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Author: Elyse, PMP, CPHIMS
October 5, 2009


With the average age of nurses between 45 and 50 and rising. Nurses are known for making workarounds work to get the job completed in the best interests of the safety and the patient. Having too many changes for nursing to digest at a single time is a chief cause of burnout. It is time to begin collaborations with the Chief Nursing Officer, the implications of the EHR and help assess how to move forward with the daily automation and what informatics is. After all Processes and Technology should augment effectives and not become obstacles to efficiency.

In accessing our organizational risk, let's go back to our favorite flagging method.


  • Red Flag - Several Process Improvement initiatives have failed due to poor adoption on the floors with Nursing. Staffing is stretched according to capacity scales. Nursing still has not adopted email as a communication tool. Nursing has been wiping out while surfing the Tsunami wave of change for the past couple of years, and sounds are being heard about the lack of organizational prioritization for changes in flight. The CNO has been nicknamed the Chief No Officer, and is still not empowered to select the right changes to move forward into the adoption.

  • Yellow Flag - Under our yellow flag, our nursing staff has been surfing the wave of changes, but not been overwhelmed. However they have not been through a Large Extensive system training program. Additionally during the planned implementation nursing resources are planned to be tapped for other major initiatives.

  • Green Flag - In this item, the nursing culture has been wired for excellences and is ready to accept more changes. The organization as a whole has a strategy on improving patient care and patient safety through an Electronic Health Record. Discussion about how to rollout the system are driven by a collaborative cooperative atmosphere.

Having the nursing support in place to adopt EHR is critical.

Further Readings on the Getting Ready for Meaningful Use Series:


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