Purpose: We developed a nursing process decision support system (NPDSS) based on three clinical pathways, including benign prostatic hypertrophy, inguinal hernia, and urinary tract stone. NPDSS included six major nursing diagnoses - acute pain, impaired urinary elimination, impaired skin integrity, anxiety, infection risk, and risk of falling. This paper aims to describe the design, development and validation process of the NPDSS. Methods: We deployed the Delphi method to reach consensus for decision support rules of NPDSS. A team of nine-member expert nurses from a medical center in Taiwan was involved in Delphi method. The Cronbach's α method was used for examining the reliability of the questionnaire used in the Delphi method. The Visual Basic 6.0 as front-end and Microsoft Access 2003 as back-end was used to develop the system. A team of six nursing experts was asked to evaluate the usability of the developed systems. A 5-point Likert scale questionnaire was used for the evaluation. The sensitivity and specificity of NPDSS were validated using 150 nursing chart. Results: The study showed a consistency between the diagnoses of the developed system (NPDSS) and the nursing charts. The sensitivities of the nursing diagnoses including acute pain, impaired urinary elimination, risk of infection, and risk of falling were 96.9%, 98.1%, 94.9%, and 89.9% respectively; and the specificities were 88%, 49.5%, 62%, and 88% respectively. We did not calculate the sensitivity and specificity of impaired skin integrity and anxiety due to non-availability of enough sample size. Conclusions: NPDSS can help nurses in decision making of nursing diagnoses. Besides, it can help them to generate nursing diagnoses based on patient-specific data, individualized care plans, and implementation within their usual nursing workflow.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)604-612
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Medical Informatics
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2013


  • Clinical pathway
  • Decision support system
  • Nursing process
  • Taiwan
  • Urology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics


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