post icu logo

Top 10 Benefits of Digital Diaries versus Paper Diaries


Alexandre Contador
4min read

Table of Contents

Post-ICU is the first and only digital ICU diary on the market. Sometimes, we get questions like: ‘Why would we need a digital diary? Doesn’t a paper ICU diary provide the same benefits for patients and families?’. These questions are logical: traditional paper diaries have been the trusted companions for many hospitals for years. But the dawn of the digital age has introduced an array of innovative tools that can take (critical) care to a higher level.

The digital Post-ICU diary brings a multitude of benefits, from streamlining your family engagement process to reducing your carbon footprint. In this article, we’ll explore the advantages of a digital ICU diary compared to paper diaries in detail.

1. Convenience and Accessibility

One of the primary advantages of the digital Post-ICU diary is the convenience it offers. The digital diary can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection, on any device. This level of accessibility is not achievable with paper diaries, which require physical presence. In addition, paper diaries may be left behind and get lost, leading to missed opportunities for journaling. This accessibility is especially great for patients who have family or friends living far away. Reading or writing in the diary remotely is no longer a problem.

2. Searchability and Filtering

The digital diary has great searchability and filtering options. The ability to use keywords to search for specific entries allows users to locate information quickly. The alternative with a paper diary is incredibly time-consuming: flipping through the pages, trying to find that one specific event can become frustrating fast. Moreover, Post-ICU allows users to apply filters, providing an additional layer of organization. 

3. Clear Structurization of Entries

The digital diary allows writers to choose the date (and time) that they want to write for. That means that a busy caregiver can wait with writing until a more quiet moment, while still having their entry appear in the diary structure on the correct day. With a paper diary, entries will likely get the order of events mixed up. That can make reconstructing the ICU period more difficult for patients and family after discharge, and lead to more Post-Intensive Care Syndrome (PICS) related issues. If you’re curious to see how the digital diary structures all entries, book a demo with us at a time that’s convenient for you.

4. Environmentally Friendly

In today’s world, it’s becoming increasingly important to be more environmentally conscious. The digital diary contributes to reducing paper waste, which is a significant advantage over their paper counterparts. By adopting a digital diary, you actively participate in environmental conservation efforts and help preserve our planet for future generations.

5. More functionality

Even though this benefit may go without saying, it’s still a very important one to mention: Post-ICU has enhanced functionality compared to paper ICU diaries. The digital Post-ICU diary can be shared easily, especially among different writers (nurses, family members). It also offers the ability to add photos to the diary, which is a lot more hassle to go through for a paper diary. Another example are the writing suggestions Post-ICU offers. A paper diary is unable to inspire the writer if they can’t think of something to write about.

6. Security and Privacy

In a digital diary, you can set up password protection or use biometric authentication to safeguard your sensitive information. This ensures that your data remains private and secure, giving you peace of mind. Paper diaries lack such security measures, making them vulnerable to prying eyes.

7. Collaboration and Engagement

Our digital diary enables seamless collaboration in care between professional caregivers and families. Journaling together in one diary is much easier in a digital diary that is available on any device, at any time. Collaborating on keeping a paper diary, on the other hand, can be difficult and time-consuming: you’d have to plan beforehand when and where the diary is kept so that someone can write in it. 

8. Real-Time Updates

The digital Post-ICU diary is always up-to-date. This brings benefits both for professional caregivers and families. ICU doctors and nurses read each other’s entries to stay informed about the patient’s condition and progress. Additionally, they can read entries from the family. The diary entries are a valuable addition to the medical records in an EHR that provide additional context and information, facilitating better decision-making and timely interventions.

9. Hygienic

In medical environments, hygiene is of the utmost importance. Critically ill patients especially benefit from good hygiene. Not having to touch a pen and paper that has already been touched by many other people, is an important hygienic advantage in the ICU. Post-ICU can be used from the user’s own device(s).

10. Data Insights and Research

Post-ICU captures a wealth of data that can be leveraged for insightful analyses. We are already working together with various University Medical Centers to further research about ICU diaries and how to alleviate Post-Intensive Care Syndrome (PICS). By studying trends and patterns in diary data, researchers and designers can learn more about the effects of the Post-ICU diary. The data can be used to further improve Post-ICU and improve patient, family, and professional caregiver satisfaction. This kind of analysis is virtually impossible with paper diaries, where data analysis is manual and time-consuming.


In conclusion, the benefits of using digital diaries over traditional paper diaries are vast and significant. The convenience, accessibility, searchability, and security offered by digital diaries surpass their paper counterparts. Moreover, their collaboration capabilities and enhanced functionality make them indispensable tools for modern individuals and professionals.

So, if you want to experience the advantages of the digital Post-ICU diary firsthand, it’s time to schedule a meeting with one of our experts. They can answer any questions you may have about Post-ICU.

Want to experience the benefits of a digital ICU diary firsthand?

Book a meeting with one of our experts today.

Related Posts

Join our newsletter

Subscribe to receive updates from Post-ICU about patient experience.
We promise not to spam you. By clicking on 'Subscribe', you consent to our Privacy Policy.

Why not try the digital diary yourself? Experience the emotional impact a diary can have for patients and their family