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PDA vs. laptop: a comparison of two versions of a nursing documentation application

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7 Author(s)
N. J. Rodriguez ; Center for Comput. Res. & Dev., Puerto Rico Univ., Mayaguez, Puerto Rico ; J. A. Borges ; Y. Soler ; V. Murillo
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A great deal of nursing documentation involves data collection at the point of care. In most inpatient settings this activity is carried out by nurses using paper forms or simply by memorizing the information and documenting it later on the patient's record. These methods for collecting data at point of care delay the update of the patient record and may result in loss of information. PDA (personal digital assistant) technology can help overcome these problems. Their small size and their wireless connection capability make them a viable alternative for collecting and entering patient's data at the point of care. In this paper we describe a usability study in which we compared two versions (PDA and laptop) of a nursing documentation application in terms of the efficiency and satisfaction achieved by nurses while conducting typical tasks. The results of the study indicate that it take nurses significantly less time to look for vital signs measurements, acknowledge a pending medication order, enter I/O measurements and enter a daily assessment on a PDA than on a Laptop. However, it takes them significantly less time to read a paragraph, enter a set of vital sign measurements and write a note on a laptop than on a PDA. The results also indicate that with the exception of writing notes, the overall user satisfaction is very similar for the both systems.

Published in:

Computer-Based Medical Systems, 2003. Proceedings. 16th IEEE Symposium

Date of Conference:

26-27 June 2003