Evaluation of a web enabled care planning and documentation system within aged care settings

Bill Koch


A previous research project by the author demonstrated that the use of computer software known as an expert system could successfully provide decision support to nurses within aged care settings. Such software mimics the reasoning processes used by experts in a particular domain, which in this case was nursing diagnosis. Nurses in the study reported in this article also provided positive feedback stating that the software was easy to use, saved time, improved standards of documentation, and provided a vicarious educational experience. They also identified additional functionality which was needed if the program was to be more useful to them. As a result of this feedback the program was re-written to run via the Internet. This article reports the results of a survey mailed to users of this revised version of the software. The educational impact of using the program was again reported, along with perceived benefits to both residents and nurses. Issues of implementation and use were identified which should help managers rolling out computerised systems in aged care facilities. The software impacted positively upon workload and was reported as easy to use by users. Finally, and of immediate value, the views of nurses obtained in this survey will be reflected in ongoing discussions with user groups and forthcoming iterations of the software. The small sample size is acknowledged as a limitation in this study.


Application Service Provider; Computer Systems; Documentation

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