Use and Perceptions of Information and Communication Technologies Among Ecuadorian Nurses: A Cross-sectional Study
Ivan Chérrez-Ojeda1, 2, *, Miguel Felix1, 2, Valeria L. Mata1, 2, Emanuel Vanegas1, 2, Daniel Simancas-Racines3, Manuel Aguilar2, Antonio WD Gavilanes4, 5, Peter Chedraui6, 7, Carlos Vera1, 2
1 Universidad Espíritu Santo. Samborondón, Guayaquil, Ecuador
2 Respiralab Research Group. Guayaquil, Ecuador
3 Centro de Investigación en Salud Pública y Epidemiología Clínica. Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud Eugenio Espejo, Universidad Tecnológica Equinoccial. Quito, Ecuador
4 Department of Pediatrics, Maastricht University Medical Center, Maastricht, The Netherlands
5 School of Oncology and Developmental Biology, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands
6 Instituto de Investigación e Innovación en Salud Integral, Facultad de Ciencias Médicas, Universidad Católica de Santiago de Guayaquil, Guayaquil, Ecuador
7 Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad Católica “Nuestra Señora de la Asunción”, Asunción, Paraguay
Nurses represent a key group for the implementation of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), however, few studies have explored the current use of these technologies among healthcare professionals in developing countries. Our study aims to achieve a better understanding of how Ecuadorian nurses perceive the theoretical advantages and limitations of ICTs, as well as to explore the current use of these technologies in the setting of the professional nursing practice.
We conducted an anonymous survey-based cross-sectional study where 191 nurses rated their frequency of use and level of agreement to specific statements on perceptions related to ICTs. For the statistical analyses, adjusted binomial logistic regressions and the chi-squared test for association were applied.
In general, 96.3% of nurses reported the use of ICTs to communicate with colleagues, and 80.1% reported the use of ICTs to communicate with patients. More than 70% of participants agreed that ICTs can be useful to promote professional services, help in the search for new job opportunities and/or professional development, foster health promotion, and improve the workflow with colleagues. Meanwhile, 78.6% of nurses had privacy or security concerns about personal and/or patient information, and 60.6% reported not having enough time neither to learn how to use ICTs nor to use them.
High use of ICTs was found among Ecuadorian nurses for communicating with both colleagues and patients. Most of the participants had a positive perception of the use of ICTs in the healthcare practice, particularly among younger nurses. Finally, the major reservations perceived were related to privacy and patient confidentiality, and lack of time to learn how to use, or use ICTs.
Keywords: Information and communication technologies, Latin America, Nursing informatics, Public health, Social media, Internet, Patient education.
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