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The barcode scanning system helps us verify that we have the correct patient, medication, and that we are programming the pump correctly.
Interoperability is probably the most important aspect of the technology that I use in my daily practice as an ER nurse. We have so much technology and equipment in the ER that need to communicate with one another. If this did not occur, there would be significant delays in care. During critical responses and code situations, we have the vital signs monitor, iSTAT machines, glucometer, Alaris pumps, EKG machine, etc all communicating with one another and cohesively uploading information into the patient’s EHR. Not only does this aid in the care that we are providing, but interoperability also enhances patient safety. The ability of the vital signs monitor to communicate with the monitor display at the nurses station allows us to visualize their hemodynamics while not in the room. In addition to this, there is also medication administration that is enhanced through interoperability. The barcode scanning system helps us verify that we have the correct patient, medication, and that we are programming the pump correctly. As everyone knows, the ER is so fast paced and we are accomplishing many tasks while the patient is with us, so interoperable technology is essential to the care that we are providing.
In the article, “Mitigating Barriers to Interoperability in Health Care”, a major barrier to interoperability is “ is lack of communication among different facilities/health systems participating in or facilitating HIE” (HealthIT.gov, 2019, as cited in Powell & Alexander, 2020). Since I work for Tower Health, we are able perform a chart review and see all encounters within the Tower Health network. However, some patients come from out of state or they usually visit another hospital within a different health system, so the healthcare team in the ER view any of their medical information. I liked the statement about ineffective HIS in our week 3 lesson, “Sending it back for a refund may be an option in our personal lives; however, it is impossible when millions of dollars have been invested in an HIS that is unusable…is not integrated with other systems…” (Chamberlain University College of Nursing, 2022). It is easy to forget just how much money we invest into the quality of healthcare.
Chamberlain College of Nursing (2022). NR361 RN Information Systems in Healthcare: Week 3 Lesson. Downers Grove, IL: Online Publication
Powell, K. & Alexander, G. (Summer, 2019). Mitigating Barriers to Interoperability in Health Care. Online Journal of Nursing Informatics (OJNI), 23(2).