Use Cases

Nursing Shift Use Cases

The term use case is software development jargon for the set of displays and user actions that are supported by a computer/user interface to enable a user to achieve a particular goal. Listed here are the nursing use cases for which NurseMind is designed. These are the questions (motivations) nurses have when they use it; they are the reasons why nurses find it a helpful tool in getting their work done efficiently and safely.

How much time do I have until my next deadline?

  • See the shift-at-a-glance display. It shows the timeline of my shift, the tasks that are done and not done and when they are due in that timeline.

In the time I have (e.g. ten minutes) between now and my next deadline, what non-deadline task(s) can I do?

  • See the list of tasks without deadlines.

What must I do next?

  • Look at shift-at-a-glance. Tasks that are to be done now are just to the right of the yellow "now" line. Tasks that are a little late are just to the left of the yellow "now" line and have red backgrounds. Or see the list of tasks with deadlines. Late tasks are red.  Due (but not yet late) tasks are yellow.

It's the end of my shift. What should I tell the incoming nurse about my patient?

  • Tap the SBAR (Situation-Background-Assessment-Recommendation, a productivity convention used in many hospitals for professional-to-professional communication) button. The SBAR screen shows my notations about my patient, and any flags I have set to remind me of concerns to review.

I am in room 123. What can I accomplish while I'm here?

  • See the list of tasks by room.  Choose room 123.


I am in the supplies room. To save trips to this room, what supplies can I collect (for tasks that I will do soon) while I'm here?

  • In shift-at-a-glance, look for near-future tasks with "S" (supplies needed) badges.

I am about to enter patient AB's room. What is the primary concern or goal for this patient?

  • Tap on the patient's icon to see the patient detail.  In particular, the Precautions text reminds me of status details I need to keep foremost, e.g. droplet precautions (reminds me to don mask and gloves). If I set a goal or goals for this patient on this shift, it/they are also shown in this display as a quick reminder.

Record my patient's vital signs, more quickly and accurately than on paper.

  • Use the Vitals data entry screens.  Data is captured with a few taps, quicker and more accurately than on paper (for eventual transcription into the EMR).

I am calling the doctor with new information or to request a change to an order (e.g. for pain medication). What are the things I must remember to say in this conversation?

  •     Use the SBAR display (described above).

Add a patient to my list.

  • Enter as little or as much data as I need about the patient (all data fields are optional). Enter patient data in the patient data entry screens.  The most commonly-used fields are Precautions (described above) and Protocols/Checklists (health conditions such as diabetes that add tasks to my checklist).

Mark a task completed (check it off).

  • Tap on it in shift-at-a-glance or in a task list and, in the menu of things that can be done with the task, mark it completed.  Other choices are delayed, edited, etc.  This changes its status to "done" and records a timestamp.

Delegate a task.

  • Tap on it in a task list and, in the menu of things that can be done with the task (described above) choose "Delegate". In the resulting dialog box, enter the name (or nickname) of the person to whom the task is being delegated.

Add a task to my list.

  • Select it from one of the menus of nursing tasks. There are four such menus: standard tasks (the ones we have identified and made available to all our users), ICNP/NANDA tasks (industry standard nursing activity taxonomies), shared tasks (user-created tasks that their creators made available to all users), and "my" tasks (tasks created by me for my own use).

Define a shift for my unit. I will use it myself and share it with my coworkers.

  • In the Data sub-menu of the Advanced menu, select Shifts and find one that is similar to the one I want to create, then make a copy and edit it.  A variety of "generic" shift task lists (med-surg, maternity, ortho, etc.) is provided for this purpose, and nurse users add new ones every day.  Editing a shift task list can be called "tune it for my unit" -- that is, delete and add tasks according to the way nursing is done in my unit. For example, in some units, RNs take vital signs whereas in others this is done by LVNs.

How many shifts have I worked at hospital X?

  • Select Work Diary from the Advanced menu and choose this or a variety of other reports.  Selection criteria include date ranges and hospitals.

How many hours have I worked this year and where have I worked them?

  • Select the appropriate Work Diary report.

How many times have I cared for patients with condition Y?

  • Select the appropriate Work Diary report.