What is nursing informatics and What is the role of the nurse informaticist?
Nursing informatics is a specialty that combines nursing science with numerous analytical and information sciences to identify, manage, communicate, and define data, wisdom, knowledge, and information in nursing practice (Reid et al., 2021). The nursing informatics goal is to enhance communities’ and people’s health while lowering costs. To enhance the effective application of nursing informatics, organizations need to work with nurse informaticists. These are nurses that have ensured their competencies in nursing informatics. Nursing informatics competencies include health information literacy, digital literacy, eHealth literacy, and computer skills.
Nurse informaticists support the processes of nursing work through the use of technology. They facilitate acute care change management and re-engineer clinical workflow. They analyze financial and clinical data, facilitate and promote access to references and resources, and offer nursing content in consistent languages. Nurse informaticists also promote care continuity, enhance the association between healthcare recipients and providers and permit productivity and cost-saving goals (Kirsten et al., 2020; Menkiena, 2021).
Nurse Informaticists and Other Health Care Organizations
Nurse informaticists have highly changed operations in healthcare organizations. Nurse informaticists facilitate and promote access to references and resources, making nursing research easier to handle than before. They support nursing practitioners in their mission to provide evidence-based, high-quality care by facilitating their research and informing their findings. Nurse informaticists offer information and data needed to maintain and ensure proper patients care. They help in the analysis of an extensive range of data to identify sources of problems and possible solutions in patient care. This permits an organization’s nurses to offer high-quality care and find solutions that will permit nursing staff to work in extra cost-efficient ways.
Also, nurse informaticists enhance data sharing among nurses and other healthcare professionals. They help in data analysis to provide communicative information about a situation or an issue and also give resources and references that inform what can be done to improve the situation. They have therefore highly benefited not just nurses but all other professionals in the health care system. Nurse informaticists participate in the development and management of health information systems. Such a system is used by the management, hospital administration, and or patient care. According to Najjar and Shafie (2022), hospital information systems automate administrative activities, finance, and patient care.
Also, it generates operational statistics, and management reports. It creates and upholds electronic health records. Therefore, it assists the administrator in improved monitoring and control. It also assists the nursing and medical staff to enhance health services with organized reference patient electronic medical reports. Also, it parameterizes triggers and alarms during patient treatment cycles. Nurse informatics promote the use of IT technology in enhancing health care operations including admission, transfer and discharge, billing, ordering for health care facilities, clinical documentation, integrating specialist system, and use of schedule systems, and in improving drug administrations among other things. Nursing informatics also enhance communication between patients and healthcare providers enhancing patient satisfaction and outcome (Najjar & Shafie, 2022).
Impact of Full Nurse Engagement in Health Care Technology
Full engagement of nurses in health care technology has a positive impact on patient care. Healthcare technology can enhance the efficiency, safety, and quality of healthcare. Healthcare information technology help in collecting patient healthcare data and can be used to identify health issues that need immediate attention. They also help in the easy retrieval and sharing of patient information and enhance inter-professional communication. This will help in promoting patient care. Effective adoption of healthcare technology by nurses will assist in the effective recording and gathering of patient information, which is related to promoting clinical nursing practices. Technology will eliminate errors in diagnosis and medical administration. It will also promote evidence-based nursing practices, and enhance patient management and communication among nurses. This means full adoption of healthcare technology by nurses will promote patient care (Kirsten et al., 2020).
Full nurse engagement in healthcare technology will also understand the security issues being faced by healthcare information technology and expose nurses to understanding rules and policies set to safeguard healthcare records and observe them effectively. This will reduce the chances of experiencing data loss or exposure to an unauthorized third party. Embracing healthcare technology fully will make nurses employ extra effort in safeguarding data security, ensuring patient data privacy and information confidentiality even when sharing patient data among authorized individuals. Nurses will be able to conduct their research without exposing the identity of participants. Also, they will be able to source the right information and data from the system, without compromising data privacy and confidentiality. Having the right knowledge of how technology in healthcare works increases individuals’ ability to control to use it correctly and with a high sense of security (Kirsten et al., 2020).
The use of healthcare technology enhances information sharing and communication. The technology ease documentation in nursing, and information retrieval and update in other departments where patient information may be needed. This eases the workflow in a healthcare organization. Patients can be easily attended to in each department without hitches or the need for physical interaction with the caregiver in a different section. This easy medical administration, admission, transfer, billing, and discharge among other activities necessary in the system. Generally, the use of healthcare technology helps in reducing errors, speed up the healthcare services provision process, and increasing patient satisfaction and outcome. The use of technology enhances operational efficiency which reduces the organization’s operational cost. Although the cost of implementing healthcare technology is high, the return is considerably worth it as the organization will be able to offer quality healthcare services which will attract new customers. The benefits of technology can also improve the work environment promoting workers’ satisfaction and hence retention. Also, the high level of efficiency managed by healthcare technology helps in reducing costs. All these benefits result in high returns on investment (Sharma et al., 2020).
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What are the opportunities and challenges for nurses and the interdisciplinary team with the addition of a nurse informaticist role?
Additional informatics role in nursing increases the opportunities of employing evidence-based practices to solve experienced health care issues. Informatics exposes nurses to an easier way of obtaining health care data and information, and chances of analyzing data to understand situations. This increases the chances of individual engagement in research. Informatics also enhances inter-professional communication and collaboration due to effectiveness. This promotes teamwork and enhanced patient care in the healthcare organization. Nurses also get a chance of identifying problems, their causes and possible solution promptly, reducing chances for extreme cases of disasters in healthcare. The main challenges include the need to take extra classes in informatics to be able to acquire the needed knowledge. Also, the nurse bears the burden of ensuring systems security to ensure data availability, privacy, integrity, and confidentiality. This may present a different level of challenge based on the individual work environments (Najjar & Shafie, 2022).
Summary of Recommendations
Nursing informatics is a skill that is highly needed by all nurses to enhance the effective application of technology in patient care. Nurses should thus consider adding it to their skills and knowledge for effective utilization of healthcare technology to the organization’s advantage. Other than having just one qualified informaticist, a healthcare organization should take the initiative of training all its nurses in informatics (Sharma et al., 2020). This will help in maximizing the benefit of technology in healthcare organizations. The clinical nurse officer should encourage the use of nurse informatics should be effectively used in an organization to promote research on pressing health issues and identify evidence-based practices to promote quality of care and more favorable patient outcome (Najjar & Shafie, 2022).