CDW Healthcare's Nurses Talk Tech™ 2007 Reveals Nursing IT Catch-22: Little Time to Learn/Use Time-saving Tools
Nationwide Survey Finds Nurses Support Use of IT, but Express Frustration Over Limited Training and Involvement in Purchasing Decisions
VERNON HILLS, Ill. - November 26, 2007 - CDW Healthcare, part of the public sector subsidiary of CDW Corporation, and a leading provider of technology products and services to healthcare organizations, today announced the results of Nurses Talk Tech™ 2007, a survey of more than 1,000 nursing professionals from across the United States. The study, which serves as a continuation of CDW Healthcare's Nurses Talk Tech™ 2006, reveals that nurses continue to recognize numerous ways in which information technology (IT) helps them care for patients but cite significant barriers to IT adoption.
"Studies continue to underscore that the nationwide shortage of trained nurses is getting worse, not better," said Bob Rossi, senior director for CDW Healthcare. "As the nursing crisis becomes more acute, healthcare organizations will need to increase the effectiveness of front-line caregivers by equipping them with tools and technology that can help them deliver accurate and timely patient care. Unfortunately, the situation has become so severe that many nursing staffs do not have the time or resources needed to allocate to learning and implementing the IT tools that have been proven in cases to improve speed, efficiency and accuracy."
In the latest Nurses Talk Tech survey, nurses identify several benefits of using IT in the clinical setting, with respondents reporting that technology allows them faster, broader access to patient information; improves workflow efficiency; increases communication and enhances timely analysis of patient information. At the same time, principal challenges include duplication between paper and IT processes, the relative lack of nursing-specific IT tools and applications, as well as inadequate training.
Technology continues to be a significant component of the nursing environment, with 42 percent of respondents claiming they spend four or more hours a day using IT. Although nurses report using a variety of IT elements, the overwhelming majority rely on desktops (89 percent) and laptops (21 percent); nine percent use handheld devices and only three percent use tablet PCs. Nurses use technology to support a number of administrative and clinical functions - 69 percent of respondents claim they use IT to manage e-mail, 60 percent document or chart patient information in an electronic medical record (EMR) and 53 percent order patient tests or prescriptions through computerized physician order entry systems.
Despite nurses' consistent use of and support for IT in the clinical setting, respondents cite a significant lack of involvement in the IT selection and implementation process: 27 percent of respondents report that nurse managers play a role in the selection of IT, while only 15 percent of staff nurses are involved. In addition to relatively low levels of nursing involvement, only 25 percent of respondents report their organizations employ a nursing informaticist position -- a 14 percent drop from 2006. Organizations containing informaticist positions enjoy a number of advantages over those which do not, including a higher rate of paperless/filmless process implementation (75 percent versus 55 percent), the establishment of near or total access control for patient records (53 percent versus 41 percent) and the ability to e-prescribe (34 percent versus 20 percent).
The survey found mixed progress on electronic data initiatives, with 44 percent of respondents claiming their healthcare organizations do not have the ability to electronically access health records from other providers and 50 percent reporting that their employers are unable to e-prescribe. However, survey participants say that more than one-half of their healthcare organizations have initiated a transition to paperless or filmless processes.
In general, nurses positively rate their organization's efforts to ensure patient data security, with 41 percent stating that their employer has established total or near total access control for patient records and 52 percent claiming that their organization has adopted some level of security protocol. A notable exception occurs among long-term care facilities, where 22 percent of nurses report their employer devotes little to no effort to ensuring patient data security.
Nurses Talk Tech findings are based on an online survey of 1,028 nurses working in a wide range of settings, including large hospitals/medical centers, clinics/physician offices, long-term care facilities, home care and visiting nursing associations. The study has a +/-2.98 percent margin of error at a 95 percent confidence level.
For more information on Nurses Talk Tech and to download the complete study, please visit www.cdw.com/nursestalktech.
About CDW Healthcare
CDW Healthcare, part of the public sector subsidiary of CDW Corporation, 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, Fujitsu, Symantec, Motion, Lenovo, Xerox and Lexmark. 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.