I envision a day in the near future where we can support nurses with tools that allow them to spend more time with their patients and less time searching for information needed to provide safe, efficient care.
Nurses struggle to efficiently answer basic questions about their patients, often not just for themselves but also for the patient’s families and the larger health care team.
What basic questions you might ask? Below is a list of a small subset of the many questions nurses get asked each day while providing patient care:
- Have my (the patient’s) labs/exams/test results come back yet?
- When is the patient due for meds?
- Does the patient have any allergies?
- When can I (the patient) go home?
In each of the above questions, nurses need to provide an answer. How do they find that answer? Well, maybe they know from their memory, but if not, nurses have this trusted tool in their pocket: a piece of paper.
This piece of paper is sometimes called a ‘report sheet’, other times a nurse’s ‘brain’. Regardless of the name, it often resembles something that looks like this below:
If the nurse has written down (or has access to) the answers to the above questions, the most accessible place to find the answers is on this piece of paper (example shown above). However, often, certain questions cannot be answered from the piece of paper. Certain questions require the nurse to find an available computer, log on, sign in to the system, and search for the answer. At times the answer may not be yet available and the time spent searching is then wasted.
These steps take time…time away from the patient and time that could be minimized using the right tools.
For the nurses reading this, they are likely nodding their heads in acknowledgement and validation of this fact. For those individuals who aren’t nurses or who aren’t as familiar to a nurses work day, this may seem quite surprising to read and see. You might even be thinking: “Why isn’t there an app for that?”
Well I can tell you that we at Nightingale Apps LLC, have created that app and it is called Know My PatientTM. We saw the opportunity to not only create the patent-pending Know My PatientTM app, but more importantly transform the way in which nurses can access, enter, and use information at their fingertips to have answers to the necessary questions.