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J Adv Nurs. 2015 Mar;71(3):620-31. doi: 10.1111/jan.12529. Epub 2014 Sep 23.

The use of electronic devices for communication with colleagues and other healthcare professionals - nursing professionals' perspectives.

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1
Satakunta Hospital District / University of Turku, Department of Nursing Science, Pori, Finland.

Abstract

AIM:

The aim of the study is to describe nursing professionals' experiences of the use of electronic devices for communication with colleagues and other healthcare professionals.

BACKGROUND:

Information and communication technology applications in health care are rapidly expanding, thanks to the fast-growing penetration of the Internet and mobile technology. Communication between professionals in health care is essential for patient safety and quality of care. Implementing new methods for communication among healthcare professionals is important.

DESIGN:

A cross-sectional survey was used in the study.

METHODS:

The data were collected in spring 2012 using an electronic questionnaire with structured and open-ended questions. The target group comprised the nursing professionals (N = 567, n = 123) in one healthcare district who worked in outpatient clinics in publically funded health care in Finland.

FINDINGS:

Nursing professionals use different electronic devices for communication with each other. The most often used method was email, while the least used methods were question-answer programmes and synchronous communication channels on the Internet. Communication using electronic devices was used for practical nursing, improving personnel competences, organizing daily operations and administrative tasks. Electronic devices may speed up the management of patient data, improve staff cooperation and competence and make more effective use of working time. The obstacles were concern about information security, lack of technical skills, unworkable technology and decreasing social interaction.

CONCLUSION:

According to our findings, despite the obstacles related to use of information technology, the use of electronic devices to support communication among healthcare professionals appears to be useful.

KEYWORDS:

communication; electronic device; information and communication technology; nursing personnel

PMID:
25250739
DOI:
10.1111/jan.12529
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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