Given the obvious critical importance of the electronic and computerized systems for ICUs, it is also essential to evaluate the related implications that eICUs will, or might, have on the development of the health care in the country. On the other hand, the evaluation of the potential implications of the very implementation of the eICU idea in the senses of associated costs, staff needed, training and education required is also essential. According to Oermann and Gaberson (2006, p. 3), evaluations can be formative and summative, and both of them fit into the following flow of the project development:
This section will follow the above presented sequence of steps and place formative evaluation details before the finalizing steps taken in the process of the summative evaluation of the eICU implementation.
The very idea of the formative evaluation is the embodiment of the repeated assessment of the project development in its progress, and Oermann and Gaberson (2006) define it as “feedback…about…progress in meeting the objectives and developing competencies…It occurs throughout the…process and provides a basis for determining where further [changes are] needed” (p. 4). The formative evaluation of eICU can be carried out as a stage-based assessment of the pros and cons that a rather costly but still obviously necessary procedure displays (Mannion, 2009, p. 22). Drawing from this, there should literary be several formative evaluations, each corresponding to the stage of eICU implementation and assessment of its effectiveness.
The basic stages of the eICU implementation, as Oermann and Gaberson (2006) and Mannion (2009) argue, include the statement of objectives, assessment of needs, outlining the areas of implementation, assessment of costs, and the consideration of basic resources required in the aspects of staffing, training, and education. Another side of the formative assessment of eICU is data collection, which includes the combined Likert scale and narrative question methods, online and handwritten questionnaires, and the two-fold process of patient data collection (before and after eICU implementation).
The major implications of the above aspects for the formative evaluation of the eICU are as follows. First, the objectives and needs for the eICU implementation include the need to solve the nurse shortage problem and the associated increasing risk of health condition complications and mortality rates in our intensive care units. Second, the major areas of implementation of eICU should be the remote health care facilities where the nursing staff shortage has impacted the most in intensive care units. Plus, intensivists require more time- and cost-effective ways to provide the necessary health care standards to patients. Third, costs and other resources needed for the implementation of eICUs in our facility...