The potential of information technology for nurses in primary care: a review of issues and trends
This article presents a review of current issues and trends in the use of information technology (IT) by nurses in primary care. Its aim is to raise awareness of the particular problems faced by nurses, and so it is not aimed at the IT expert but at the primary care nurse, researcher or educator who seeks a wider perspective on the issues involved. It is not the purpose of this paper to offer specific solutions to the problems; these will be discussed in further publications. The first section highlights recent policy changes in the area of information technology that are already affecting nurses in primary care. The second section addresses some of the barriers to progress in this area, which should be taken into account if the Government's vision of an IT-rich health service is to be achieved. To draw attention to the fact that nurses in other countries face similar issues to those in the UK, we include a wide selection of international as well as national literature. Finally, the third section suggests how these barriers might be overcome, and identifies emerging trends.(Published Online October 31 2006)
Key Words: information technology; nursing; nursing education; primary care.
c1 Address for correspondence: Dr Laurence Alpay, Prinses Annalaan 488, 2263XX Leidschendam, The Netherlands.