Measuring nursing work: evaluation of the pilot of a patient dependency system in hospitals in Victoria, Australia
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Barnett, AP and Bird, B and Francis, K and Pinikahana, J, Measuring nursing work: evaluation of the pilot of a patient dependency system in hospitals in Victoria, Australia, Asian Journal of Nursing, 11, (1) pp. 30-35. ISSN 1818-6270 (2008) [Refereed Article]
Aim: TrendCare, a computerised patient dependency system, was first implemented in a number of hospitals in Victoria, Australia, in 2003. The patient dependency system pilot study involved 20 hospitals and 80 wards and departments, representing 96 patient-care areas between 2003 and 2004. The aim of this evaluation was to explore whether clinical nurses involved in the pilot study thought that the data produced by the patient dependency system was useful and could assist them in the allocation of resources for managing workloads efficiently. Methods: A population approach was adopted for the survey component of the evaluation, with 4128 questionnaires distributed to all nurses using the patient dependency system at the pilot sites. 1478 questionnaires were returned, giving a response rate of 35.8%. Results: The respondents rated the user friendliness and their understanding of the components of the piloted patient dependency system quite highly. According to 86.6% of respondents, access to computers in their workplace was reasonable or better However, the perceived ability of the piloted patient dependency system to adequately capture the acuity of particular patient groups was more variable, with respondents indicating less confidence in the system to accurately capture patient acuity in more specialist clinical areas. Conclusions: While the study revealed potential applications for the TrendCare patient dependency system, it also uncovered areas that needed to be addressed for the further development and implementation of the system in the hospital environment. A longer and more comprehensive pilot study is required to fully explore the full potential of the TrendCare patient dependency system in the clinical environment. © 2008 Scientific Communications International Limited.
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