Master of Information and Communication Technology
School of Information Technology and Computer Science - Faculty of Informatics
Ma, Shaohui, Workflow analysis to identify the opportunities for improving information management and nurses' work efficiency in palliative care, M.Info.Tech. thesis, School of Information Technology and Computer Science, University of Wollongong, 2005. http://ro.uow.edu.au/theses/449
As a means to identify the appropriate opportunities for an organisation to apply Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to streamline its process, workflow analysis is the essential first step in achieving better process management and efficiency. The purpose of this research is to understand, through workflow analysis, the step-by-step process of tasks completed by nurses in a palliative care ward and a community healthcare centre. This understanding will contribute to the accurate identification of appropriate opportunities for applications of ICT that fit the nurses' relevant task requirements, and will improve work efficiency of the nurses involved in palliative care. The literature review gives the general concepts of the research and background information about both palliative care and optional applications of ICT. The materials are gathered via the Internet and library. This research is conducted in the palliative care ward at Port Kembla Hospital and the community healthcare centre of the Illawarra region. The major data collecting methods are interview and observation conducted in the ward and the community healthcare centre. These data collecting methods have advantages and characteristics of qualitative research methodology that benefited this research project. The direct outcome of this research is a set of workflow analysis diagrams covering the major procedures of the nurses' daily practice. Through analysing these workflow diagrams, this thesis describes the situations for the potential applications of ICT, the use of the applications, and the benefits of implementing these applications. After the description and discussion in this thesis, the chosen ICT applications are Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), wireless technology, scanner and barcode systems, as well as an advanced database system. The adoption of these applications has the potential to improve the management of medical information, and the work efficiency and effectiveness of the nurses' daily practice, and benefit the palliative care patients and their families.
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