RSSArchive for November, 2009

Sim Man 3G becoming more common in nursing education

Many facilities across the nation are investing in state-of-the art technology that allows students and staff members to gain real life experience without the fear of killing a patient.

The high-tech mannequin, Sim Man 3G, costs roughly $27,000, but can cost up to $60,000 with additional accessories and programs available for download onto the mannequin. Even though many facilities have been forced to cut back on their programs and spending, the price of Sim Man 3G has not deterred facilities from purchasing the state-of-the are technology. [more]

Apple’s iTouch and iPhones connect nurses in Florida hospital

On any given day at Sarasota Memorial Healthcare System in Florida, the overhead page was going off every three minutes. And when a patient is in pain and trying to recover, that can be an issue.

So Sarasota Memorial brought peace and quiet—along with improved healthcare—to its hospital by supplying Apple’s iTouch to its nurses.

With help from Voalte, a startup developing point-of-care communications company that uses mobile technology, Sarasota began a 60-day pilot program in June where 25 iPod Touches were given to nurses on one specific floor with the goal of reducing the amount of noise and inefficiency involved in paging.

The iTouches reduced the number of pages in eight hours from 172 to 38, while the devices received an average of 4,000 messages a day—along with positive comments from the patients on the floor. [more]

Announcing Patient Safety Monitor!

Have you ever needed to look up a hospital regulation in a neighboring state and not known where to look? Or have you needed to double check your state’s current regulation on patient identification, and had no time to go searching for the information? Well look no further!

HCPro launched its newest product earlier this week: Patient Safety Monitor, an online resource for your patient safety needs. The main feature is the Crosswalk, which organizes many patient safety-related regulations by what is required by The Joint Commission, CMS,  and all 50 states. The product also features the monthly newsletter Briefings on Patient Safety, a tools library, access to our popular “Patient Safety Talk” listserv, and weekly news alert.

The Patient Safety Monitor blog is actually a part of the larger Patient Safety Monitor product, and you’ll now notice a link back to the home page in the “links” section in the righthand column of the blog. If you’re already a subscriber of Briefings on Patient Safety, you now have access to Patient Safety Monitor as part of your subscription.

If you’re interested in finding out more about Patient Safety Monitor, be sure to check out the demo. You can also sign up for a free 7-day trial.

California nurses union calls off strike about H1N1

Last week, the California Nurses Union (CNU/NNOC) reached a dramatic settlement that prevented a nurse strike and will establish a national standard on containing the spread of pandemics such as H1N1, also known as the “swine flu.”

Originally set to strike on October 30—over the issue of protecting nurses from the H1N1 virus—CNU/NNOC called off the strike on Tuesday, October 27. The strike would have involved more than 13,000 registered nurses in 32 hospitals in the San Francisco-based Catholic Healthcare West (CHW) hospitals in California and Nevada.

The new agreement calls for the creation of a systemwide task force where CNA/NNOC RNs and hospital representatives will focus on the declaration of pandemic emergencies with the help of facility infection control teams. The task force will monitor the full implementation of federal, state, and local guidelines. They will also set up standards regarding checking the availability of proper safety equipment, communication and training policies for all hospital personnel, and consideration of off-site emergency triage and treatment.

Under the settlement, all CHW facilities need an employer agreement to comply with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and California Occupational Safety and Health Administration, along with those rules set in the CNA/NNOC contract. All CHW nurses will be provided the proper equipment and attire to prevent further spread of any virus, and facilities will provide each staff member with the proper training and information on communicable diseases to which they may have been exposed.

Forty-eight states have now reported widespread flu activity, and the death toll from the H1N1 virus in the United States has climbed to more than 1,000 cases, including more than 100 children. Thirty million doses of the vaccine have gone out to health departments, physician’s offices, and other providers, with hopes of delivering 120 million in the near future.

Does your facility provide staff members with education about pandemics? Do you think other states will follow California’s example? What are ways your facility helps prevent the spread of H1N1 virus?