Nursing, Healthcare Informatics and Technology 2006

Welcome to Nursing, Healthcare and Technology 2006. My name is Margaret Maag and I will post reviews of current top stories in nursing, healthcare informatics and technology at this blogspot. I hope you will share this site with your friends, colleagues, and students.

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Location: San Francisco, California, United States

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Soarian's Innovative Workflow Technology Enhances Care Delivery; Live Customer Workflows Show Increased Quality, Safety and Efficiency In Care Delive

It is working. Technology is improving healthcare delivery outcomes and reducing costs simultaneously. Siemens Medical Solutions, "Soarian (R)" health information solution is demonstrating to be effective. Soarian's core differentiator is its unique-to-healthcare workflow engine that facilitates and tracks technology-driven "workflows" designed to help users increase efficiency, improve patient safety, and achieve desired clinical and financial outcomes - while supporting key quality and regulatory initiatives.

For example, at The Chester County Hospital (TCCH), West Chester, Pa., 4 percent of patients entering the hospital have a history of Methicillin Resistant Staphylcoccus Aureus (MRSA) infection and they account for 8 percent of all patient days. Before TCCH began using Soarian's workflow management tools, a study of 30 patients showed that approximately 25 percent of MRSA patients with prior positive results who should have gone into isolation upon admission were missed at initial bed placement, but likely detected during admission assessment. This would necessitate an immediate transfer to isolation status.

Health Language, Inc. Delivers for HL7 Vocabulary Mapping Project

Health Language, Inc. was selected last year by Health Level Seven, Inc (HL7) to render services to map the HL7 version 2 and 3 vocabularies. This mapping project was a part of helping meet the goals of the HL7 National Library of Medicine contract of ensuring that the HL7 Vocabulary Standards were in step with the Consolidated Health Informatics (CHI) vocabularies.

Nursing college makes gains in federal money

The school of nursing at The University of New Mexico is making great strides in obtaining federal research dollars. It is ranked 40th out of a listing of 5o0 schools of nursing competing for research funding. The NINR is a component of the National Institutes of Health, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NINR supports clinical and basic research to establish a scientific basis for the care of individuals across the span of their lives.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Allevo Adopts RFID-Based Nursing Program

A radio frequency Identification technology is being implemented in the Netherlands to improve the provision of care to patients in this European country. The Nokia's RFID technology being used allows the health care providers to "maintain up-to-date, accurate information real-time," van Campen said. The way it works is with iO, every client is provided with a contact free chip card when they become Allevo clients. At each visit, the nurse touches the chip card using a Nokia 3220 phone with RFID reader to register their visit, eliminating the need to fill in forms and giving the nurse the most up-to-date information on the client.

Of course the use of this technology as implanted chips is an ongoing controversial issue that is being discussed by healthcare providers worldwide.

Technology Provides Nursing Staff Access to Open Shifts Across Six Campuses

Organizing and providing adequate staffing at hospitals has been an ongoing challenge. However, "Bid-Shift" has announced the implementation of a bidding system at a hospital in Corpus Christi, Texas that allows for a computerized approach to staffing nurses at various hospitals. In the past, staffing nurses has been a labor intensive and time-consuming job. And, now with the use of this new system, hospitals are able to look across a network of hospitals and open up opportunities for nurses to work across various hospitals.

CHRISTUS Spohn Health System is implementing BidShift as a means to leverage the existing resource pool across all six campuses, gain process efficiencies in the filling of open shifts, and assure optimal coverage. One of the health system's primary goals is also aimed at giving nursing staff more choice and flexibility over the shifts they work, which is reflected in their theme for the program, "It's your time, your choice." The health system is using regular pay with targeted incentives for the hardest-to-fill shifts to optimize deployment of nursing resources where they are needed most.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

His Subject: Highly Evolved and Exquisitely Thirsty

It amazing that bloodsuckers that spread parasites among frogs and fishes are used in medicine as anticoagulants. Carl Zimmer reports on a researcher, Dr. Siddall, from Canada that has an affinity for leeches. Actually, to the point of traveling to far off exotic places to find different kinds of leeches. Turning himself into bait is paying off. Dr. Siddall's research has shown that the ancestors of leeches were probably freshwater worms that fed harmlessly on the surface of fish or crustaceans, as the closest living relatives of leeches do. Not only do these worms have the most leechlike DNA of any animal, but they also grow the same sucker on the base of their tail that leeches use for crawling.

So Many Pills, So Little Clarity

Duenwald reports on the increasing numbers of medications that Americans are taking each year. An all time record (3.36 million billion) of prescriptions were filled last year. And, many times patients are not fully educated on the potential side effects of the medications or contraindications. Therefore, more and more Americans are at risk for harmful side effects unless they receive adequate information about the drugs that are being prescribed. Unfortunately the drug manuals are cumbersome and online guides may not be reliable. "To find a good online site, look for those that offer unbiased information, said Eileen Early, the editor of electronic health information for the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. Doing a key-word search using a specific drug name may get you to a site operated by the pharmaceutical company that makes it, Ms. Early said."
This is good information for healthcare providers who wish to educate their clients.

Mississippi's 'Heart Man' Examines Links Between Race and Disease

Dr. Taylor, also known as "heart man" in Jackson, Mississippi, practices what he "preaches." While the "plat du jour" for many people living in the southern states is eggs fried in lard, Dr. Taylor reaches for fresh fruit and granola. He undestands that role modeling is a powerful tool.

From now until 2014, Dr. Taylor and his team will be following 5,302 black residents of three Mississippi counties — Hinds, Rankin and Madison — observing their lives and how their heart health is related to their environment.

For the study's participants, there will be periodic medical examinations and referrals for care when problems are detected. The ultimate aim of the $54 million investigation, Dr. Taylor said, "is to gain the information we need to stop an epidemic of cardiovascular diseases within the African-American community."