The effect of a VIPS implementation programme on nurses' knowledge and attitudes towards documentation

Mette Rosendal Darmer, Lena Ankersen, Bettina Geissler Nielsen, Gitte Landberger, Elisabeth Lippert, Ingrid Egerod
Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences 2004, 18 (3): 325-32
The Copenhagen University Hospital decided to adhere to the standards of the Joint Commission of International Accreditation in 2000. These standards require systematic assessment of patient care needs and include the use of written nursing care plans. In order to meet these standards, the hospital management decided to introduce the Swedish VIPS model, which is a model designed to structure nursing documentation (VIPS is an acronym for well-being, integrity, prevention and safety). The present study explores the nurses' knowledge and attitudes towards documentation and addresses the research questions: (a) what are the nurses' attitudes towards documentation of nursing care? and (b) do nurses have sufficient knowledge of the documentation system to systematically document their patient assessment and clinical decisions? The research design was prospective, comparative, and quasi-experimental (nonrandomized), including a study group (n=72) and a control group (n=57). A questionnaire was used to compare nurses' self-evaluated attitudes towards documentation, and a multiple-choice test was given in order to assess nurses' knowledge of the documentation system. The study group participated in a special implementation programme (response rate 82%), while the control group attended the regular 3-day documentation course at the hospital (response rate 79%). The study showed that the two groups responded similarly, but the nurses in the study group were significantly stronger in their conviction that they had the knowledge to make care plans and that they routinely made them. The study group demonstrated slightly less motivation than the control group, while the two groups shared a positive attitude towards nursing documentation. The study group did consistently better on the knowledge tests. The findings show that the implementation programme had a positive impact on nursing documentation, and that the VIPS model increased the nurses' understanding of the nursing process.

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