A common statement that I hear and have heard over the years when there is a technological issue is...
"I don't understand technology."
This comment usually comes when something is not working quite right. It could be anything from the video call settings (mute/unmute) to entering data into the electronic health record.
When I hear this, I often see the person who said it, start to let the technology win over his/her/their confidence in being able to solve the problem.
However, I believe that if this statement resonates with you, you likely understand technology more than you think you do.
Perhaps it is that there simply is not time available to troubleshoot the issue because patient care is already so demanding of your time.
Let's take printers for example. I do not know what it is about printers but whenever I need something to print in a short period of time, something goes wrong. I either need to put in a new cartridge, install a new driver on my computer, or reset the wireless connection. Each of these things are solvable but often in the moment, I just do not have time allocated for troubleshooting and I get frustrated. Has this happened to you?
So what do we do to reframe this statement that tends to continue to show up in nursing and healthcare?
I think it starts with separating the issues of 'not understanding the technology' from not anticipating needing to troubleshoot or seek out the solution.
Let me explain.
I was speaking with a nurse recently who shared with me that much of her time each day was spent entering the product supply codes into the electronic health record because the items were not in the drop down pick list for that field. She expressed frustration and how it made it difficult to complete everything in a timely manner each shift.
As I listened, I thought well there is a solution to this and it isn't about finding better ways for the nurse to enter the supply codes.
Technology should work to be a supportive tool, not an added burden.
So before I tell you what I would suggest as the solution, what would you recommend?
< take a minute and think before reading below :) >
I would recommend that the product supply codes that are not in the drop down list be updated ASAP to reflect the current status of the supplies that are needed. Perhaps the product supply codes have not been updated in some time (perhaps even since the system was launched live). As new product supplies come out, the codes need to be updated as well.
This solution takes the burden off of the nurse and/or healthcare professional and solves the workflow issue.
Now, perhaps you encounter a different issue on a daily basis. Take this perspective and start to think about what a solution would be and how it could be solved. (Reminder: You do not necessarily have to be the person to implement the solution).
You do understand technology more than you think. We live in a technological world where we are using some form of technology in our personal and private lives on a regular basis.
Yes, there is always more to learn but recognize what you already do know and how it can help in tandem with your clinical knowledge and expertise to deliver the quality care you wish to deliver to patients.
Have a pleasant weekend,
Tiffany Kelley PhD MBA RN-BC
Founder & CEO
iCare Nursing Solutions LLC