Value of wireless personal digital assistants for practice: perceptions of advanced practice nurses


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Abstract

Aims and objectivesThe aims were to explore advanced practice nurses' perceptions on wireless Personal Digital Assistant technologies, to establish the type and range of tools that would be useful to support their practice and to identify any requirements and limitations that may impact the implementation of wireless Personal Digital Assistants in practice.BackgroundThe wireless Personal Digital Assistant is becoming established as a hand-held computing tool for healthcare professionals. The reflections of advanced practice nurses' about the value of wireless Personal Digital Assistants and its potential to contribute to improved patient care has not been investigated.DesignA qualitative interpretivist design was used to explore advanced practice nurses' perceptions on the value of wireless Personal Digital Assistant technologies to support their practice.MethodsThe data were collected using survey questionnaires and individual and focus group interviews with nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists and information technology managers based in British Columbia, Canada. An open-coding content analysis was performed using qualitative data analysis software.ResultsWireless Personal Digital Assistant's use supports the principles of pervasivity and is a technology rapidly being adopted by advanced practice nurses. Some nurses indicated a reluctance to integrate wireless Personal Digital Assistant technologies into their practices because of the cost and the short technological life cycle of these devices. Many of the barriers which precluded the use of wireless networks within facilities are being removed. Nurses demonstrated a complex understanding of wireless Personal Digital Assistant technologies and gave good rationales for its integration in their practice.ConclusionsNurses identified improved client care as the major benefit of this technology in practice and the type and range of tools they identified included clinical reference tools such as drug and diagnostic/laboratory reference applications and wireless communications.Relevance to clinical practiceNurses in this study support integrating wireless mobile computing technologies into their practice to improve client care.

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