NRS 450 Nursing Informatics Assignment

In this GCU NRS-450 Nursing Informatics Course, the focus is on the methods and technologies used to acquire, process, and analyze patient data, emphasizing information and communication technologies that support the documentation of care and effective communication among health team members at all system levels. Essentially, this course provides students with an understanding of the importance of professional and ethical standards pertaining to the regulation and security of health information.

Nursing Informatics in Health Care Example Paper

McGonigle and Mastrian (2021) define nursing informatics as the nursing subspecialty that enables nurses to master data, information, know-how, and wisdom through subspecialties that combine nursing science with information and computer science (p.56). Information technology has changed nursing care and transformed healthcare practice by assisting care delivery, supplementing decision-making, and predicting future trends in care using data. Technology’s potential to improve patient safety and quality of care is enormous (Schoenbaum & Carroll, 2020). 

However, technology keeps advancing, and better methods are being incorporated into practice. However, these technologies still require human interaction and human input to influence patient care. This proposal describes the role of a nurse informaticist, especially in an interdisciplinary team, explains the impact of full nurse engagement in technology, and finally suggests opportunities and predicts challenges that including a nurse informaticist in an interdisciplinary team creates.

Nursing Informatics and the Nurse Informaticist

Recent developments in healthcare, including the COVID-19 pandemic, opened our eyes to the need to harness the potential of technology in making healthcare efficient and meeting the needs of many patients remotely. Before this, the National League for Nursing, through their new vision, had urged nursing education programs to teach and prepare them for practice in the era of healthcare technologies (McBride & Tietze, 2022). However, the workload from clinician care needs and care efficiency needs can overwhelm the individual nurses, thus the need for interdisciplinary collaboration

Nurse informaticists are specialists trained with scientific and artistic knowledge and skills in utilizing data science to influence care through communication, decision-making, and daily monitoring workflow in healthcare systems. Their role is crucial in an interdisciplinary team approach to care because they enable the interdisciplinary teams to work efficiently. Nurse informaticists can influence policymaking and implementation, technical capacity, and patient outcomes.

Nurse informaticists have played an essential role in selecting and implementing appropriate technologies to meet patient care needs in various hospitals. Enhancing technology usability by matching user needs and vendor software features is another way nurse informaticists have ensured that organizations get worth for their expenditures on technologies and that patients have received safe care by using appropriate, safe, and high-yield technologies.

Nurse Informaticists and Other Health Care Organizations

Various institutions have implemented the informaticist role in the clinical and administrative care hierarchies. Nurse informaticists support other nurses, healthcare professionals, patients, and other stakeholders by enabling information structures, processes, and technologies. According to McBride and Tietze (2022), nurse informaticists have improved patient safety and reduced care-associated costs (P.10). The achievements of these outcomes have been possible through safe medication administration systems using technology, predicting patient care changes through the prediction of patterns of previous outcomes, and easy documentation, retrieval and access of patient records.

Nursing Education for the Healthcare Informatics (NEHI) developed a model in 2013 through which nurse informaticists interact with other providers and care processes to achieve desired outcomes. According to the NEHI model, nurse informaticists influence public policy formation and the healthcare delivery environment by improving point-of-care technology, patient safety and care quality, and data management (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2021). Therefore, these nurses bridge the clinical and technological care delivery to meet efficiency and safety needs. Nurse informaticists in an interdisciplinary team initiate communication and champion communication technologies to facilitate team activities.

Informaticists also ensure that the team gets access to a high-quality electronic source of health information that would influence evidence-based decision-making. More importantly, they safeguard the security and privacy of patients’ protected health information (PHI) (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2021). Nurse informaticists ensure that members of the interdisciplinary team use technologies and patient information in a well-coordinated manner so that interruptions and distractions do not breach care continuity and give more room for medical and medication errors. Nurse informaticists ensure that uniform technology use empowers members to maintain patient safety and meaningful use by developing protocols and procedures for using these technologies.

Impact of Full Nurse Engagement in Health Care Technology

Patient Care

Engaging nurses in healthcare technology impacts patient care, workflow, and costs. Evidence-based practice is the current nursing care paradigm shift. Practice guidelines and decision-making require clinical evidence to improve patient safety and quality of care. Fully engaging nurses in health care technology will enable them to stay abreast of the current practice guidelines and information for decision-making. Healthcare technologies will enable nurses to access evidence-based information from online databases and also enable them to analyze future outcomes of practice using current and past data and information. Therefore, patient care outcomes result from safe and current evidence-based practices. 

Protected Health Information

Protected health information (PHI) can be used to identify patients; inappropriate handling of this information can lead to a breach of patient privacy, confidentiality, and data security. As aforementioned, nurse informaticists enable communication between interdisciplinary team members to ensure successful care coordination. However, coordination requires collecting and sharing patient information that includes PHI. 

Nurse informaticists ensure that this information is protected by implementing access controls such as ensuring secure communication in the team and regularly assessing and emulating system communication methods to ensure that PHI privacy and security are not breached (Lindley et al., 2020). In-service staff session updates ensure that nursing staff and other healthcare professionals’ knowledge and information skills are up-to-date with PHI privacy rules and guidelines (Park & Jeong, 2021). This increases professionalism that increases awareness levels.

Workflow

Nurse engagement in healthcare technology improves workflow by enhancing care flexibility, improving care efficiency, and facilitating collaboration. Nurses can deliver care remotely to their patients by using technology. Additionally, they can deliver care in a shorter time when they use technology to care interventions and prevent errors. Finally, nurses’ full engagement in technology enables them to collaborate with other care professionals through effective communication.

Costs and Return on Investment

As aforementioned, fully engaging nurses in healthcare technology improves car efficiency. Efficiency improvement reduces the work input required to achieve care outcomes. However, the costs of the initial implementation strategies will increase due to the costs of purchasing these technologies and training nurses on how to use them. When used efficiently and successfully, technologies could improve patient safety, costs, and quality outcomes. 

Opportunities and Challenges

Adding a nurse informaticist’s role would improve care efficiency by improving technology uptake and use among team members. This technology would enhance interdisciplinary collaboration to improve workflow and team outcomes, such as work efficiencies. Therefore, adding a nurse informaticist role would generally improve care delivery in the interdisciplinary approach. However, adding a nurse informaticist role would change the workflow in the healthcare organization because they would take up some roles of current work. 

Role overlap can lead to conflicts that would deter successful collaboration. Therefore, team planning and nursing leadership would be required to ensure successful collaboration in the team. Team communication and regular monitoring of team outcomes would improve collaboration. Team decision-making could ensure that every member owns the outcomes of the team activities. 

Summary of Recommendations

This proposal has analyzed the benefits and shortcomings of adding a nurse informaticist role into the organization’s workforce structure. These are the four key takeaways from the proposal about the nurse informaticist role. Nursing informatics is a field that combines nursing science with information and computer science to manage and communicate data, information, knowledge, and wisdom in nursing practice. 

The role of the nurse informaticist is to support the use of technology in nursing practice and facilitate the integration of technology into the daily work of nurses and other healthcare providers. Fully engaging nurses in health care technology can positively impact patient care, including improved patient outcomes, reduced errors, and increased patient satisfaction. Adding a nurse informaticist role to an interdisciplinary team can bring both opportunities and challenges, including initial costs, changes to workflow, and resistance to change. 

However, with careful planning and support, these challenges can be overcome, and the use of technology can ultimately lead to improved patient care and better patient outcomes. Nurse informaticists can play a crucial role in improving the usability and effectiveness of healthcare technology by matching user needs and vendor software features and by influencing the selection and implementation of appropriate technologies. This can ensure that this organization gets value for its investments in technology and that patients receive safe, high-quality care.

References

Lindley, L. C., Svynarenko, R., & Profant, T. L. (2020). Data infrastructure for sensitive data: Nursing’s role in the development of a secure research enclave. Computers, Informatics, Nursing: CIN, 38(9), 427–430. https://doi.org/10.1097/CIN.0000000000000677

McBride, S., & Tietze, M. (2022). Nursing informatics for the advanced practice nurse: Patient safety, quality, outcomes, and interprofessionalism. Springer Publishing.

McGonigle, D., & Mastrian, K. (2021). Nursing informatics and the foundation of knowledge (5th ed.). Jones & Bartlett.

Park, H.-K., & Jeong, Y.-W. (2021). Impact of nursing professionalism on the perception of patient privacy protection in nursing students: Mediating effect of nursing informatics competency. Healthcare (Basel, Switzerland), 9(10), 1364. https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare9101364

Schoenbaum, A. E., & Carroll, W. M. (2020, September 30). Nursing Informatics Key Role in Defining Clinical Workflow, Increasing Efficiency and Improving Quality. HIMSS. https://www.himss.org/resources/nursing-informatics-key-role-defining-clinical-workflow-increasing-efficiency-and