#WeDNs - Tuesday 25th February 2020 8pm (GMT Standard Time) Documentation and District Nursing

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You would be forgiven in thinking that as a mobile community NHS service in 2020,District Nurses (DN) across the UK would have access to digital technology in patients’ homes. Clearly, live access to integrated health and care records would support the delivery of complex nursing care in the home. However, the Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI, 2018) report, ‘Nursing in the Digital Age’ found that 29% of community nurses surveyed were still working largely with paper-based systems,despite 74% citing that IT systems provided a more reliable way of working compared to paper. The QNI (2018) also found 67, ‘differently named IT systems being used in community healthcare. Recent comments @WeDistrictNurses (2019)has similarly revealed frustration and concern amongst District and Community Nurses over a lack of e-documentation in DN practise and, where there is access to electronic systems, evidence of poor integration with multi-disciplinary team records, examples of repeat documentation and patchy connectivity. 

What is your experience of DN documentation systems and how does this effect the care you can give your patients?

Chat questions:


1. Do you use electronic documentation, paper-based documentation or a mixed economy?

2. Do you have to double document i.e. transcribe/copy from paper-based notes inpatients’ home to office-based electronic system[s]?

3. Do you have remote access to patients’ DN and/or medical notes when in their home& what difference does this make to your care?

4. If so, what electronic systems are you using & what are the issues with them(e.g. connectivity, workable design)?

5. Are your documentation systems integrated or shared and if so, with whom – patient, multidisciplinary team, Primary Care Network (in England), GP?

6. Who makes decisions in your Trust/Board around documentation development – both design of care plans (software) and also choice of system (hardware)? i.e. Are DNs involved in these decisions?

References& Suggested Reading:

Akhu-Zaheya.L, Al-Maaitah.R & Hani.S.B (2018)‘Quality of nursing documentation: Paper-based health records versus electronic-based health records’ Journal of Clinical Nursing Vol 27, Issue 3 – 4, Pgs e578 – e589[Online] Available at https://onlinelibrary-wiley-com.libezproxy.open.ac.uk/doi/full/10.1111/jocn.14097(Accessed 29/01/2020)

Department of Health (2013) National mobile health worker project: final report. Department of Health, London [Online] Available at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/213313/mhwp_final_report.pdf(Accessed 25.03.15)

Queen’s Nursing Institute (2013) Smart New World Revised edition [Online]Available at https://www.qni.org.uk/wpcontent/uploads/2016/09/smart_new_world_2014.pdf(Accessed 29/01/2020)

Queen’s Nursing Institute (2018) Nursing in the Digital Age [Online] Available at https://www.qni.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Nursing-in-the-Digital-Age-.pdf(Accessed 29/01/2020)

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