With meaningful use at the forefront of everyone's mind, it is now more important than ever to have your staff using point-of-care technologies. However, there are many nurses who are hesitant to adapt to new technologies and may require additional coaching to be successful. If you are struggling to get buy-in from your nurses, you can try the following suggestions to get more nurses on board.
1. Demonstrate Value
Many nurses do not want to use point-of-care technologies because they feel that it's a waste of time and it has little value. They also feel that it takes time away from delivering patient care and are fearful of any more weight added to their already heavy load. You will have better compliance if you show nurses the benefits of point-of-care EMR systems and demonstrate how it can actually decrease the amount of time spent charting.
2. Provide Ample Training
Nurses want to feel comfortable with a new technology before they use it. Many facilities rush to implement a new system and do not provide adequate training sessions for nurses. If you want to increase nurse adoption of point-of-care technologies then you need to make sure they have ample time to practice without feeling rushed. This means that a nurse should not have to quickly run away to attend a 30 minute training, while someone else is watching their patient's.
3. Show Compassion
Change is difficult. Some seasoned nurses struggle with new technologies and feel disadvantaged. You should show compassion and understanding to this challenge, and, if needed, allow for additional training time to increase their comfort level. Rather than laying down the law, sometimes a nurse just wants to hear that you are listening and acknowledge their concerns and frustrations.
4. Put the Patient First
Nurses don't get into nursing for the money. Most want to make a difference in the lives of others and are concerned with their patients first and foremost. If they think they are being forced to use a new system for the hospital's bottom-line then chances are that they will resist. Point-of-care systems are ultimately for the patient's benefit and this needs to be made clear that this is primary goal of using the technology.
5. Feed Them
The small investment of a catered meal can really help to persuade nurses to rise to a challenge. It's not so much that nurses can be bought-off with food, but it's that nurses often feel underappreciated and overlooked. Taking the time to show your appreciation with a nice lunch can increase morale and get nurses to more easily accept change and adopt point-of-care systems.
6. Designate Super Users
Super Users can mean the difference between the success and failure of a point-of-care implementation. You want to designate Super Users than can take the lead in making sure that your staff adequately understands technologies long after training has ended. These nurses should be skilled in patient care and have the ability to learn quickly and train others. Many facilities choose to incentivize these roles with pay or other benefits. The better Super Users you have, the better compliance you will have with a point-of-care system.
7. Ask For Input
Nurses know their stuff and if you ask them most are willing to share their knowledge and their opinions with you. If you are building an EMR system that you expect your nurses to use and take ownership of, then it's a good idea that you get them involved from the beginning to make sure it meets their needs. If you don’t already have nurses working in your IT department, you should probably hire a few and make sure they have a good rapport with your nursing staff.
In summation, if you want nurses to use point-of-care systems then just be honest with them, remain positive, and demonstrate value in the point-of-care system. If you are implementing a new system or upgrading your current one, you should start early and include nurses in building and continue to keep them involved at a super user level. Give plenty of time for nurses to feel comfortable with the system and acknowledge their concerns and frustrations. Above all else keep the focus on the patient while showing appreciate and understanding for nurses and their needs.