Information Technology, Nurse Staffing, and Patient Needs

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARYAs health care organizations increasingly adopt health information technology, time-sensitive data that track patients' requirements for nursing care and nurses' responsiveness to these needs might be available to support evidence-based nurse staffing decisions.Health care information technologies available in hospitals and on nursing units may provide valuable sources of information that can be translated into usable data.In this study, the usefulness of electronic data obtained from a nurse tracking call light system as a source of information for quality measurement was explored.The findings point to what might be under-utilization of existing health information technology to track patients' needs and nurses' responsiveness, patient census, and patient movements.The authors recommend health information technology be used less as support for other organizational systems and more as an administrative resource that can allow nurse executives to be more actively engaged within and across nursing environments.

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