Can Technology Make Healthcare Safer?

Healthcare Paperwork Nightmare

Tracking Clinical and Regulatory Competency Across the Patient Care Continuum Can Be a Nightmare!

Jerome Stone, RN, MA

In the changing landscape of healthcare it’s hard to keep up with what is needed to maintain staff compliance with knowledge-base expectations. Not only is healthcare evolving, the roles of nurses and clinical staff are also in constant evolution. Once solely the frontline of bedside care, the role of caretaking has been broadened to include watching over and caring for the health of the institution as well.

Healthcare Providers as Champions of Care and Policy

Today’s patient care is dependent not only on astute caregivers and clinicians, but on individuals who understand policies around new regulations and guidelines of healthcare. Failure to understand such policies can result in financial penalties to the institution and reduction in reimbursement revenues.

Not only do staff need to know the “what” of policies, they also need to understand the “whys” of rules and regulations in order to provide care that offers not only excellent service, but care that adheres to new legislation and rulings on readmissions, hospital-acquired illness, and length of stay. In doing so, they need to become the champions of care across the continuum of care.

Tracking the Champions

Tracking the clinical competency of staff is laborious to say the least. Once the job of a disengaged and bored staff member sorting through file folders in filing cabinets, the importance of tracking clinical competency across the spectrum of care is vital to insuring patient care outcomes, patient satisfaction, and fiscal stewardship of the institution.

Keeping track of strengths and needs, insuring excellence across the continuum of care is no longer a matter of requiring yearly in-service training and clinical education days.

Real-time and updated tracking is necessary to insure that staff know what’s expected of them and that management knows what’s needed from their employees. What’s needed is a way to track performance and competency in an ongoing manner.

Engage the Champions in Self-Assessment

No one likes to feel like they’ve got someone watching over their shoulder at all times, making sure that they’re doing their jobs. Providing autonomy to staff to track their own progress and identify their needs not only provides staff with a sense of control over the assessment of their skills, it provides an engaged workforce, a workforce who that takes responsibility for their needs and education.

Paper is Passé…and Impossible!

While a paper system can provide a way of keeping track of staff education needs and competency, the need to update and revise standards of care and compliance with policies can be herculean and lends itself poorly to tracking using physical records. Enter electronic and automated processes.

Automation through the use of online platforms has become the norm within most industries and healthcare has taken up the challenge of transforming the work environment into a culture of electronic accountability. With that accountability comes the need to track staff performance as it relates to patient care through the process of entry into and departure from the healthcare system.

Eliminating paper and having a coherent tool that can provide management with accurate data on its staff is the crux of maintaining the highest standards of electronic accountability.

Try That in Your Filing Cabinet!

Besides the many benefits that an automated and electronic system provides, one of the greatest benefits of having an electronic system is the ability to track in real time the needs of your staff. Imagine that with just a push of a button, you can monitor where everyone is in their skill and competency development, that’s a view of progress at hand in an instant!


Disclosure: This content has be brought to you by Halogen Software, the market leader in talent management software. Bringing value to nurses is at the forefront of Halogen Software’s goals so they are partnering with nurse leaders online to bring attention to important issues that healthcare organizations face every day. To find out more Halogen Software and the support they can provide to your nursing staff check out their healthcare page.

0 Comment   |   Posted in blog March 11, 2014