Community nursing needs more silver surfers: a questionnaire survey of primary care nurses' use of information technology
Repository Posting Date2017-06-08T19:22:55Z
Lead Author Sigma AffliationNon-member
Level of EvidenceN/A
Keywordsnursing technology; electronic patient records; Silver Surfers; Information Technology; Information Technology--Utilization; Primary Health Care; Community Health Nursing; Nursing Role; Electronic Health Records; Computers and Computerization; Computers and Computerization--Utilization
CINAHL HeadingsInformation Technology; Information Technology--Utilization; Primary Health Care; Community Health Nursing; Nursing Role; Electronic Health Records; Computers and Computerization; Computers and Computerization--Utilization
Background: In the UK the health service is investing more than ever before in information technology (IT) and primary care nurses will have to work with computers. Information about patients will be almost exclusively held in electronic patient records; and much of the information about best practice is most readily accessible via computer terminals. Objective: To examine the influence of age and nursing profession on the level of computer use. Methods: A questionnaire was developed to examine: access, training received, confidence and use of IT. The survey was carried out in a Sussex Primary Care Trust, in the UK. Results: The questionnaire was sent to 109 nurses with a 64% response rate. Most primary care nurses (89%) use their computer regularly at work: 100% of practice nurses daily, compared with 60% of district nurses and 59% of health visitors (p < 0.01). Access to IT was not significantly different between different age groups; but 91% of practice nurses had their own computer while many district nurses and health visitors had to share (p < 0.01). Nurses over 50 had received more training that their younger colleagues (p < 0.01); yet despite this, they lacked confidence and used computers less (p < 0.001). 96% of practice nurses were confident at in using computerised medical records, compared with 53% of district nurses and 44% of health visitors (p < 0.01.) One-to-one training and workshops were the preferred formats for training, with Internet based learning and printed manuals the least popular (p < 0.001). Conclusions: Using computers in the surgery has become the norm for primary care nurses. However, nurses over 50, working out in the community, lack the confidence and skill of their younger and practice based colleagues.
Funder(s)NHS Research Directorate
DescriptionAll authors conceived the study, and contributed to all aspects of the paper. The major contributions of each author is as follows: TC Analysed the data for the study, SB Recruited the nurses, sent out and collated the questionnaire, SdeL helped develop the questionnaire used in a earlier study and wrote the initial draft of the paper. Indi Munasinghe at CPHVA, and the information officer at RCN, for information about the age distribution of community nurses. This study was supported by KSSnet (Kent Surrey and Sussex Primary Care Research Network); in turn funded by the NHS Research Directorate.
Date of Publication2004-10-07
Citation of Original PublicationChan, T., Brew, S., de Lusignan, S. (2004). Community nursing needs more silver surfers: a questionnaire survey of primary care nurses' use of information technology. BMC Nursing 3 (1). Retrieved from http://www.nursinglibrary.org/vhl/handle/10755/621467
ISSN: BMC Nursing
Version of PublicationPublisher's version
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