Nurses' experience with health information technology: Longitudinal qualitative study

Inga M. Zadvinskis, Jessica Garvey Smith, Po Yin Yen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Background: Nurses are the largest group of health information technology (HIT) users. As such, nurses' adaptations are critical for HIT implementation success. However, longitudinal approaches to understanding nurses' perceptions of HIT remain underexplored. Previous studies of nurses' perceptions demonstrate that the progress and timing for acceptance of and adaptation to HIT varies. Objective: This study aimed to explore nurses' experience regarding implementation of HIT over time. Methods: A phenomenological approach was used for this longitudinal qualitative study to explore nurses' perceptions of HIT implementation over time, focusing on three time points (rounds) at 3, 9, and 18 months after implementation of electronic health records and bar code medication administration. The purposive sample was comprised of clinical nurses who worked on a medical-surgical unit in an academic center. Results: Major findings were categorized into 7 main themes with 54 subthemes. Nurses reported personal-level and organizational-level factors that facilitated HIT adaptation. We also generated network graphs to illustrate the occurrence of themes. Thematic interconnectivity differed due to nurses' concerns and satisfaction at different time points. Equipment and workflow were the most frequent themes across all three rounds. Nurses were the most dissatisfied approximately 9 months after HIT implementation. Eighteen months after HIT implementation, nurses' perceptions appeared more balanced. Conclusions: It is recommended that organizations invest in equipment (ie, wireless barcode scanners), refine policies to reflect nursing practice, and improve systems to focus on patient safety. Future research is necessary to confirm patterns of nurses' adaptation to HIT in other samples.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere38
JournalJMIR Medical Informatics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018


  • Adaptation
  • Barcode medication administration
  • Electronic health record
  • Health IT
  • Qualitative research


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