Research topic: Computer charting versus paper charting?

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    Hello everyone. I've been contemplating the change from paper charting to computer charting and how it changes the care we give our patients. I'm working up this question as a possible research project, but most importantly I would just like to know what others think about computer charting. It's inevitable that charting will be contained entirely electronically in the near future. It's my opinion that paper charting requires the nurse to really think about the plan of care for the patient and the relevant interventions. In computer charting, plans of care and interventions are standardized and entered automatically with little if no thought on the part of the nurse. To me, this seems to dehumanize the patient. What do you guys think about computer charting versus paper charting? Is computer charting changing the way we give bedside care? Is it an accurate reflection of our interventions? Does it take more of our time than good old paper charting? Do the benefits of using a computer charting system outweigh the downside to computer charting? Is there a downside to computer charting in your opinion?
    Any thought provoking responses would be greatly appreciated!
  2. 4 Comments so far...

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    Thank you so very much. I found each article very helpful and informative. I appreciate your response.
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    the paper charting.. there are countless check lists, the care plans already printed out do you really think the nurse is going to sit down and think of a care plan? no difference
    there is no difference, in regards to creating a care plan in paper charting vs computer charting.
    computer charting is less time consuming how ever, paper charting should always be available incase, the computer system is down, because it will shut down, periodically...
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    I've done both, and I do prefer the computer charting. I like having the info readily available with having to go pull a paper chart. It makes it easy to consult with a colleague at work, because we can both access the chart at the same time and we don;t have to be in the same room. Also, there's no issues with illegible handwriting. It makes me nuts when I get records from other providers that are hand written, and I can't read most of it. I don't think computer charting is a bunch of mindless checkoffs-I still have to accurately and completely describe a patient's situation, and that involves a narrative. I don't think the quality has to suffer. I do a lot of my charting at home, and it's much easier to take my laptop home then a bunch of paper charts that probably couldn't be taken offsite anyway. I think it's a better way to do things.


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