I have been using the Epic Rover app on a hospital-provided iPhone for the last few months. It has helped me give medication faster and more efficiently.
Epic Rover uses a “mobile application interface” that enables RNs and other clinicians to give medications, look at patient records, and chart in real time.1 The Epic website lists 4 main innovative features. These features are “touchscreen functionality,” “mobility for core workflows,” “in-app camera access,” and “task management.”1 As far as camera access is concerned, I have already used Epic Rover for wound care documentation. It is my responsibility to document patients’ wounds when a patient is admitted to the unit or when there is a transfer from another unit.
Just as you would with any app, you can download Epic Rover from iTunes for an iPhone and Google Play for an Android phone.2 The clinician can also receive a “clinical summary of allergies, labs, current medications, and intake/output” through the app.2 Hospitals and health care organizations have to be registered with Epic in order for their staff to use the application for this software.1
Once you have been given access to the Epic Rover, you can perform many tasks. The first one that I find useful is verifying the patient’s ID using their date of birth. You hold up the device in front of the barcode on the bracelet, and when you see a dark pink square around the lines, the next thing that happens is that the name is verified. You can then give medications after they have been scanned. This is now called “barcoded medication administration" (BCMA).1 This is all done on a secure server. You can also chart on patient flowsheets and record vital signs, for example.
The nurse is then linked up with Epic’s entire patient care network of services and can access the records in the same manner as if he or she was using a PC or workstation on wheels (WOWs). Although I have been a staff nurse for many years and actually used to write my own medication administration (MAR) sheets by hand, I have always been keen on using technology. I was happy when WOWs were introduced to my setting. I used this for many years, but sometimes the systems were slow to start or they crashed. There you are, in the middle of the shift, at a peak time—or worse, the patient needs pain medication stat, since this is a surgical oncology unit—and the WOW won’t turn on. The other day, a patient asked me when their pain medication and antibiotics were due. I started to say, I will go check the computer, but remembered that I had the iPhone in my pocket. I simply took it out and looked up the information the patient wanted. The same goes for vital signs and blood sugar records. I can see what the last temperature or blood pressure was as well as Accu-Chek. If a doctor approaches me in the hallway or I get a phone call and I need this info, I simply look it up.
How Rover has Helped Me
I have been using the Epic Rover app on a hospital-provided iPhone for the last few months. It has helped me give medication faster and more efficiently. The app scans the wristband, and it pops up as a correct verification, then the medications are scanned. I would say that 99% of the meds scan immediately. Sometimes antibiotics don’t scan, but I have tried to work out the glitches by using different angles and I have had some success. I have also scanned and given insulin and Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN) through the app. My co-workers have been a little bit resistant to embrace this new technology, but now even the die-hard WOW users are coming around.
One of my co-workers was floored when they realized that a few months ago I was using this app ahead of the new younger nurses. I explained to them how I thought this was helping me in the long run and was very useful to my practice.