Patient-Centeredness & the Persistent Fax Machine

Patient-centered care is one of the six factors of quality in healthcare. Yet, there are many opportunities for improved patient-centered care.

To anyone that has had to fill out a form or receive a form from a healthcare provider or practice, there is a great likelihood of being told to ‘fax it back’.

Yet, how many have access to a fax machine at home?

Next, you are working to find a way to get the information back to or from the healthcare facility or organization that is not through a fax machine.

Knowing most do not have a fax machine, and encountering this issue, this is one example of an opportunity to improve patient-centered care.

In the bigger picture, healthcare has opportunities to explore the healthcare experience through the eyes of patients and unveil the blind spots to truly address patient-centeredness.

This is just one example but there are many others.

The article here provides several factors that contribute to the persistent challenge however, at some point, we will not be using fax machines….

In the meantime, one area of impact is on quality through that patient experience.


~ Dr. Kelley

Clara Barton (1821-1912), Founder of the Red Cross

Innovator in Nursing Profile: Clara Barton (1821-1912), Founder of the Red Cross

Clarissa Harlow (Clara) Barton, was a pioneer and innovator in transforming health care. Clara Barton started initially working as a teacher and then became one of the first women employees in the federal government. Soon later, Barton began to see an opportunity to support American soldiers during the Civil War. Clara started her efforts by working to gather medical supplies for the soldiers (e.g., bandages, food, and clothing). However, Clara soon found herself working to aid the soldiers on the front lines. Barton spent time gathering supplies and bringing them to the front lines. In one instance, she was able to support the surgeons on the front line with replenishments when they had run out of supplies. Clara Barton’s efforts earned her the nickname, ‘Angel of the Battlefield’.

“I may be compelled to face danger, but never fear it, and while our soldiers can stand and fight, I can stand and feed and nurse them.” ~ Clara Barton

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Happy Nurses Week!

Happy Nurses Week!

May 6th marks the start of Nurses Week that runs through May 12th each year! The American Nurses Association indicates that there are over 3 million registered nurses in the United States. This means we have that many people around us who have dedicated their lives to improving the lives of others! That is a remarkable mission that deserves recognition.

Nurses play a fundamental role in advancing the health of individuals each day. Nurses go into this profession to heal and help others. Each one of us, as individuals, will need some form of health care service at some point in our lives. Our nurses are the lifeline to our health. In health care organizations, nurses are the health care professionals who are at our bedside 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Yet, their nursing care does not stop at the bedside.

To paint the full picture, I’d like to share an excerpt of some words I spoke about the meaning of being a nurse….

“….what happens is that your profession as a nurse becomes part of who you are, your persona. You will be presented with situations that could benefit from your nursing knowledge and skills to help others. You will not always know when those situations will come but when they do, you will likely react instinctively and pitch in to help that individual, family, community or population in need.

Whether it is fielding a question from a friend about how much Tylenol to give her son that has a fever, advocating for a dying family member who is unable to advocate for his or herself, or simply listening to someone who is going through a difficult time. The possibilities are endless. Your nursing knowledge and skills can make an impact that will be memorable for you as well as that individual person or family.

Thus, as you move forward in your career as a nurse, what I would like for each of you to think about is the impact you will have not only in your professional life but also in those unexpected moments of your personal life when someone is in need of your care.

Regardless of where the need is located, your response to that need will not only benefit you as a nurse but also you as an individual. More importantly, the benefits will be far greater for those individuals, families, communities and populations who are on the receiving end of your efforts.” (See more at: )

Thus, This week we are celebrating nurses and the nursing profession! Each day during this week we will be showcasing a nurse on our blog who has been fundamental in advancing the nursing profession. We hope that you will be stimulated by the week and re-invigorated for what you do each day to help improve the lives of patients and families!

Best wishes,


Nurses, We want to Know Your Voice!

Our Know Your Voice contest is being launched to help support each of you, as nurses, you work to provide patients with the best possible care! If you are a nurse, please consider entering this contest. If you know a nurse, please consider telling him or her about this contest. What are we looking for? Well, let me share a few stories with you.

This week, I was speaking with a nurse about Know My PatientTM. We were talking about what life is like as a nurse on the floor. I mentioned how painful it can be to watch nurses struggle to access and use the electronic health record (EHR) while their primary focus is on delivering patient care at the bedside.

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5 Reasons Why Nurses Need Apps

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“Why do Nurses Need Apps?“

Last week someone asked me, ‘Why do nurses need apps?’ His question made me realize that the need for nurses to have apps to do their day-to-day work taking care of patients may not be obvious to the general public. I often tell nurses that it is our responsibility to inform others of our role and responsibilities, impact on patient care and overall value we bring to the health care industry. We are the subject matter experts and the champions for our profession. So, in the spirit of the message I often send to other nurses, I’d like to offer 5 reasons why nurses need apps to help support their delivery of high quality patient care.

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The problem is big enough that it deserves a solution.

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“How did you know that your idea was good enough to start a business?”


I was asked this question in reference to my idea to create Know My Patient TM and then a business around it, Nightingale Apps LLC. It was a question I hadn’t been asked before. My response at that time was that I never questioned it, rather I just knew it was good enough.


For those who are not familiar, I created Know My Patient TM, Nightingale Apps’ patent-pending mobile workflow nursing solution, in an effort to address the daily challenges faced by nurses each day to access, enter and use information for the purpose of providing their patients with the best care.

Know My Patient


In a world where we, as consumers, rely on our phones to support our own personal information needs, answer our own questions, and allow for quick entry of information to communicate with others, we must bring that to our nurses. After all, our nurses are saving lives each day. Their focal point is the patient and whatever the patient needs, where he/she needs it.


When I came up with this idea several years ago, I could not accept that nurses would continue to rely on workaround solutions with scraps of paper, be bogged down with moving heavy ‘mobile’ carts (as their mobile solution), stay late (most if not all shifts) to catch up on charting, and feel as though they have turned into ‘glorified data entry specialists’. If we continue to make it challenging for nurses to do their work, we will likely end up driving nurses away from the profession. The statistics show we cannot afford to do that and take care of the population.


There are over 3 million nurses in the United States. Nurses become nurses to provide care to patients. Nurses do not go through nursing school, to become nurses,  and subsequently struggle with finding and entering information into electronic charting systems, often referred to as Electronic Health Records (EHRs). Nurses currently struggle to have the information they need about their patients at their fingertips. Yes, EHRs are the way to go in the sense that we need electronic record of information in order to apply more advanced algorithms and analytical reports on the data to improve population health outcomes. I do support the need for EHRs and even wrote a textbook for nurses and health care professionals about EHRs ( to drive quality patient care.

Electronic Health Records for Quality Nursing and Health Care

I have worked in this field of informatics for the last 12 years and enjoy the work but I see how hard it is on nurses providing direct care and it takes a toll on their experience and overall job satisfaction. Thus we need a solution that interacts with the EHR. The solution is to provide nurses with tools that support how they work that improve their ability to be efficient. We’ve created that solution with Know My Patient TM and it has been met with remarkable praise from nurses.


So, what I didn’t say to that person who asked me the question: How did you know that your idea was good enough to start a business?” was that the problem is big enough that it deserves a solution. Additionally, the solution should be developed in such a way that addresses the needs of nurses to alleviate the challenges faced each day (look for my next blog post: 5 reasons why nurses need apps for more specific information).