Effects of computers on nursing resource use. Do computers save nurses time?

G. Hendrickson, C. T. Kovner

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The effects of information systems on nursing resource use are reviewed. The information systems in place in various hospitals differ in major ways; some have an impact on nursing resource use while others do not. Evidence is strong and consistent that computer systems that manage flow of information between nursing units and ancillary departments save time for nurses. The reported findings may even understate the case because workload may have increased during the period of the studies. There is also strong, but unreplicated, evidence that a work plan or electronic Kardex for each patient saves time at report. If nurses are paid for overtime, these savings can translate into cost savings for hospitals. On the other hand, systems that emphasize on-line charting and not communications do not save time. Bedside terminals are too new to have been subjected to careful research by independent investigators, but early reports, which primarily come from vendors, indicate that bedside terminals may further save time and reduce errors. More systematic research into effects of various components is needed to fully document the effect of computers on nurses' time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16-22
Number of pages7
JournalComputers in nursing
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing
  • General Computer Science


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