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Organizational and Technological Correlates of Nurses’ Trust in a Smart Intravenous Pump


CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing: March 2013 - Volume 31 - Issue 3 - p 142–149
doi: 10.1097/NXN.0b013e3182812d95
Feature Article

The aim of this study was to understand technology and system characteristics that contribute to nurses’ ratings of trust in a smart intravenous pump. Nurses’ trust in new technologies can influence how technologies are used. Trust in technology is defined as a person’s belief that a technology will not fail them. Potential outcomes of trust in technology are appropriate trust, overtrust, distrust, and mistrust. Trust in technology is also related to several use-specific outcomes, including appropriate use and inappropriate use such as overreliance, disuse or rejection, or misuse. Understanding trust in relation to outcomes can contribute to designs that facilitate appropriate trust in new technologies. A survey was completed by 391 nurses a year after the implementation of a new smart intravenous pump. The survey assessed trust in the intravenous pump and other elements of the sociotechnical system, individual characteristics, technology characteristics, and organizational characteristics. Results show that perceptions of usefulness, safety, ease of use, and usability are related to ratings of trust in smart intravenous pumps. Other work systemfactors such as perception of work environment, age, experience, quality of work, and perception of work performance are also related to ratings of trust. Nurses’ trust in smart intravenous pumps is influenced by both characteristics of the technology and the sociotechnical system. Findings from this research have implications for the design of future smart intravenous pumps and health systems. Recommendations for appropriately trustworthy smart intravenous pumps are discussed. Findings also have implications for how trust in health technologies can be measured and conceptualized in complex sociotechnical systems.

Author Affiliations: Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL.

The work reported here was supported by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (grant 1 UC1 HS014253-01), the Clinical and Translational Science Award program (grant 1UL1RR025011) of the National Center for Research, and the Graduate Engineering Research Scholars Program.

The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationship with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

Corresponding author: Enid Montague, PhD, Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, Feinberg School of Medicine Northwestern University, 750 N Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL (

© 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.