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Keywords

Computerized technology, Implementation, Key personnel and management, Palliative care

 

Authors

  1. ANDRE, BEATE RN
  2. RINGDAL, GERD INGER PhD
  3. LOGE, JON H. MD, PhD
  4. RANNESTAD, TORIL RN, PhD
  5. KAASA, STEIN MD, PhD

Abstract

Symptom assessment is an important issue in palliative care. Computer technology is now available for use in such assessments. The aims of the present study were to investigate the factors that can promote implementation of computer technology in a palliative care unit. Symptom assessment by use of handheld computers combined with a database for storing the assessments and other clinical data were introduced in 2001 at the Palliative Medicine Unit of Trondheim University Hospital. Seventeen respondents (nurses, physicians, and physiotherapists) participated in an in-depth interview. The themes presented in this article are perceived aims, training, information, and communication. A qualitative approach was used in analyzing the data. All the respondents expressed a wish for a resource person, and the expectations regarding this person differed, because this person had to be present at the unit, should provide quick help, should be a driving force, and should be responsible for training and teaching. There is a need for skilled and motivated key personnel in the unit if implementation is to be successful.