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Nursing at odds with computers

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Nurses are struggling to cope with the new NHS IT system because of the way they make clinical decisions, an academic has claimed.

Keith Ward, senior lecturer in nursing at the University of Huddersfield, said nurses often make decisions using an ‘intuitive humanist’ model, which does not fit in with the process-driven model that drives IT systems.

Nurses will make decisions based on clinical observations but often struggle to highlight what exactly prompted them to take certain actions, he told delegates last week at the NHS Connecting for Health conference in London.

Conversely, doctors will make decisions using a process-based method and the IT systems being deployed across the country favours this model.

‘We have to verbalise our intuition – then we can find a system that matches what we do as nurses,’ said Mr Ward.

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