One area of nursing that is growing at an extraordinary pace is the specialty of informatics. A majority of hospitals today have implemented informatics into nursing care in one form or another. By looking at one hospital’s use of technology the extent of nursing informatics becomes clearer. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate how informatics has influenced nursing paperwork, communication, support tools, and patient safety in a level one trauma center in downtown Phoenix.
Banner Health System is a non-profit health system that has 23 hospitals spanning seven states. While it is one of the largest health systems in the Southwest it is also one of ten integrated health networks in the nation. The system has reached this status by offering physician services, hospice services and home care. With such a large system it has become expected that services offered are going to be the most current and technological available. This is no more evident than at Banner Health’s flag hospital located across the street from their corporate headquarters in Phoenix Arizona.
Located in downtown Phoenix is a level one trauma center that is the largest hospital in the Banner Health System. Good Samaritan began serving the citizens of Phoenix in 1911 and has continued the high level of care that has become expected. The hospital was the location of a nursing diploma program until the late 1970’s and still continues to be a teaching hospital for aspiring medical personnel. While Good Sam may no longer train nurses they still live up to nursing excellence as evident by the achievement of being designated Magnet by the American Nurse’s Association. The medical center has also grown in its hundred year history to provide work for over 5000 employees and volunteers today (Banner Health, 2011). Along with being one of the largest employers in Phoenix they are nationally recognized for multiple specialties including transplants, stroke center, high risk obstetrics and multiple births, and a cardiac center offering LVAD. One benefit of being such a large hospital at the forefront of an equally large health system is access to the newest technologies and informatics available.
Use of an electronic health record (EHR) assists with streamlining paperwork in the hospital setting. Multiple departments such as lab, radiology, nursing and physicians are able to input information at the same time and in multiple locations. At Good Samaritan the ability to view the current statutes of labs, test and procedures is also possible due to informatics (Hebda and Czar, 2009). Another benefit of informatics described by Hebda and Czar (2009) that is in place in the critical care departments is the automated documentation of such measurements as blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen saturation and urine output. Throughout the hospital blood glucose results are viewable in the...