1. Schmidt, Donna Y. RN, FACHE, CSC
  2. Pinkerton, Sue Ellen PhD, RN, FAAN, CSC

Article Content

Background and Significance:

Nurses are expected to assume additional, unplanned, unexpected responsibilities each day while they simultaneously conduct their existing, multiple other responsibilities. This situation is referred to as complexity compression (CC) and impacts patient safety and quality outcomes, staff safety, and the cognitive complexity of the work of nursing. The impact of health information technology on CC indicators is purported to diminish CC.


Specific Aims:

The aim was to identify high-impact and high-frequency CC indicators and select health information technologies that would have the capacity to decrease work environment stressors.


Data and Methods:

This study surveyed staff nurses' perceptions in six hospitals. Two existing research instruments were combined to create a single tool designed to elicit data from respondents focused on the two central study constructs. The research was a survey design with classic correlation analysis for quantitative data and content analysis for qualitative data.



Overall, findings support a difference in staff nurse perceptions of CC in Magnet and non-Magnet hospitals. High-impact and high-frequency CC indicators are related to health information technology availability and opportunities.



Specific CC indicators were found to be related to health information technologies that impact patient quality and safety outcomes, professional practice, and organizational processes. This diagnostic survey can supply direction for implementation of select health information technologies.


Section Description

We are pleased to share the paper presentation abstracts from the Summer Institute in Nursing Informatics, Informatics at the Point of Care: A Barrier or a Bridge?, held at the University of Maryland School of Nursing, July 22 to 25, 2009. The program, chaired by Dr Judy Ozbolt, was a great success. Each of the following abstracts was selected for presentation by a peer-review committee.