Discourse / Discours - Enhancing Nurses' Care and Knowledge Through Access to Technology: An International m-Health Exemplar

Pammla Petrucka, Sandra Bassendowski, Hazel Roberts, Cessarina Hernandez

Abstract


The use of mobile technologies (i.e., cell phones) in health care is becoming increasingly ubiquitous. From simple (i.e., short message service, or SMS) to complex and real-time applications (i.e., diagnostic remote monitoring), the greatest opportunities lie within the potential of mobile health (m-health) to leapfrog health care in developing countries into the 21st century. This study explored m-health at select health-care sites in 5 Caribbean settings. By introducing and evaluating a user-friendly handheld platform and infrastructure, the study examined nurses' experiences with an m-health intervention, revealing positive impacts on quality of work life and care, evidence-informed approaches, and nurses' contributions to m-health inclusiveness in health informatics policies. The authors describe the path, in resource-challenged environments, to fostering nurses' participation in m-enabled health-care environments. They share lessons learned, challenges and opportunities encountered, and recommendations for bringing these vital tools to similar contexts.

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