Food Brings Clinical and IT Together and Other Clinical-IT Perceptions

I’ve gotten quite the response from my post about Hospital IT and Nursing Perceptions on EMR and HIPAA. Since many of you don’t read all the comments (particularly those that are sent to my by email or left on other social media), I thought I’d share a couple of them that I found worth sharing.

First up is what I think is an eternal principle: FOOD!

As an Rn who spent most of 30yrs in IT thus works well:

Advice for Nursing: Sent Pizza
Advice for IT: Bring Doughnuts

Then take the time to listen. Ya gott’a have Big Ears!!!!!!!!!

Since I’m an IT Guy by background, I can assure you that I’ve done amazing work on the back of doughnuts. Although, I think Pizza would have worked for me as well, but it’s hard to beat a great doughnut. I do like the final comment though about listening. I always love “breaking bread” with someone because then you have something special that remains with you after the fact. Plus, I have a great memory and so once I’ve shared a meal with someone I will never forget them (their name maybe, but never them).

This next opinion is a bit stronger (and possibly more cynical), but I hope will start some really good discussion.

I’ll tell you I’m a former clinical lab person who moved to IT, so I have a warped sense of nursing and their perception of their purpose in life from way back.

IT’S PERCEPTION OF IT: We’d be more than happy to double our personnel in order to halve our response time if administration would fork over the budget for it. We have done everything we can think of to speed response time—help desk carries the phone with them at all times so they can answer it regardless where in the hospital they are, we have the capacity via VNC to spy on a session so the person doesn’t have to wait for us to walk over to the nursing unit to see what is going on, and more. If the people other than help desk are not on the phone, they get the call when it is forwarded.

IT’S PERCEPTION OF NURSING: Nurses are control freaks with OCD issues. We have a computer every four feet along every wall in every nursing station, in every patient room, and on wheels so they can be taken anywhere they want. They decide which one they are going to use for the day and, if it dies, they cannot be pried away to a different device. THEIRS is broken. And they have no idea that electronics are part of patient care now, not just an add-on to their work. Too many cannot comprehend that because they don’t feel like scanning a patient armband before giving them meds, it is okay to get the computer off their back by scanning anything with the patient number on it instead—a marvelous way to circumvent patient safety aspects of computerization.

If nursing (and physicians, too, for that matter) spent as much energy deciding they were going to learn how to most efficiently use their electronics as they do complaining about them, there wouldn’t be extra time taken away from patient care. It would become a break-even proposition.

One thing is absolutely certain: it’s not an easy task to bridge the IT and clinical divide. I bet a great book could be written on the subject.

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.