The effect of digitalization of nursing forms in ICUs on time and cost

BMC Nurs. 2023 Jun 13;22(1):201. doi: 10.1186/s12912-023-01333-6.

Abstract

Objective: Intensive Care Units are one of the areas with the lowest digitization rate. This study aims to measure the effect of digitizing medical records kept in paper forms in ICUs on time-saving and paper consumption. In our study, care forms in ICUs were transferred to digital media. In our research, care forms in ICUs were transferred to digital media.

Methods: The time required to fill out the nursing care forms on paper and digital media was measured, the change in paper and printer costs was determined, and the results were compared. Two volunteer nurses working in the ICU of a university hospital in Istanbul measured the time it took to fill out the forms of patients on paper. Then, a future projection was made using digital form data of 5,420 care days of 428 patients hospitalized between October 2017 and September 2018. Only anonymous data of patients hospitalized in the general ICU were used, and other untempered were not included in the study.

Results: When the forms were filled in digitally by the nurses, one nurse per patient per day saved 56.82 min (3.95% per day).

Discussion: Health care services are provided in hospitals in Turkey with 28,353 adult intensive care beds and an occupancy rate of 68%. Based on the occupancy rate of 68%, the number of full beds is 19,280. When 56.82 min are saved per bed from the forms filled by the nurses, 760.71 care days are dedicated. Considering the salary of 1,428.67 US dollars per nurse, the savings to be achieved are estimated to be 13,040,804.8 US dollars per year.

Keywords: Digital technology; Health care costs; Medical informatics; Nursing informatics; Time management.