In 2011, Mason General Hospital was named by Hospitals & Health Networks magazine as one of the “Most Wired” hospitals in the United States. What makes this particularly significant is that Mason General is a small, 25-bed, rural hospital in the state of Washington. It credits its success to nurse Eileen Branscome, director of clinical informatics. Under her leadership, the hospital adopted such innovations as visual smart boards where real-time patient information is always available. According to the magazine, those hospitals designated as “Most Wired” “show better outcomes in patient satisfaction, risk-adjusted mortality rates, and other key quality measures through the use of information technology (IT)” (Mason General Hospital and Family of Clinics, 2012).
Developments in information technology have enabled patients and health care providers to collaborate for quality improvement at an unprecedented level, and nurses have consistently been at the forefront of these efforts. This week you focus on the IOM report “To Err Is Human” and consider how health information technology has helped to address the issues of patient safety and quality health care.