Despite the fact that computer use in health care and nursing is burgeoning, nurses often find that they have inadequate tools with which to manage information about complex phenomena. Family is one such complex phenomenon of interest to nurses. Commonly-used computer tools for managing information about families may not be congruent with the ways that individuals define their families and may not be consistent with nursing conceptualization of families as dynamic groups not necessarily limited to biologically related individuals. Building nursing knowledge on incongruent conceptualizations will result in inaccurate knowledge. Communication and collaboration between nurse researchers, clinicians, and nursing informatics researchers are needed in order to produce tools that are consistent with nursing conceptualization and that will support nursing research and practice.
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