The authors describe a study to plan and implement an information system for nurses. The objectives were to (1) determine the clinical information needs of nurses; (2) adapt an existing clinical information system (CLINT) to address their expressed needs; and (3) evaluate nurses’ use of and satisfaction with the enhanced system.
Thirty-nine nurses on a medical teaching unit in a tertiary hospital in Canada participated in the project. A needs assessment influenced the design of the nursing interface to CLINT and the development of educational and participatory strategies to promote its use. Data were collected before, after, and throughout the implementation period. Qualitative and quantitative methods, including focus groups, online questionnaires, and automated usage data collection, were used to describe nurses’ use of and satisfaction with the system.
The results suggested that peer mentorship, organizational support, and collaboration were the most effective strategies for promoting system use. The hospital information system (IHIS), Netscape, drug information and basic texts were the most frequently used databases. Nurses were satisfied with the system and reported progress in changing clinical practice. CLINT helped them to keep up with educational and professional development.
In conclusions, nurses are willing to use information systems that are relevant to their needs and user friendly. There is, however, a paucity of resources available for evidence-based clinical decision making.