Nursing Informatics Paper Discussion

Introduction

Nursing informatics is a recent but critical specialty in nursing. It is a specialty that combines nursing science with nursing information technology to develop systems that improve patient care while reducing medical errors. Patient medical data has emerged as a critical factor in reducing medical errors and improving patient outcomes. Nursing informatics is a branch of technology that allows health facilities to efficiently collect patient data/information leading to improved safety, quality of care, and patient outcomes. Nursing informatics is a critical information management system in the medical field as it is the driving force behind development, improvements, decision-making, and clinical outcomes.

Role of Nursing Informaticists

Nursing informatics is a highly technical role that needs nursing professionals with high skills and knowledge of data and technology. Nursing Informaticists have numerous responsibilities as elaborated below.

Data Collection and Analysis

In the United States of America, over 95% of all healthcare facilities use some kind of certified health record system. These systems are the backbone of the operations of these facilities as they change the way healthcare is delivered and managed. However, these traditional health record systems are plagued with rampant inefficiencies leading to numerous medical errors. Furthermore, the inefficiency of these traditional health record systems impacts the provision of quality care for patients and the general patient experiences.

Nursing informaticists help to eradicate the rampant inefficiencies of the traditional health record systems. One of the critical issues that healthcare facilities have had to deal with is the problem of medical errors-mostly occasioned by wrong customer data/information. Nurses, physicians, and other medical professionals rely on patient data/information to make critical decisions on patients’ health, intervention, and outcomes. Wrong information captured in these traditional health record systems automatically results in wrong decisions by nurses and doctors. The role of nursing informatics specialists is to reduce or eradicate errors related to patient information by transitioning patient records/data from paper form to digital format. A transition from the manual entry of information in paper form to digital records greatly reduces any chances of errors. The nursing informatics specialists must ensure that patient records/data are errorless.

Nursing Informatics must align nursing best practices with patient outcomes and clinical care. The most critical objective of nursing informatics is to improve clinical care and patient outcomes through the adoption of best practices. To achieve excellent clinical care, nursing informatics specialists are critical to processes such as the review of clinical workflow, process designs, creating effective treatment plans based on patient information and data, and developing new diagnostics (Ng et al., 2018). All the processes mentioned above have a direct impact on the quality of care given to patients. Working in collaboration with other medical professionals, nursing informatics specialists create the best course of action for patients that lead to value-based and patient-centered care.

Nursing informatics specialists work to improve protocols, policies, procedures, and processes. Data is the lifeline of any medical facility because all decisions are made using data/information (Jabour et al., 2021) Available data/information are used by healthcare facilities to make critical decisions about patients and the direction of growth of such facilities. Most importantly, information is used to evaluate and measure the performance of all protocols, procedures, policies, and processes in caregiving facilities. For example, it is the responsibility of nursing informaticists to measure the way all specific parts of a healthcare organization are performing with emphasis on patient outcomes. Based on the performance of each part, nursing informaticists can initiate changes to specific parts to streamline activities. Emphasis is put on eliminating bottlenecks, reducing inefficiencies, and improving the overall care and safety for patients.

Nurse Informaticists and Other Health Care Organizations

I researched the experience of other health care organizations with nurse informaticists and there were many cases of success and a few challenges. The integration of the nurse informaticists into the team is done by creating a distinct position for the role. The nurse informaticists are at the center of communication and information within a hospital setting (Mosier, 2018). One of the major roles that the position holder will play is training team members on how CPRS works. As a trainer, the nurse informaticists work closely with other staff such as doctors, fellow nurses, lab technicians, and the administrative staff to ensure that patient information is accurately captured and contained in the system. Secondly, the nurse informaticists must ensure that there is a smooth flow of communication between different healthcare professionals as far as patient records are concerned (Sipes, 2016). The creation of a special office for the nurse informaticists helps him/her to effectively liaise and coordinate with other team members.

Impact of Full Nurse Engagement in Health Care Technology

Data Privacy is guaranteed when using nursing informatics. The disadvantage with the paper-based system of health records is that anyone can access patient data or sensitive data belonging to a healthcare facility. Using nursing informatics, the security, privacy, and confidentiality of health information are guaranteed. To begin with, the systems of health records created by nursing informaticists are only accessible to authorized personnel. For example, only health professionals that deal with a patient are privy to their data/information. This fact means that for anyone to access a patient’s health records, they must have the relevant authority and clearance to do so. This way, the technologies adopted restrict unauthorized access to sensitive hospital and patient information.

Nursing informatics leads to better patient outcomes. Patient records have a direct impact on a patient, the intervention method chosen, the treatment plan, the provision of quality care, and the overall outcome. Through nursing informatics, the chances of medical errors are minimal due to improved accuracy it confers in capturing patient data. Secondly, the role of nursing informatics promotes interprofessional cooperation of different health professionals within a facility which improves the quality of care given to patients. In particular, nursing informatics improve patient safety, precision in diagnosis, communication, and overall effectiveness of patient care (McGonigle, 2017). In the past, the healthcare facility I work for has witnessed some cases of patient misdiagnosis occasioned by incorrect patient information/data.

Opportunities and Challenges

Nursing informatics provides the best chance to reduce medical errors. Nursing informatics can reduce nursing errors by up to 80% compared to the traditional health record systems. Reduced medical errors have a positive impact on the quality of care for patients, improves patient safety, and helps to improve overall patient care. For hospitals, reduced medical errors mean improved reputation, good customer relations, and reduced cost of operations. For example, medical errors cost hospitals millions of dollars every year-money that would be used on other critical ventures. Nursing informatics allows healthcare facilities to increase the level of quality provision as well as cutting down the costs of operations.

One of the challenges for many healthcare facilities concerning the implementation of nursing informatics is a cost factor. The creation of the position of a nursing informaticists is a costly venture because it is a role that is highly integrated with other roles. Every health professional is expected to acquire information from a centralized point within a facility when using nursing informatics. It requires a lot of money to create and develop technological and communication channels between professionals (Mosier et al., 2019). Doing so requires creating friendly user-interfaces for all professionals that need access to health records. The initial investment in creating a smart digital health record platform is expensive. Besides, there must be highly trained professionals to run the project. The cost of running and maintaining the project may be inhibitive for some health facilities.

Conclusion

Nursing informatics plays a critical role in the nursing field. Today, the term patient outcomes is a critical feature that defines and shapes how medicine is practiced. Nursing informatics is at the core of improving the quality of healthcare for patients. It also impacts patient experiences meaning that patient outcomes depend on nursing informatics. Most importantly, nursing informatics nursing informaticists help to eradicate the rampant inefficiencies of the traditional health record systems. One of the critical issues that healthcare facilities have had to deal with is the problem of medical errors-mostly occasioned by wrong customer data/information.

References

  • Jabour, S. M., Chander, G., Riekert, K. A., Keruly, J. C., Herne, K., Hutton, H., Beach, M. C., Lau, B., Moore, R. D. & Monroe, A. K. (2021). The Patient Reported Outcomes as a Clinical Tool (PROACT) Pilot Study: What Can be Gained by Sharing Computerized Patient-Reported Mental Health and Substance Use Symptoms with Providers in HIV Care? AIDS and Behavior. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10461-021-03175-2
  • McGonigle, D. (2017). Nursing Informatics and the Foundation of Knowledge. [MBS Direct]. Retrieved from https://mbsdirect.vitalsource.com/#/books/9781284142990/ https://doi.org/10.1016/j.outlook.2008.09.010
  • Mosier, S., Roberts, W., & Englebright, J. (2019). A systems-level method for developing nursing informatics solutions. JONA: The Journal of Nursing Administration49(11), 543–548. https://doi.org/10.1097/nna.0000000000000815
  • Ng, Y., Alexander, S., & Frith, K. H. (2018). Integration of mobile health applications in health information technology initiatives. CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing36(5), 209–213. https://doi.org/10.1097/cin.0000000000000445
  • Sipes, C. (2016, January 1). Project Management: Essential Skill of Nurse Informaticists. Walden Library. https://eds-a-ebscohost-com.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=2&sid=d7e0961a-b9f5-48db-b31c-74719f7bace7%40sdc-v-sessmgr01