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Utilizing the Language of Jean Watson's Caring Theory Within a Computerized Clinical Documentation System


CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing: January-February 2006 - Volume 24 - Issue 1 - p 53-56
Feature Article

The healthcare facility described in the following article is part of an eight-hospital organization that adopted Watson's Theory of Caring as part of their nursing philosophy. According to Watson, this theory is an attempt to find and deepen the language specific to nurse caring relations and its many meanings. Yet during the implementation of the theory within the setting described, it was noted that there was no mechanism in the current documentation system for clinical nursing staff to document the patient experience using any language specific to the theory. Nursing members recognized an opportunity to develop a new context in charting during an extensive clinical documentation system upgrade. A discussion of the steps taken and the results within the clinical documentation system supporting the newly adopted caring philosophy are summarized here.

From SMR Consulting, as Clinical Technology Consultant; Resurrection Medical Center in Chicago, IL as Clinical Information Systems Coordinator; and Lewis University, Romeoville, IL as adjunct faculty.

The work was a result of the efforts of the Caring Advocates at both Holy Family Medical Center in Des Plaines, IL and Resurrection Medical Center, in Chicago, IL under the direction of Linda Ryan, RN, PhD. The Resurrection Health Care Clinical Documentation Team was directed by Connie Yuska, RN, MS, Vice President of Patient Care and Oncology Services, and facilitated by Tammy Scalet, Lead Application Specialist, who also participated in the efforts.

Corresponding author: Susan Rosenberg, RN, MSN, Clinical Technology Consultant 7435 West Talcott Avenue, Chicago, IL 60631 (e-mail:

© 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.