Hospital staffs’ perceptions of an electronic program to engage patients in nutrition care at the bedside: a qualitative study
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Background: Advancements in technology are enabling patients to participate in their health care through self-monitoring and self-management of diet, exercise and chronic disease. Technologies allowing patients to participate in hospital care are still emerging but show promise. Our team is developing a program by which hospitalised patients can participate in their nutrition care. This study explores hospital staffs’ perceptions of using this technology to engage patients in their care. Methods: This qualitative study involved semi-structured interviews with hospital staff providing routine nutrition care to patients (i.e. dietitians, nutrition assistants, nurses, doctors and foodservice staff) from five wards at a tertiary metropolitan teaching hospital in Australia. The hospital currently uses an electronic foodservice system (EFS) for patient meal ordering, accessed through personal screens at the bedside. Participants were shown the EFS program on an iPad and asked about their perceptions of the program, with questions from a semi-structured interview guide. Staff were interviewed individually or in small focus groups. Interviews lasted 15–30 min and were audio recorded and later transcribed. Data were analysed using thematic analysis. Results: Nineteen staff participated in interviews. Overall, they expressed positive views of the EFS program and wanted it to be implemented in practice. Their responses formed three themes, each with a number of subthemes: 1) Enacting patient participation in practice; 2) Optimising nutrition care; and 3) Considerations for implementing an EFS program in practice. Staff thought the program would improve various aspects of nutrition care and enable patient participation in care. Whilst they raised some concerns, they focused on overcoming barriers and facilitating implementation if the program were to be adopted into practice. Conclusions: Staff found an EFS program designed to engage patients in their nutrition care acceptable, as they saw benefits to using it for both patients and staff. Staff recognised characteristics of the program itself, as well as allocation of roles and responsibilities in operationalising it, were pivotal for successful implementation in practice. Their perspectives will inform program and intervention design, and implementation and evaluation strategies
BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making
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