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Information Resources Management Association
Advancing the Concepts & Practices of Information Resources Management in Modern Organizations

Simulations to AssessMedication Administration Systems

Simulations to AssessMedication Administration Systems
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Author(s): Elizabeth M. Borycki (University of Victoria, Canada), Andre W. Kushniruk (University of Victoria, Canada), Shigeki Kuwata (Tottori University Hospital, Japan) and Hiromi Watanabe (Tottori University Hospital, Japan)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 16
Source title: Nursing and Clinical Informatics: Socio-Technical Approaches
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Bettina Staudinger (University for Health Sciences, Medical Informatics and Technology, Austria), Victoria Höß (University for Health Sciences, Medical Informatics and Technology, Austria) and Herwig Ostermann (University for Health Sciences, Medical Informatics and Technology, Austria)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-234-3.ch010


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A range of new technologies/information systems are increasingly being used by nurses in healthcare organizations. These technologies/information systems are being implemented in clinical settings in order to reduce errors associated with the medication administration process. At present, few published articles report empirical findings on the effects of using electronic medication administration systems where nurses’ work is concerned. This chapter reports that there are both intended and unintended consequences, associated with implementing such systems in the clinical setting. Simulation methods can be used to assess the impact of integrating new technology/information systems into the nurses’ work environment prior to full-scale implementation of a health technology/information system. Simulations as an evaluative tool emerged from a direct need to assess unintended and intended consequences of health information systems upon nurses’ work before systems are fully implemented. Simulations, as an evaluative methodology, emerged from the cognitive-socio-technical literature. Methods for analyzing workflow and conducting simulations of user behavior can be used to assess and improve the cognitive-socio-technical fit of technologies/information systems. They can be used to identify work and workflow problems (i.e. unintended consequences) involving health technologies/information systems as they are designed, developed, procured, purchased and implemented. Nurse informatician use of simulations to assess and test health technologies/information systems will allow nurses to determine the impact of a new software and/or hardware upon aspects of nurses’ work before its implementation to allow for appropriate system modifications.

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