Perceptions of Hospital IT and Nursing

In response to my post about the Old Boys Club of Healthcare IT, David Allinder, RN offered these interesting perceptions of IT and nursing. These are generalizations, but worth considering:

PERCEPTIONS OF IT: The IT department is sealed behind coded doors locked away from patient care. The only way to contact them is by calling the help desk (which usually doesnt). Time is taken away from patient care to sit on hold for what seems like forever. And then after you define your issue they say let me contact the IT person they will call you back.

PERCEPTIONS OF NURSING: Nurses are control freaks with OCD issues. No one had better mess with my unit, pateints, processes, workflow. Nursing is sitting in a hallway with opened desks with call lights and phones constantly ringing they are there to respond instantly to demands and requests. Nursing are at the bedside taking care of patients. Electronic devices take too much time away from the patient care. I cant do my job because the stinking computer is broken AGAIN.

Don LeBreux summarized my feelings on the above comments, “Your “perceptions” are basically dead on. Funny and sad.”

What strategies have you seen that work to bridge the divide and overcome these perceptions?

About the author

John Lynn

John Lynn

John Lynn is the Founder of the, a network of leading Healthcare IT resources. The flagship blog, Healthcare IT Today, contains over 13,000 articles with over half of the articles written by John. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 20 million times.

John manages Healthcare IT Central, the leading career Health IT job board. He also organizes the first of its kind conference and community focused on healthcare marketing, Healthcare and IT Marketing Conference, and a healthcare IT conference,, focused on practical healthcare IT innovation. John is an advisor to multiple healthcare IT companies. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can be found on Twitter: @techguy.


  • Smart phones may change that.
    When I call another physician and cannot get through, I give my cellphone number not the institutional number. It saves loads of time and frustration for the doc calling back.
    There are potential serious consequences of radios (all cell phones are radios, right? Whether bluetooth to the tower down the block.) that can screw up electronic medical devices, cardiac monitors and IV delivery devices come to mind, but those problems are now more than a decade old and may be solved.

  • DocJim,
    I’ve been helping out a company called docBeat: and we’ve seen exactly what you describe. Doctors are good with direct connections to other doctors. Many want to even be able to text, but need a secure way to do it.

  • Your preceptions article is a little out of date. Most progressive hospital IT Departments have Clinical analysts that work directly with and for the clinical Nursing Units and clinical staff. These analysts are liasions that straddel that IT arena and the clinical areas. The Project teams that select and install clinical systems should all have clinical analysts actively working on the team.

  • GK,
    I’m familiar with what you’re talking about, but in most cases those clinical analysts are still usually seen as “clinician friendly” or “IT friendly.” So, people group the clinical analyst in whichever group they came from.

    I’m not saying that these perceptions can’t be overcome. I’m also not saying that they happen in every clinical environment, but I am saying that they generally show themselves and it is worth taking them into account and hopefully overcome them.

  • Hi There Emrandhipaa,
    I know what you mean, Registered nurses work to help patients deal with illness, promote health and prevent disease. They are health educators and advocates for communities, families and patients. When rendering direct patient care they examine, access and record the reactions, symptoms and progress. They help physicians during examinations and treatments, handle medications and aid in rehabilitation and convalescence. RNs also administer nursing care plans, guide patients and their families in right care and help groups and individuals to take steps to maintain or improve their health.
    Good Job!

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