National Nurses United

Registered Nurse September 2009

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Contents FEATURES 11 Health Information Technology Basics Hospitals and other healthcare institutions are fast adopting a plethora of health information technology systems purported to cut costs, reduce medical errors, and modernize healthcare. But is all this hardware and software really a panacea? As patient advocates, RNs must think critically about these technologies, and this primer will help you learn the basics. DEPARTMENTS 4 News Briefs CNA/NNOC's 2009 national convention preps RNs for national movement; After three-year struggle, Fremont-Rideout RNs win first contract; Florida RNs prepare to submit ratio bill; Maine RNs exercise technology language; Ohio RNs lobby for national staffing ratio bill and vet candidates for Senate; Wilkes-Barre General Hospital RNs wage major public campaign for contract under new owner while Pennsylvania RNs move toward state ratio bill; Texas RNs enforce direct-care RN requirement in new staffing law. 11 9 A Shot in the Arm How our win of a single-payer resolution at the AFL-CIO signifies that healthcare change is coming. By Rose Ann DeMoro Listen to a podcast interview about health IT with Linette Davis, an educator with the Institute for Health and Socio-Economic Policy, on the Nurse Talk website: 4 correction: The July-August 2009 issue erroneously reported on page 17 the year in which CNA/NNOC fought against California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's attempted rollback of the ratio law. The correct year was 2005. on the cover: Photos by William Whitehurst/Corbis and thomasd007/ SEPTEMBER 2009 W W W. C A L N U R S E S . O R G REGISTERED NURSE 3

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