Electronic Documentation and Care-giving
Our first featured article for the new ANS issue focuses on the most frequently used technologies of the digital age – electronic documentation. The article, by Cynthia A. Gaudet, PhD, RN, CNE, is titled “Electronic Documentation and Nurse-Patient Interaction.” Dr. Gaudet reports the outcome of her micro-ethnographic study to examine the culture that has emerged with the use of electronic documentation. She shared this background about her work for ANS readers:
My interest in electronic documentation grew from my teaching in the clinical setting. I have observed nurses who I have worked with for many years, who share their attention between their patient and the electronic documentation system. I am interested in exploring the impact that electronic documentation at the bedside has on the communication between the nurse and the patient. Has nursing lost something along the way? Will a task list with a time schedule drive nurses to become more focused on completing tasks and diminish communication with the patient?
I chose to contextually explore nurse-patient interaction associated with electronic documentation in an in-patient setting. I employed the methodological strategy of micro-ethnography, and while this approach for a dissertation was a bit daunting, I was well supported by my professors at the University of Massachusetts, Worcester, and my chairperson, Dr. Robin Klar.
The use of bedside electronic documentation has impacted caregiving. I believe that understanding this phenomenon will help all stakeholders to develop systems that will mesh with the nurses’ workflow and encourage patients to be actively involved in their care.
You can download this article at no cost while it is featured on the website! Visit the ANS website to see the article, then return here to share your comments!
Dr. Gaudet, thank you and your colleagues for carrying out your important research project. As a retired public health nurse in Canada, I found it affirming and illustrative of the thoughtful, careful research that nurses are able to accomplish.