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Keywords

Australia, Information technology, Nurses' attitudes, Nursing informatics, Survey

 

Authors

  1. ELEY, ROBERT PhD
  2. SOAR, JEFFREY PhD
  3. BUIKSTRA, ELIZABETH PhD
  4. FALLON, TONY PhD
  5. HEGNEY, DESLEY PhD, RN

Abstract

This article reports on the views of Australian nurses as to their use of computers in the workplace. Data were collected by questionnaires mailed to 10 000 members of the 150 000-member Australian Nursing Federation, which represents 60% of the Australian nursing workforce. The response rate was 43.3%. Computer use was 20% by assistants in nursing, rising to 75% by enrolled nurses and to more than 95% by RNs. Principal uses for the computers by the nurses were for access to patients' records and for internal communication. Most respondents (79%) agreed that the use of computers had improved information access. Only 9.4% considered that adoption of a national electronic health record would not be useful to healthcare. Fewer than 5% stated that they have no interest in computers, and 87% considered that their age was never or rarely a barrier to their use of the technology. However, not all aspects of computer introduction to nursing were positive. The proportions of respondents who considered that the use of computers had made their work easier, reduced duplication of data entry, and reduced errors in handing patient data were only 42%, 32%, and 31%, respectively. Results demonstrate a positive attitude toward information technology by Australian nurses but identify issues that must be addressed to support continued interest and engagement.