Users Can Do Better with PDAs Than Paper: A Usability Study of PDA-Based vs. Paper-Based Nursing Documentation Systems
Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) are a viable technology for providing access to Electronic Medical Records at the point-of-care. However, acceptance of this technology by clinicians will depend on how easy they can make the transition from the system they normally use to a PDA-based system. Since many hospitals are still using paper-based patient record systems this study intends to provide some insight on the aspects that need to be considered in the transition from a paper-based system to a PDA-based system. The study compares the interaction of nurses with PDA-based and paper-based nursing documentation systems in terms of performance and subjective satisfaction. Twenty staff nurses from a metropolitan hospital performed twelve tasks on each system. The study supports the conclusion that a PDA-based nursing documentation system can be superior to a paper-based system in term of performance for tasks that don’t required writing notes. Nurses were significantly more satisfied with the PDA-based system than with the paper-based system with every interaction and system aspect evaluated on the study. In general the results of the study provide hard evidence to predict an easy transition for nurses from a paper-based system to a PDA-based system nursing documentation system.
Keywordsmobile devices PDAs usability medical informatics
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