1. Sapnas, Kathryn PhD, RN, CCRN, CNOR
  2. Martin, Wayne G. MS, BSN, RN
  3. Shelton, Thomas A. MS, BSN, RN
  4. Hope, Kevin P. BS, CCNA, MCP
  5. Ward-Presson, Kathryn MSN, RN, CNAA, BC

Article Content

Background: Complexity and rapid change are natural components of the current health information technology landscape. Wireless technology has emerged as a means to enhance timely data collection, transfer, accessibility, and retrieval. There is a dearth of literature on the clinical experience of end users with wireless point-of-care technology. Clinicians depend on devices supported by network technology, such as the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Bar Code Medication Administration, and the Computerized Patient Record System. Current plans call for implementation of enterprise health technology for expansion to wireless point-of-care technology (bar code expansion) that will include blood collection, blood transfusion documentation, code blue interventions, and wireless medication administration.


Strategies: The development of collaborative interdisciplinary strategies assists in the management of wireless networks and is critical to the delivery of timely and safe healthcare. Seamless care delivery occurs in environments in which stakeholders address and respond to clinical issues that have an impact on patient care with the use of this emerging technology. The assessed sustainability of dynamic wireless technology as a safe, reliable, and efficient point-of-care technology must continue to be evaluated and explored. Clinical examples provided a baseline for programmatic wireless program development and evaluation. Ongoing assessment of physical plant, equipment, wireless system reliability, security, and stakeholder and end user knowledge is needed.


Evaluation: Observation of clinical nursing practice, documentation of wireless service interruptions, and impact on patient care were systematically analyzed by the nurse lead multidisciplinary team. Wireless signal strength, roaming history, access point load, wireless phone interference, noise, and type and location of antenna were critical factors assessed in the wireless site survey. "Lessons learned" led to the development and implementation of rapid response methods and "best practices."


Conclusion: Synergy is crucial in the development and maintenance of the inner workings of all stakeholder relationships because issues of network stability, robustness, and reliability have an impact on efficient, effective, and timely patient care delivery. The development of collaborative interdisciplinary strategies assists in the management of wireless networks and is paramount in the delivery of timely and safe healthcare. Nurses in organizational leadership positions with an informatics focus need increased awareness of the potential impact that networks and wireless technology has on nursing care workflow and technology-dependent operational systems.