Home and Community Care Digest
Method: Two focus group sessions were conducted including users of point-of-care laptop computers. Participants included home care managers and clinicians. The focus groups were conducted after one and two years of PCIS use.
Findings: Health care providers using a PCIS for two years found that while the tool allowed them to work more independently, it had also driven them to change their practice style. These clinicians found their day-to-day clinical activities unpredictable because of difficulties they had navigating the system and accessing clinical information. Clinical information should be housed in an accessible framework to facilitate timely data capture and retrieval.
In home care, the end-user interface is even more unique because the environment in which the interaction occurs is constantly changing. The user needs access to information technology that is lightweight and portable, has long battery life, and is ergonomic. With the rise of home health care, the ease and structure for entering text is increasingly becoming a more critical aspect of patient care information systems.
Conclusions: The user interface is critical to the acceptance and use of the technology, as the human-computer interaction is paramount for day-to-day practice. A successful PCIS should be easy to learn, easy to use in a care setting with the patient present, and customizable by the end-user. The unique information needs and requirements of home health care providers must be carefully addressed for effective use of PCIS.
Reference: Struk C. The end use of home care computer technology… the clinician. Home Healthcare Nurse 2002; 20(7):466-469.
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