It can be easily read. We can capture vital signs by the minute if one so inclined (our monitors and urinometers communicate with the computers). Running totals of I&O's for a shift, day, or length of stay is at our fingertips. It easily allows for exception comments. We can see the big picture of a patient with an easy "quick look" which is a screen with the most vital info on one full screen. We can view the flowsheet by q5 minutes, q10 minutes, q15 minutes, q 30minutes, qhour, q2, q4, q8, q12, or q24 hours. Trends are very easy to find and follow without going through a bunch of separate flowsheets.
We have one computer at every bedside on our unit and several on wheels throughout the unit and a few at the nurses sations. Our computers have gone down twice in the almost five years I've been there. Each one also has internet access.
Labs (show up on flowsheet too!), operative reports, some doc's progress notes, radiology reports, CT, MRI... name it and it's there (but in a separate application than the flowsheet-no biggie). I can order tests, labs, etc.
I'm not complaining except I wish the entire medical record were computerized so that I can read the docs notes.
I truely think that our computer charting gives us more time for patient care. We're not spending time thumbing through pages and pages of bad handwriting.