Conference Abstracts

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Perceived benefits of technology-based care documentation.

McDonald, T. A., Russell, F., 2012

ITAC Conference, Melbourne

ABSTRACT

Background: The introduction of new technologies and ongoing upgrades is accompanied by risks that employees may be so confronted by changes in their work that they feel the urge to resign. Research focus on E-Health, telemedicine and reduction of service and organisational costs can trivialise employee perceptions and fears about implementing technologies.

Objective: to identify perceptions of employees involved in work technology upgrades; to identify relationships between employee and employer expectations of new technology; and to determine the gains made on key improvement areas following implementation.

Methods: Methodology: A survey-based research (n=112) undertaken at an aged care facility in Sydney, the issues of workload, efficiency, information and records accuracy, and outcomes for clients were examined using regression modelling.

Results: Priorities include workload redistribution, time management and system efficiencies, possible re-design of their own role and work responsibilities, and whether the proposed technology will improve outcomes for patients or clients. Doubts about whether the new system will be better than the existing one; or whether work re-design will prioritise the technology rather than on the quality or quantity of clinical care being delivered, can affect employee skill development and proficient use of IT systems. Gains associated with moving to computer-based care records that are inspected by regulatory compliance officers, include early detection and remedy of deterioration of work quality, and ensuring that recorded, accurate evidence of services given is available for inspection.

Conclusions: It is important to the organisation that electronic data systems augment existing records and categories to minimise transition issues and retain regulatory compliance with relevant legislation. Improved staff perceptions of their own IT abilities and the benefits of using the new technology were found to outweigh their initial negative attitudes prior to training.

CITATION McDonald, T. & Russel, F. (2012) Perceived benefits of technology-based care documentation. Information and Technology in Aged Care Conference (ITAC 2012) 19-20 April.

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