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HiNZ KEYNOTE: Nurses’ fears of going digital tackled head-on

Sunday, 27 August 2017  
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Nurses can feel “panicked” when moving from paper to electronic hospital processes, but tackling their fears head-on is the answer, says Southern Cross Hospitals’ Chief Nurse Advisor.


Carey Campbell will share her experience of implementing an electronic medical record at Southern Cross Hospitals in her keynote presentation at the Health Informatics New Zealand annual conference in Rotorua on November 1-3 2017.


Her presentation - Mastering electronic documentation: key tips for success – will share her insights following the roll-out of Orion’s Clinical Workflow Suite across 10 hospitals from Invercargill to Auckland.


Implementation of the EMR began in February 2016 and the final hospital will go-live in North Harbour this September. Around 800 nurses now use the system on a daily basis for every patient.


Carey says nurses’ fears about the move to electronic processes included; that they would ‘break’ the system; that it would provide a barrier between them and the patient; and that it would involve additional work.


However, by tackling these misconceptions head on, nurses have adapted and become reliant on the system faster than anyone could have expected, she says


Each hospital had 2-3 weeks of training before go-live and while some nurses were resistant at first, the team tried hard to make training fun and competency levels quickly progressed. Having an already embedded online learning site also helped with improved general computer skills amongst staff.


In fact, Carey says it was some of the nurses who were most concerned about their lack of computer skills who concentrated hard in training and coped best at go-live.


Southern Cross Hospitals has moved from paper processes to electronic for admission information/ patient assessment, three risk assessments, surgical site surveillance and discharge summaries.


Clinicians are documenting electronically into the health record at the bedside and nurses and anaesthetic technicians are using hand held tablet devices to do pre-theatre checks with patients.


“It’s been a big big change for nursing. It’s a whole hospital system so we have all our hospitals using the same processes,” Carey explains. Hear more about Carey’s journey, along with 27 other keynote speakers at the 2017 HiNZ Conference, 1-3 November in Rotorua.


The HiNZ Conference is New Zealand's largest digital health event. In 2016 over 1100 delegates from 20 countries attended the HiNZ Conference in Auckland.


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