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The effect of nursing participation in the design of a critical care information system: a case study in a Chinese hospital.

  • Academic Journal
  • BMC Medical Informatics & Decision Making; 12/6/2017, Vol. 17, p1-12, 12p, 1 Diagram, 5 Charts
  • Background: Intensive care information systems (ICIS) are continuously evolving to meet the ever changing information needs of intensive care units (ICUs), providing the backbone for a safe, intelligent and efficient patient care environment. Although beneficial for the international advancement in building smart environments to transform ICU services, knowledge about the contemporary development of ICIS worldwide, their usage and impacts is limited. This study aimed to fill this knowledge gap by researching the development and implementation of an ICIS in a Chinese hospital, nurses' use of the system, and the impact of system use on critical care nursing processes and outcomes.Methods: This descriptive case study was conducted in a 14-bed Respiratory ICU in a tertiary hospital in Beijing. Participative design was the method used for ICU nurses, hospital IT department and a software company to collaboratively research and develop the ICIS. Focus group discussions were conducted to understand the subjective perceptions of the nurses toward the ICIS. Nursing documentation time and quality were compared before and after system implementation. ICU nursing performance was extracted from the annual nursing performance data collected by the hospital.Results: A participative design process was followed by the nurses in the ICU, the hospital IT staff and the software engineers in the company to develop and implement a highly useful ICIS. Nursing documentation was fully digitized and was significantly improved in quality and efficiency. The wrong data, missing data items and calculation errors were significantly reduced. Nurses spent more time on direct patient care after the introduction of the ICIS. The accuracy and efficiency of medication administration was also improved. The outcome was improvement in ward nursing performance as measured by ward management, routine nursing practices, disinfection and isolation, infection rate and mortality rate.Conclusions: Nurses in this ICU unit in China actively participated in the ICIS development and fully used the system to document care. Introduction of the ICIS led to significant improvement in quality and efficiency in nursing documentation, medication order transcription and administration. It allowed nurses to spend more time with patients to improve quality of care. These led to improvement in overall nursing performance. Further study should investigate how the ICIS system contributes to the improvement in decision making of ICU nurses and intensivists. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
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