Mount Desert Island RNs Press Hospital on Patient Safety
Nurses Cite Concerns on Proper Use of Healthcare Technology
Registered nurses at Mount Desert Island Hospital in Bar Harbor, Me. Are calling on hospital administrators to take action to improve patient safety, especially on the appropriate use of healthcare technology.
The RNs, represented by the Maine State Nurses Association/National Nurses United, say they remain at loggerheads with the hospital administration over a new collective bargaining contract even with the presence of a federal mediator.
MDIH RNs are asking that the hospital agree to contract language that allows bedside nurses to have significant input in the implementation and use of patient care technology. Management representatives have not agreed to allow nurses any input into these critical issues and were also unwilling to extend the contract. Nurses at MDI have been working with out a contract since May 12.
The Nurses maintain that improvement in the way the hospital implements and maintains patient care technology needs to be part of this contract settlement.
Nationally, NNU recently launched a national public advocacy campaign which, among other issues, highlights RN concerns about the role of technology at the bedside, which includes a video about problems with “Computer Care.” The video and radio ads may be viewed at www.insistonanRN.org.
“New technology to fix some old problems has created new ones. Our “computers on wheels” are ten years old. They break down, they drop connections and they cause delays in care. The hospital administration then replaced these devices with a model that nurses had recommended against for the same short comings. Nurses here at MDI know what best what kind of technology we need for our patients. We want the right to meaningful input on this issue.” Said Doris Plumer, RN in the Med/Surg at MDIH.
Nurses represented by MSNA/NNU at MDIH have been working toward improvements in technology through their Professional Practice Committee. Unfinished computerized protocols, limitations on CPSI and inadequate training on new technology are issues the hospital has committed to fix over two years ago, but has yet to implement any solutions.
At this time, no further bargaining dates have been scheduled, but the MSNA/NNU bargaining team has indicated to MDIH that they are willing to meet at any time to resolve these issues.