Eighty-six Percent of Nurses Link Information Technology to Improved Patient Care According to CDW Healthcare's Nurses Talk Tech™
CDW Survey of Nursing Professionals Highlights Robust Use of IT Despite Limited Training or Nurse Involvement in IT Selection and Implementation
VERNON HILLS, Ill. - September 6, 2006 - CDW Healthcare, part of the public sector subsidiary of CDW Corporation (NASDAQ:CDWC), and a leading provider of technology products and services to healthcare organizations, today announced the results of Nurses Talk Tech™, a survey of more than 550 nursing professionals from across the United States. The study reveals that nurses overwhelmingly validate the potential of information technology (IT) to improve patient care, but cite significant challenges to realizing its full potential.
"In this first-of-its-kind study of how nurses view the technology they use on the job, we learned that those on the front lines of care delivery embrace the power of information technology to help improve the speed and quality of patient care," said Bob Rossi, general manager for CDW Healthcare. "Nurses even went so far as to say that the quality of a medical facility's technology is a deciding factor for where they will work."
In the survey, 86 percent of respondents indicated that IT has the potential to improve the quality of patient care. The use of technology allows nurses to access patient information more quickly, improve efficiency, reduce the potential for errors and access timely and relevant patient information. Looking at challenges, nurses cite poor integration/ interoperability, regular system failures, limited access to information and applications, and lack of training as the most frustrating elements of using IT on the job.
Technology also appears to be an integral part of the nursing environment, with 44 percent of respondents indicating they spend three or more hours a day using IT for various functions. Sixty-nine percent of respondents use email regularly; 60 percent use IT to document electronic medical records; and half of all respondents use it to order patient tests and prescriptions through computer-based patient order entry (CPOE). Nearly 90 percent of respondents work on desktop systems and 21 percent use notebooks. Only nine percent use a handheld device and three percent use a tablet PC.
Nurses seeking employment clearly attach a value to healthcare organizations' level of IT adoption, a factor that tech-savvy employers can use to their advantage when recruiting in the highly competitive nursing market. Sixty-four percent of respondents indicated that IT is an important consideration when deciding where to work, and 26 percent said they would not consider working in a healthcare organization without it. According to research from 2005, 49 percent of employers report that nursing positions were harder to fill in 2005, resulting in an anticipated shortfall of 265,212 nurses nationwide by 2010. In that environment, the ability of healthcare organizations to attract and retain qualified nursing staff is profoundly important.
The study also showed that the majority of nurses want more IT training. When asked what would have the greatest impact on improving how they use IT in their job, 55 percent responded that more professional training and/or professional development would help. Despite the strong interest in professional development, healthcare organizations do not appear to invest heavily in IT training for their nurses. Nearly 30 percent of respondents received no IT training in the last year, and 56 percent received between one and eight hours, most often delivered by a member of the facility's in-house IT team.
Interestingly, respondents who received no IT training, or between one and eight hours of training, were more likely to indicate they do not have time to use IT than respondents who received more extensive training.
Nurses are more likely to be consulted in the IT selection and/or implementation process than physicians, but are still likely to be excluded from these initiatives. Thirty-six percent of survey respondents indicated that nurse managers and/or staff nurses are involved in the selection and/or implementation process compared to 14 percent who indicated physicians are consulted. Interestingly, respondents from organizations not involving nurses in the IT selection/implementation process are more than twice as likely to say that IT diminishes or does not improve the quality of care than nurses with facilities that do involve them.
Nurses Talk Tech findings are based on an online survey of 559 nurses working in a wide range of settings, including large hospitals/medical centers, clinics/physician offices, long-term care facilities, home care, visiting nursing associations, public health organizations, insurance companies, and corporations. The study has a +/-4.09 percent margin of error at a 95% confidence level.
For more information, please visit www.cdw.com/healthcare.
About CDW Healthcare
CDW Healthcare, part of the public sector subsidiary of CDW Corporation (NASDAQ:CDWC), is a leading provider of technology products and services focused exclusively on healthcare organizations. Working in partnership with customers ranging from small rural providers to large and complex integrated delivery networks, CDW Healthcare responds with a sense of urgency to customer technology needs, delivering best-in-class solutions from top-name brands such as IBM, HP, Cisco, Microsoft, Planar, EMC, Ergotron Symantec, Motion, Lenovo, NEC, Xerox and Symbol. CDW Healthcare account management teams build strong customer relationships by responding to customer IT infrastructure requirements with in-depth advice, technical expertise and the best technology that the industry has to offer.
For more information about CDW Healthcare offerings, procurement options, services and solutions, call 1.800.410.4239, or visit the CDW Healthcare Web site at http://www.cdw.com/healthcare.