The Barriers and Benefits of Nursing Information Systems

CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing
July 1997 
Volume 15  Number 4
Pages 191 -

  Nursing informatics is a growing field with many opportunities for nursing involvement. Because nurses are involved increasingly in the design, installation, and use of nursing information systems (NIS) it is important that they are aware of the barriers to and benefits of nursing information systems. This article describes the evolution of nursing information systems and the design goals for current systems. The lack of a unified nursing language and individual and organizational factors such as characteristics of the nurse, the unit, the administrative philosophy, and workload issues are discussed as barriers to NIS development. Increased nurse involvement, education, research, and recognition of the benefits of computerization are suggested to overcome the barriers. A review of the literature provides the reader with evidence of improved efficiency, patient safety and satisfaction, and ability to measure quality as benefits of NIS. Areas for further research are identified: outcomes measurement using NIS, decision support and expert systems, point-of-care documentation, interagency and interdisciplinary communication, and further work on individual and organizational factors.

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