The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has challenged nurses with accelerated adjustment and adoption of clinical workflows and healthcare information technology (HIT). The increasing rates of COVID-19 hospitalizations temporarily halted elective surgeries and procedures. In response to the increased demand for skilled clinical frontline support, nurses from specialty areas such as the perioperative and procedural areas were reassigned to work on inpatient units where the use of HIT varied significantly in comparison to that of their respective specialty areas. In preparation for a potential COVID-19 second surge wave, retrospective analysis was conducted to identify and implement support strategies to aid in the adoption of healthcare technologies and clinical workflows.
Our nurses and ancillary staff utilize a mobile device for patient care that contains a suite of clinical applications that includes an electronic health record, physiological alarm notification, waveform visualization, and video or audio communication that optimizes workflows and mobility. During a period of personal protective equipment (PPE) scarcity, the mobile device proved to be impactful in minimizing staff exposure and the preservation of PPE. Nurse educators and the informatics nurse specialist (INS) team gathered feedback from specialty nurses on inpatient workflows related to HITs that were challenging to use during the COVID-19 first surge wave deployment to inpatient units. During the summer of 2020, the INS team and nurse educators collaborated to implement a series of sessions to educate and train specialty nurses on identified inpatient clinical and mobile device workflows. Our sessions allowed specialty nurses to receive hands on training on clinical workflows and healthcare technologies predominately used by inpatient clinical workflows to improve and strengthen preparedness and adoption.
Nursing education distributed a four-question online survey to the 40 nurses who attended the sessions. Analysis was conducted from survey results to assess strategy for future sessions. A majority of the respondents (74.19%) reported being deployed to inpatient units during first surge wave of COVID-19. The majority of the respondents (91.67%) reported the skills covered in the sessions to be both very useful and very helpful. Free-text responses offered insights into the needs of the respondents and educational opportunities. From the responses, specific skills recommended will be integrated into future sessions.
An organization’s commitment to reevaluate and identify education and training needs is imperative to user adoption. As a highly reliable organization (HRO), we proactively and strategically used hands on sessions to empower nurses throughout the enterprise to confidently care for patients across specialty areas. Healthcare technologies can be leveraged to improve nurses’ experience. Elevating user preparedness by implementing targeted training sessions has proven to be beneficial.
Learning Outcome: After completing this learning activity, the participant will be able to assess innovations being used by other professionals in the specialty and evaluate the potential of implementing the improvements into practice.