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How to Influence Change in the EHR and/or other Health IT Solutions

Years ago I was speaking to a nurse in direct care about some of the challenges she saw in documenting in the electronic health record (EHR). She looked at me and told me she felt like a glorified data entry specialist. We talked about what small things might make it better. She shared some thoughts but then said, who would I even go to about this? Who is here to help us make it better? 

That memory has sat with me for years. I remember it vividly and it is brought back every time I hear another nurse or healthcare professional discuss something similar. 

As a PhD prepared board certified informatics nurse, I've encouraged nurses and healthcare professionals that they have an ability to influence change in the EHR and/or other Health IT solutions. Some of the comments I've received have been: 

"I don't even know where to even start."

"Who would I even talk to about my ideas?"

"I don't have an informatics or health IT background."

Informatics nurses and clinical IT...

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Unique Nursing Identifiers (UNI) for Nursing Care

Good afternoon all, 

I was reading an article this week on Unique Nurse Identifiers (UNI) and wanted to reflect on it here this week. 

If this is the first time you have heard of a Unique Nurse Identifier (UNI), I'll share the definition from the article which I was reading:

"A UNI is a defined code or series of characters that represents an individual nurse within various healthcare technology systems and devices."

The concept of UNI's is not new as each registered nurse has a UNI with the board of nursing where he/she/they has had a registered nursing license. 

Additionally, Nurse Practitioners have a National Provider Identification (NPI) number provided from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Adding a UNI for nurses in healthcare organizations could help in several ways. One that stands out is the ability to more discretely identify the impact of direct nursing care on patient health outcomes. An ongoing challenge in nursing has been the ability...

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You do understand technology more than you think...

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...

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