Intranet and cyber café use in a large acute teaching hospital

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Within Hammersmith Hospitals NHS Trust, a hospital Intranet, supported by investment in PCs and software, was introduced throughout all hospital sites, and four cyber cafés were opened in cafeterias. The purpose was to improve access to information by staff, to improve information technology (IT) awareness and increase IT skills. The cyber cafés were designed to provide both a benefit and an informal training opportunity for staff, patients and relatives. To evaluate their use, the sites visited on the Intranet and the cyber café (hits) were identified and a survey of 307 cyber café users was conducted. The use of the Intranet was high throughout the week, with the main use during the working day. Common sites visited included those from the human resources department. The cyber café use was high for longer periods throughout the 24-hour day. Predominant users were younger adults (under 35 years) and male. Users were experienced with the Internet, although fewer than half of users had received previous IT training. Sites frequently visited included email and non-medical related sites. In conclusion, the investment in the Intranet and cyber cafés was followed by high use. Use was not predominantly for clinical purposes, but supported a range of needs by different members of staff, patients and visitors.


Document Type: Regular Paper

Publication date: March 1, 2005

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