The Emerging Role of PDAs in Evidence Based Practice: An Evaluation Among Frontline Nurses

Start/End Dates: 2009 - 2010

Investigators: Diane Doran (PI), R.B. Haynes, Carole A. Estabrooks, S. Straus, A. Kushniruk, L. McGillis Hall, A. Dubrowski, I. Bajnok

Funder: Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

Grant Amount: $177, 905

Background: One of the great challenges facing health care professionals today is to be able to effectively and efficiently manage an ever-increasing amount of clinical-related health information. A crucial dimension of that challenge is to make the information accessible at times of decision making. Mobile information terminals, such as personal digital assistants (PDAs), have the potential to address that challenge by bringing the most relevant information directly to the point of care. For nurses, providing information through convenient electronic sources may address some of the barriers that inhibit their access to and clinical use of new and pertinent research.

Description: The study will evaluate nurses’ experience in Phase 2 of the Nursing Secretariat, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, PDA initiative, specifically focusing on nurses’ use of mobile information technologies, such as PDAs, to access information resources to support clinical decision making and to explore the role of organizational context and individual nurse characteristics in explaining variation in use patterns.