Innovation in intensive care nursing work practices with PACS

Nerida Creswick*, Isla M. Hains, Johanna I. Westbrook

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Doctors are the main users of x-rays and other medical images in hospitals and as such picture archive and communication systems (PACS) have been designed to improve their work processes and clinical care by providing them with faster access to images. Nurses working in intensive care units (ICUs) also access images as an integral part of their work, yet no studies have examined the impact of PACS on the work of intensive care nurses. Our study aimed to examine whether and how ICU nurses view and use images and whether access to PACS promotes innovation in work practices. We interviewed (n=49) and observed (n=23) nurses in three Australian metropolitan teaching hospital ICUs with varying degrees of PACS implementation. Our study found that nurses with access to PACS were able to independently and easily access images, did so more frequently when required, and perceived that this had the potential to positively impact upon patient safety. Those without PACS usually viewed images more traditionally as part of a ward round. The introduction of PACS to ICU settings promotes changes in nursing work practices by providing nurses with the ability to act more autonomously, with the potential to enhance patient care.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUser Centred Networked Health Care - Proceedings of MIE 2011
EditorsAnne Moen, Stig Kjær Andersen, Jos Aarts, Petter Hurlen
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
PublisherIOS Press
Number of pages5
ISBN (Print)9781607508052, 1607508052
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes
Event23rd International Conference of the European Federation for Medical Informatics, MIE - 2011 - Oslo, Norway
Duration: 28 Aug 201131 Aug 2011


Other23rd International Conference of the European Federation for Medical Informatics, MIE - 2011


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