Nurses say: Device Interoperability Key to Reducing Medical Errors

Hospital errors could be better avoided by improving the interoperability of medical devices, according to a survey of 526 registered nurses conducted by Harris Poll, FierceHealthIT reports (Dvorak, FierceHealthIT, 3/12).

The survey was commissioned by the Gary and Mary West Health Institute (Comstock, MobiHealthNews, 3/12).

Survey Findings

About 93% of nurses surveyed said medical devices should be interoperable (FierceHealthIT, 3/12).

Among respondents who said medical devices should be interoperable:

  • 96% said errors could be reduced at least slightly; and
  • 60% said errors could be reduced significantly (MobiHealthNews, 3/12).

Half of respondents said they had witnessed an error occur as the result of a lack of interoperability (FierceHealthIT, 3/12).

In addition, 46% of respondents said an error is extremely likely to occur when data is manually entered into a device.

According to the survey, 67% of nurses said they interacted with medical devices at the bedside. About 47% of nurses said working with the devices was the least productive use of their time (MobiHealthNews, 3/12).

In addition, the survey found that 74% of nurses said it was very or somewhat burdensome too coordinate data from medical devices.

Joseph Smith, chief medical and science officer of West Health, in a statement said, "The survey helps show how much of a nurse's time could be better spent in direct care of patients and families, and how errors could be potentially avoided if medical devices ... were able to take the next step and seamlessly share critical information around the patient's bedside" (FierceHealthIT, 3/12).

Source: iHealthBeat, Friday, March 13, 2015

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