Original Research

Experiences of registered nurses with regard to accessing health information at the point-of-care via mobile computing devices

Esmeralda Ricks, Valencia Benjamin, Margaret Williams
Curationis | Vol 38, No 2 | a1498 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/curationis.v38i2.1498 | © 2015 Esmeralda Ricks, Valencia Benjamin, Margaret Williams | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 20 March 2015 | Published: 19 November 2015

About the author(s)

Esmeralda Ricks, Department of Nursing Science, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa
Valencia Benjamin, Campus Health Service, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa
Margaret Williams, Department of Nursing Science, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: The volume of health information necessary to provide competent health care today has become overwhelming. Mobile computing devices are fast becoming an essential clinical tool for accessing health information at the point-of-care of patients.

Objectives: This study explored and described how registered nurses experienced accessing information at the point-of-care via mobile computing devices (MCDs).

Method: A qualitative, exploratory, descriptive and contextual design was used. Ten in–depth interviews were conducted with purposively sampled registered nurses employed by a state hospital in the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality (NMBM). Interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using Tesch’s data analysis technique. Ethical principles were adhered to throughout the study. Guba’s model of trustworthiness was used to confirm integrity of the study.

Results: Four themes emerged which revealed that the registered nurses benefited from the training they received by enabling them to develop, and improve, their computer literacy levels. Emphasis was placed on the benefits that the accessed information had for educational purposes for patients and the public, for colleagues and students. Furthermore the ability to access information at the point-of-care was considered by registered nurses as valuable to improve patient care because of the wide range of accurate and readily accessible information available via the mobile computing device.

Conclusion: The registered nurses in this study felt that being able to access information at the point-of-care increased their confidence and facilitated the provision of quality care because it assisted them in being accurate and sure of what they were doing.


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