27 November 2005

Tip of the Day for Parents

Make sure the time and date setting on the monitors are the actual time and date. Today I discovered the monitor was set 40 minutes ahead of actual time – a difference clearly not a result of a daylight savings time change (one nurse’s theory) and just enough to make it impossible to trace cause and effect for, say, what happened during a nurse’s 30-minute meal break or in the event of a reaction to a new medication.

Tip: When your child is admitted, and again each day, verify the monitor has the correct time and date, located at the very top of the Agilent HR/Resp/SpO2 monitor in this format: 27 Nov 05 18:30.

Why is this important? If you need to trace cause-and-effect between a medication and a procedure, a level-of-attention concern, or any other issue you need the electronic record to match the manual entries of the doctors and nurses.

Today’s Outcome: After my intervention, nurses went room-to-room and reset all of the monitors on the floor to the correct time and date. Yet another example of how one parent’s attention to detail and intervention into the organization can improve medical care for all children.