If your hospital is part of or planning to be part of one of the Recovery Act Beacon Community Program participants or any of the other HITECH Act programs then you are probably excited to be part of a program that will improve patient care for people. But on the other hand you may be worried about the stress that taking the time to learn new technology will put on your nursing staff and their ability to deliver patient care during the conversion process.
Helping with patient care
One way to deal with this is through the utilization of travel nurses who can step in and fill gaps in patient care while your perm staff goes through their training on the new systems. This works out well because of the temporary nature of travel nursing assignments as well as the flexibility most travel nursing companies can accommodate when it comes to extending assignments if the training and implementation takes longer than expected.
Helping with systems
Another benefit of having travel nurses in your facility during this process is that many have experience with multiple different records and computer systems. This experience can make them valuable resources in the process of training your permanent staff as well if they have experience in the one you are moving to. In addition, even if they have not had direct experience with your new system, their ability to and background in having to learn new systems quickly when they move to a new assignment could also be an asset to your unit during this time.
So if your hospital is planning on making this move, then be sure to contact your travel nursing company to make arrangements to ensure you will be sufficiently staffed when the time comes. And if you are unsure if your hospital is preparing for this, check with your IT department to see what they are planning.