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Nursing Informatics - It's in your Palm

By Robert Eager informatics@cyber-nurse.com

With assistance from Yvonne Stolworthy MSN, RN and Sylvia Suszka-Hildebrandt MSN, RN.

This article was based on research conducted for an on-line forum guest hosted by Yvonne Stolworthy and Sylvia Suszka-Hildebrandt (RNpalm) on 5th Aug. 2000 at the Health Informatics Forum (http://www.cyber-nurse.com/cgi-bin/chats/chat7.cgi) and archived at http://www.cyber-nurse.com/robbie/infolinks/archives/forum01/forum01b-arch.htm.  The author is the volunteer moderator of the forum.


The handheld computer, particularly the Palm(TM), was specifically designed for rapid input and retrieval of vital information.  This article, based on research conducted for an on-line forum, looks at the emerging use of handheld computers in the health care arena.  Concentrating on the Palm platform, it reviews current and future capabilities while acknowledging limitations.  The article then summarizes the current use within commercial areas and draws the conclusion that there are similarities to be found in the information flow within health care.  The recommendation is then made, based on current literature, that this is an appropriate and viable alternative to current data gathering practices and a way of bringing information to the point of care.  Finally, the suggestion is made that nurses should involve themselves in the design, development and implementation of software solutions for this platform, thereby not only allowing them a say in how applications are developed, but also in how they work, thereby ensuring that they are of maximum value to the nursing discipline.



The author is the Chief technical officer (CTO) at RNpalm - an unpaid technical support and development position which he accepted after first approaching RNpalm to guest host the August 5th forum (see above).