Implementation of iPad for Electronic Charting Essay

4502 Words 19 Pages
Background
Nurses have long been known for their attention to patient care. The reason many nurses have entered this profession is due to their desire to care for people. The overwhelming responsibilities of documentation, chart reviews, verifying orders and medications, monitoring lab results, among others, leaves the direct care of the patient to another, possibly unqualified, staff member. Bolton, Gassert, and Cipriano (2008) estimate that a mere 23-30% of a nurse’s day is spent providing care to a patient. This leaves the greater part of a 12-hour shift performing some kind of paperwork. In fact, the inability to provide more patient care has been cited as a reason many nurses leave their job, and the profession altogether (Bolton et
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For nurses, the effort spent transferring information from one spot to another takes valuable time away from the patient. Bolton et al. (2008) avow that the presence of nurses at the patient’s bedside is crucial for the early identification of any change in the patient’s condition. In many healthcare settings, a paper Medication Administration Record (MAR) is still being utilized. Physician orders, both written and oral, must be transcribed from one piece of paper to another piece of paper. This process is often passed through several people before being placed in the patient’s chart. The paper MAR leaves a large margin for error as a result of unclear or illegible orders being transferred from physician to nurse to pharmacy and back. There is clearly a greater risk of drug interactions and double dosing with paper MARs compared to the electronic systems that are now available (Ketchum, 2008). In addition, paper flow sheets, MARs, and physician orders are capable of being misplaced, ruined, or wrongly recorded. This lack of communication and time-consuming paperwork leads to unsafe nursing practice. It also increases the potential for medication errors, ultimately causing harm to patients.
Cohen (2009) affirms the need for a more accurate system of documentation stating, “because