Because of the considerable amount of time that nurses spend rendering patient care, it can be challenging to engage them in receiving education and new information. It is therefore essential to create innovative and technology-enhanced ways to disseminate education and information. Utilization of a QR (quick response) code allows for users to access information instantly and just-in-time learning using their smartphones, thereby increasing nurses’ engagement.
During the pandemic, the use of QR codes increased incredibly especially in places like restaurants to decrease direct contact with physical menus. However, even before the pandemic, Mercy Medical Center had started utilizing QR codes, initiated by the nursing informatics team. The very first time a need for a quick and just-in-time learning was during the implementation of patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) machine. There were four documents including a policy and training videos that need to be shared to staff. Having a QR code affixed on each PCA machine and posted in units allow for staff to readily access these education materials when time comes for them to use the device without having to go through a binder that houses all the tip sheets or searching though NetLearning to find the PCA education module.
Staff appreciated this unique way of accessing education and information resulting in more requests to use this method. One great example is ICU’s just-in-time training for high-risk, low volume skills and procedures, such as transvenous pacing, accudrain, Minnesota tube, and 4 other procedures. As of today, the QR codes were scanned 283 between the seven procedures. The nursing councils - education and professional development, professional practice, and EBP research and innovation - also highly utilized this method to gather data and share information and education. Currently, there are over 35 active QR codes with documents stored in a secure repository. It is anticipated for this unique method of sharing education and information to be utilized by nursing staff.
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.