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Nurses concerned over accuracy of CPOE system

May 20, 2013
Healthcare IT By LW Consulting Inc.

Skilled nursing services are essential for a hospital to run smoothly. As technology continues to evolve, it is also necessary for nurses to feel comfortable with new systems and understand how to operate them correctly.

However, one California hospital is facing a bit of a backlash from its nursing staff in regards to its new computerized physician order entry system (CPOE). The Marin Independent Journal reported that nurses at Marin General Hospital claim that the CPOE has glitches that must be worked out and they need to receive more training on the system.

The news source attended a Marin Healthcare District board meeting last Tuesday night, where nearly 12 nurses voiced their concerns.

Barbara Ryan, a Marin General registered nurse, who works in pediatrics and the intensive care nursery, said at the meeting that orders are inadvertently being passed to the wrong patients. She added that they are not asking for the hospital to get rid of the systems, but rather place it on hold.

Marin General Hospital CEO Lee Domanico acknowledged at the meeting that there might have been some technical problems, but he challenged the assertion that patients' lives were put in danger. He also said that he understood that it could be causing stress to nurses who are learning the new CPOE, especially in cases where the computer itself needs to be updated.

"This is not about resistance to change," Marin General nurse Susan Degan said. "It's about accountability. My most important role is that of patient advocate. I am held accountable when errors are made."

In cases like this, working with a nurse consultant who is well-trained in healthcare IT consulting can help medical facilities keep all staff members up to date as they transition into new systems.