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Keywords:

  • focus groups;
  • nurses;
  • nursing;
  • nursing information systems;
  • qualitative study;
  • users’ experiences

Aim and objective.  The purpose of this study was to explore nurses’ experiences during the first year of the installation of a nursing information system (NIS). The objective was to identify the major issues that emerged regarding the users’ concerns of this technology in their daily practice.

Background.  The success of the implementation of an information system depends mostly on the users’ acceptance of this technology; however, nurses’ experience of a system installation for a particular length of time, as in this study, has seldom been explored. This is a report on a qualitative study that explored nurses’ experiences of a NIS use during the first year of its installation.

Design.  Descriptive qualitative interviews with nurse participants were used to collect data at a medical centre in Taiwan.

Method.  Four focus groups were conducted with the 23 nurse participants in November 2005. The interview guide included questions about the impact of computer use on the nurses’ workflow and the electronic documentation process.

Results.  Six major themes emerged regarding the nurses’ NIS use, including their dissatisfaction with insufficient personal computers and printers, the slow system response time, workflow change, poor content design, decreased charting quality and the impact on their interpersonal relationships.

Conclusions.  Organizations may need to redesign the computer interface, to provide better hardware and to maintain a more reliable network function to meet the nurses’ needs during the adoption process, as well as to modify or devise appropriate documentation regulations.

Relevance to clinical practice.  As they continue to use electronic documentation, nurses may become accustomed to the technology and use it more easily as it becomes the required documentation method. However, understanding the barriers and difficulties they encountered could maximize their technology use and improve both the nursing efficiency and the documentation quality.