This paper examines the role of wireless handheld devices such as PDAs and smartphones in the Australian healthcare system. The context of this paper is restricted to nursing staff in three regional hospitals. This study uses a mixed-mode methodology to understand the actual usage of PDAs by nursing staff in medical wards. The study identifies a list of issues and potential benefits associated with the actual use of PDAs for patient care in public hospitals. 30 nursing staff participated in this study and examined issues pertaining to the size, shape, weight, connectivity, and ease of use of the devices, as well as the perceived benefits, ICT infrastructure and the role wireless applications could play in nurses’ intention to use the PDAs. This study also highlights that there is evidence suggesting that the use of the PDAs by nurses can improve the decision making process and the quality of decisions taken by nurses.



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