Finally in the news for nurses this week I have an article I picked up at beckershosptialreview.com on the importance of nurses at the bedside. The article cites studies that found that nurses spend less than 2 hours of a 12 hour shift on direct bedside patient care and looks to the hospitals where nurses work to make changes in their care systems to improve that number.
Nurses Getting More Time With Patients
We nurses all know too well that we are hard pressed to care for patients on a shift in the way we’d really like to. We are interrupted in the middle of procedures and discussions with patients which increases the chances for us to make errors in tasks or judgment while caring for patients. The article calls for hospitals to work to streamline the communication process in patient care.
Physicians regularly use things like smartphones and SMS text messages to communicate about patient care and access the patients’ charts while most nurses are forbidden to use their cell phones at work even though up to 2/3 of them do so anyway to assist them in patient care.
Improving Healthcare Communication Pipelines
One chief nursing information officer (CNIO) from Arlington, Texas proposed four ways that hospitals could improve communication pipelines for their nurses and get them more time at the bedside. They include examining all communication workflows for places where they are inefficient and get bogged down. Change messages left in communications to messages left for roles or positions rather than specific individuals.
This means that if someone else can answer a question or perform a task then get that person to do it sooner rather than leaving message or task for a specific person to do. There are more suggestions so check out the entire article. As always, I’ll have a link in the show notes and over at NursingShow.com.
Make sure you follow-up on the links for this news item and all of the other news and additional resource links from this week’s episode – Improving Nurse / Physician Communication and Episode 351.