Nurses: Device Interoperability Key to Reducing Medical Errors

March 13, 2015 in News

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).

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