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Mobile Computing Equipment

More functions, better healthcare

Tablet PCs help increase effi ciency, accuracy and reduce the risk of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). L

ocated in Jefferson Parish, La., East Jefferson General Hospital (EJGH) places great emphasis on the quality and safety of the care it provides. Multi-disciplinary teams of physicians, advanced practice nurses (APNs), pharmacists, therapists and clinical nurses work together as a team to achieve improvements in clinical care and guide the organization toward a culture of quality and patient safety.

As a national leader in the adoption of electronic medical records (EMRs) to improve the accuracy, effi ciency and mea- surability of clinical outcomes, EJGH’s uses specifi c strategies and tools to accomplish clinical excellence, including: • Development of physician order sets incorporating the current best practices;

• Development of clinical pathways addressing the daily care of the individual patient;

• Dedicated resources for quality management and pa- tient throughput programs; and • Expansion of the EMR system.

EJGH has successfully incorporated patient safety goals into the daily care provided to the community. In 2002, EJGH became the fi rst hospital in Louisiana to earn the prestigious Magnet Status for nursing excellence from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. In 2006, EJGH was one of only a handful of hospitals able to raise their standards high enough to earn the distinction of being re-designated as a Nurse Magnet Hospital and in 2012, became one out of only 52 hospitals in the U.S. to receive re-designation for the third time.

EJGH tackles a pressure ulcer prevention project Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are infections caused during the course of receiving medical care, and ac- cording to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there are an estimated 1.7 million HAIs annually, causing 99,000 deaths. The overall annual direct medical cost of the HAIs to U.S. hospitals is as high as $45 billion, claims the CDC, with an estimated cost of HAI per patient as high as $25,903. In 2008, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) began to decrease reimbursement for certain hospital-acquired incidents, such as pressure ulcers. While EJGH worked diligently to prevent pressure ul-

12 May 2012

cers throughout the care process, documentation did not always begin at the patient’s arrival. As a result, if a pressure ulcer was found during a patient’s stay, it was categorized as hospital acquired due to the inability to determine when it fi rst occurred.

When patients fi rst arrived at EJGH, the nurses were re- quired to input detailed wound assessments into Cerner elec-

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tronic power forms via COWs (computers on wheels) or desktop PCs. According to Jody Torres, RN, director of nurs- ing informatics, East Jefferson General Hospital, regardless of how many descriptors the nurses used, it was impossible to know exactly what the wounds looked like. “A picture is defi nitely worth a thousand words, and we found that out fi rst hand,” Torres says. “We needed photos to accurately capture the patients’ skin integrity at arrival. On patients with major wounds, it is necessary to do this periodically throughout the entire stay in order to ensure wounds are improving and to adhere to documentation and compliance protocols.” With its integrated digital and Web cameras, EJGH im- mediately turned to the Motion C5v Tablet PC and equipped its 20 nursing units with the devices. In addition to wound documentation, the nurses can use the devices to access and input patient data. When not in use, the tablets are docked in docking stations and can be used with a mouse, keyboard and monitor as a desktop replacement. According to Torres, clinicians can undock in the middle of documentation and continue inputting information while mobile. “From our research, Motion was fi rst to come out with a tablet that’s portable and has the integrated features, such as cameras and barcode scanners, that we needed while still being rugged and easily disinfected. This is huge for any healthcare environment where devices are going to be dropped and require disinfection between patient visits,” Tor- res says. “It’s also powerful enough to run our entire Cerner EHR in a usable format. The device’s digitizer pen helps with clicking the application’s small targets, and we can document without having to change our workfl ows.” Torres also cites the C5v Tablet PC’s battery life as a crucial factor. EJGH had problems keeping the COWs charged and


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