Information Technology Could Help Hospitals Address Some Effects of Nursing Shortage, Report Finds
The implementation of information technology at hospitals can help improve the quality of care delivered by and productivity of nurses, according to a report released today by the California HealthCare Foundation and First Consulting Group. The report, titled "The Nursing Shortage: Can Technology Help?" found that hospitals must adopt strategies -- such as the implementation of IT systems -- to increase nurse productivity, effectiveness and satisfaction to lessen the impact the nursing shortage could have on patient care. The report highlighted the case of one hospital that launched a Web site to allow nurses to bid for vacant shifts. As a result, the hospital was able to fill shifts that previously had been unfilled. Other technologies used by hospitals to support "better and more productive nursing care" include electronic mobile communication, patient education, messaging and e-mail, medication administration, clinical decision support, computerized physician order entry, automated nursing documentation and computerized patient records. The report also examined financial concerns and reaction from industry leaders. Tom Lee, a CHCF senior program officer, said, "Although there is plenty of news about the nursing shortage, we rarely hear how technology can alleviate some of the contributing factors." (CHCF/First Consulting Group release, 6/27). The report is available online. Note: You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the report.This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.