Informatics, the process of collecting and storing data. Health informatics focuses on patient healthcare information. Different avenues of health technology system and informatics include the employment of categorizing knowledge and skills in the form of devices, data recovery, website management, and computer science, telemedicine, electronic MAR systems, imaging informatics, and many more. (World Health Organization, 2015) Nursing is a field that is ever-evolving furthermore this is the age of computer technology. Technology pithing the healthcare system is evolving and growing rapidly. In healthcare today, technology is used to chart, read lab results, store information for patient healthcare, and the list goes on. Its’ almost impossible to disregard the importance of how healthcare workers use computers and other forms of technology in our everyday workspace; Computer information systems have become such an integral part of our daily tasks that it is hard to work without them. This is what makes it so important to involve nurses in the process of developing an electronic medical record system (EMAR). The EMAR is a powerful system that allows computerized charting, set critical alerts such as allergies, and more. Past medical history, insurance information, DNR are some of the may things set into the informatics system as well. Electronic computer systems also allow patients to access their medical records from any mobile device via patient portals. “Technological strides and increase knowledge in biomedicine have improved the concept of patient empowerment, now patients have the tools, resources and the access to play an active role in the delivery of their health care services.
I was first introduced to electronic charting in 2013. Because I’m familiar with computers, the transition from paper charting to electronic charting was fairly simple. I know for some of the older nurses, dinosaur nurses are what we young nurses call them, the transition was slightly more difficult. American Nurses Association presented the redirection from paper charting to EMAR in 1995. Their aim was simple, they presented Nursing Informatics as a specialty that integrates nursing science, computer, and information science to provide data communication management. The American Nurses Association (AMA) believes everyone should have access to safe and quality care. It is through informatics systems healthcare workers are able to review past medical history and provide quality care based on past medical needs. (Demiris & Kneale, 2015) The impact that electronic health records have on the quality of decision making cannot be measured. Nurses have worked in the field of informatics for almost 40years, in spite of that, the term “nursing informatics” has only been appreciated as a specialization in nursing since the 80s.
I can agree Nursing Informatics has sanctioned time for more effective decision making when providing care. (Toromanovic, Hasanovic & Masic, 2015) saving time impacts decision making hugely and positively, because it allows for more time to weigh treatment options. Knowing pre hand all medical conditions without a patient having to remember is very helpful. As a nurse, when I can refer to the information entered in the database from prior hospital encounters, this is very very helpful. Assist in time management and more accurate patient care.
While the benefits of a well-functioning electronic health record are clear, choosing and implementing a system can be very challenging. Before committing to any system, you must understand what your facility’s priorities are. It’s also essential to fully investigate your possibilities before settling on an information system. In addition, healthcare facilities are mandated by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) to protect all patient information and medical records. Therefore choosing the right system must also follow HIPPA guidelines. Because the electronic health records stores all patient’s vital medical information together, patients’ personal information as well (social security, dob), and just relevant information all around found in the patient medical records. With that being said, whatever electronic database the facility decides to use, must have maximum protection within the HIPPA guidelines to protect patient safety. All medical staff needs proper training once the hospital adapts a new system. Training is an ongoing process from the time the system is introduced to a facility until the end of use. Ongoing education may be necessary to ensure competent knowledge of electronic medical records due to the evolving world of technology and of healthcare.
Technology is eternally transforming healthcare systems’ ability to overachieve patient care. Cutting edge technology assists in quality care and saving valuable time as mentioned above. Thanks to the unique expert outlook of experienced nurses’, they embrace the role of improving healthcare through informatics and technology. And through the electronic medical record decision making in healthcare has become easier and more efficient. Nurses are key drivers in this growing advancement in health information system implementation.
Demiris, G., & Kneale, L. (2015, August 13). Informatics Systems and Tools to Facilitate
Patient-centered Care Coordination: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4587048/ (Links to an external site.).
Nursing informatics is defined as the specialization that integrates nursing science with multiple information and analytical sciences to identify, define, manage and communicate data, information, knowledge and wisdom in the nursing professional practice (“importance of increasing health literacy content in nursing education,” 2015). The nursing career practice has undergone tremendous reforms and restructuring due to changes and developments in the health care delivery systems. The use of technology and computers plays a significant role in the health care sector. As a result of the dynamics in the in the health care system and technological advancements, new nursing roles and responsibilities are emerging (Mitchell & Hull, 2020). The application of nursing informatics is important in helping nurses to perform the roles and responsibilities. As a result of this developments, nursing informatics knowledge becomes a necessity in the career practice.
Advancing in education for nurses should be a priority for nurse. Pursuing higher levels of education exposes the nurse to new knowledge, skills, and experiences (“importance of increasing health literacy content in nursing education,” 2015). The new competences gained by the nurse are important in the evaluation and selection of the appropriate information systems to apply. The decision on the implementation of a particular information system in influenced by the sound knowledge of nursing practice and the desired results. Implementation of nursing information system requires that the nurses have the relevant skills to use the system to improve the quality of services offered and better patients’ outcome (“importance of increasing health literacy content in nursing education,” 2015). Nurses should be encouraged to attain higher levels of education so that they remain relevant in the practice.
The primary goal of the nursing practice is to prevent illnesses and promotion of better health care. Nurses interact more with patient compared to other health care professionals. Family nurse practitioners offer services to patients of different age. The interaction with these patients is sensitive and requires more careful handling to ensure the comfortability of the patients. The information system selected should provide a conducive environment that preserves the dignity of the patients (Lin, 2017). Nurse mid-wives provide services to women and their newborns. Nurses have a role in ensuring the selected information system fulfills the requirements of the nurse mid-wife’s practice. Nurse educators are involved in the academic setting. Their role in evaluation of health care information system is very important in training nurses (Lin, 2017). Nurses should be involved in the evaluation and selection process of information system as they are more familiar with the patients’ needs and the nursing options in the market (Lin, 2017).
Priority should be given to knowledge-based decisions. This is an implementation strategy that ensure that decisions on the implementation process is based on knowledge. It ensures that the information system selected meets the requirements and serves the needs of the institution. Information system should be able to evolve with health care system (Lin, 2017). It should be able to develop patient centered data collection methods, core data elements, and system capacity for patient-based health data sets. It should be able to capture home care data for all stake holders. This strategy emphasizes on the flexibility of the information system to changes and reforms in the health care services.
The effective implementation of information systems in the health care sector is affected by certain factors that delay or hinders the implementation process. The cost of developing and maintain an information system is quite high (Sahay, Sundararaman, & Braa, 2017). This hinders the effective implementation of information systems in the health care sector. Lack of necessary knowledge among the nursing staff on the application and implementation of information systems affects the development and achievement of the desired results. Lack of proper integration, information and provider overload is another challenge affecting the full implementation of information system (Sahay, Sundararaman, & Braa, 2017). In conclusion, information systems should be encouraged and implemented in the health care to improve the quality of services offered.
The importance of increasing health literacy content in nursing education. (2015). American Research Journal of Nursing. doi:10.21694/2379-2922.15023
Lin, H. (2017). Nursesʼ satisfaction with using nursing information systems from technology acceptance model and information systems success model perspectives. CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing, 35(2), 91-99. doi:10.1097/cin.0000000000000293
Mitchell, M. B., & Hull, S. C. (2020). The alliance for nursing informatics. CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing, 38(1), 5-7. doi:10.1097/cin.0000000000000614
Sahay, S., Sundararaman, T., & Braa, J. (2017). Institutions as barriers and facilitators of health information systems reform. Oxford Medicine Online. doi:10.1093/med/9780198758778.003.0006
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