Nurses Using Mobile IT to Counter Nursing Burnout
In order to maximize caregiving and minimize time spent on
recordkeeping, every full-time Visiting Nurse at VNA Home
Health Systems in Santa Ana, California is receiving her own
personal digital assistant (PDA) specially programmed with
in-depth clinical information and easy-to-use electronic nursing
The personal digital assistant program is intended to make
nursing more appealing by addressing two of nurses' biggest
complaints about nursing: too much time filling out endless
forms and not enough time spent with patients. Nurses are
experiencing widespread job dissatisfaction as indicated by
a major new study from the University of Pennsylvania which
found that one in three US nurses under the age of 30 is planning
to leave his or her job in the coming year.
VNA Home Health Systems in Santa Ana, a non-profit community-based
organization established in 1947, is one of the first home
healthcare organizations in the nation to develop and utilize
over-the-counter handheld digital technologies to give nurses
more time to nurse. 35 Visiting Nurses are now using a personal
digital assistant with all full-time clinicians to be phased
in over the next quarter.
It takes a strong head and a big heart to be a Visiting Nurse --
the ability to think quickly and sensitively in unfamiliar circumstances.
for an average of five to seven homebound, elderly, chronically
ill, just home from the hospital, or terminally ill patients each
day also creates a lot of recordkeeping.
Elaine Glaser, R.N., has been a nurse for 14 years and
a Visiting Nurse since January 2000. She used to spend three
to four hours every night doing her paperwork after a full
day caring for patients. She now spends 1 to 1 1/2 hours
a day completing the same tasks. She uses her pda along
with a miniature modem and a portable keyboard to securely
access schedules, patient charts, and extensive medical
references, and to fill out and submit nursing forms.
"People are nurses because they love nursing,"
Glaser says. "This program allows me to have a life,
too. The best part of the pda is that it makes my life a
lot easier -- once nursing can get rid of paperwork, there
is going tobe a big change."
The proprietary nursing software was written by the Visiting
Nurse's Association's CEO, Jeneane Brian, a maverick nurse
and MBA who states that "Quality nursing for our community
is the entire focus at VNA. Researching and developing ways
to improve the quality of our nurses' lives allows them
to pass that care on to our patients."
Visiting Nurse's Association Home Health Systems in Santa
Ana, California is a non-profit, community-based agency
responsible to a community Board of Directors. Setting the
industry standard for excellence since 1947, VNAHHS is dedicated
to providing high-quality, innovative, and cost-effective
intermittent home care.
For further information please contact Jeneane
Brian, CEO of VNAHHS,
or Suzanne Jamieson,
freelance writer, for VNAHHS.
"VNAHHS wishes to gratefully acknowledge the contributions
of the UCDavis
design class 152- who have donated their time and talent to helping
promote the use of handhelds in nursing. They are helping make a
difference in the way healthcare is delivered in America!"
Jeneane A. Brian