love computers. I think the reason we love them so much is the ability to manage large quantities of information. The hospital I work at is 20 years behind the times. It really drives me crazy. A patient's chart can become 2 inches thick in just 4 days.

    What I would like is a patient medical record in the format of Outlook. Every nurse would have a laptop or notebook. In the morning, you could import the entire medical record into your computer. It would consist of labs, radiology reports, ECGs, and the MAR. The physican orders and notes could be scanned and read as PDFs. As the day progresses, the nurse could sync the record as additional labs and reports are distributed into the patients file. Flow sheets and forms could be generated right from the laptop. Once completed they can then be exported directly into the record. What would really be cool, is if you could interface directly with the monitors and post vital signs directly onto flow sheets. And IV pumps linked up so you could change flow rates remotely from your laptop . . .I think I'll stop now.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2004
    New Jersey

    Re: I hate paper

    Crazy as it may sound, more than a few of those things were happening already when I graduated in 1997. One "nearly paperless" hospital I worked at did the bulk of their charting electronically, pulled their daily meds out of a Pyxis machine, recorded them on daily computer-generated MARS.

    It's not quite everything you could ask for, but it's a far cry from most hospitals where almost everything is done manually. Things move very slowly in healthcare as far as innovations. Give it another 50 years and they'll catch up (sigh).

    Andrew Lopez, RN

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005

    Re: I hate paper

    Our hospital is in that twilight area. The radiology reports are on one system, the lab is on another neither effectively communicates with our basic system. Paper reports have to be posted manually. The pharmacy generates daily MARs that have to placed on charts manually, Some patients have 6-8 pages daily. That kind of paper really adds up. When charts are thinned they go directly to Medical Records so you do not have ready access to the complete medical record for review. Additional forms are approved daily and added to the mess. It is truly getting unmanageable. I talked to a recent graduate that is working here, he said the patient care is not the problem, it's the paperwork that is making this job so difficult.


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