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Medical informatics is an important part of healthcare because it is concerned with healthcare data and information through the use of technology. It makes healthcare delivery systems more effective (Anderson & Sensemeier, 2011). Medical informatics provides methods to improvement the management of patient information, demographics, clinical knowledge, and other pertinent information relevant to patient care. In the case of nursing informatics, it is centered on systems implementation and systems development activities (Anderson & Sensemeier, 2011).
Primary Responsibilities of Nursing Informatics
Nursing informatics is an important sector of healthcare informatics. The primary responsibilities of this job are to utilize computer science in conjunction to the science of nursing (Moen & Knudsen, 2013). Nursing informatics processes and manages data, information, and knowledge of nursing and enhances the delivery of care (Moen & Knudsen, 2013). Nursing informatics helps clarify and promote efficient information exchange in the practice of nursing. Finally, it helps synthesize resources that promote the nursing practice like evidence-based practice information, patient safety, and professional development (Moen & Knudsen, 2013).
Nursing informatics is essential to the delivery of safe and effective healthcare. It helps with the selection, implementation, and evaluation of health technology. Aspects such as data recovery, patient care, ethics, human-computer interaction, electronic health records, security, electronic learning, and telenursing are all aspects that are a part of nursing informatics (Darvish, Bahramnezhad, Keyhanian, & Navidhamidi, 2014). Furthermore, it supports high quality and safe patient care– this is a field that promotes and improves quality care (Moen & Knudsen, 2013).
Required / Recommended Qualifications
Since technology is always evolving, there is a need to have professionals in nursing informatics. An informatics nurse is essential to the delivery of safe and effective care through the use of technology. In order to do this, a level of knowledge is required. According to the American Nursing Association, a informatics nurse should have a bachelors in nursing and become certified as an informatics nurse (ANA, 2019). To be eligible for the certification, a person must have two full years of experience as a nurse and have completed 30 hours of continuing education in informatics nursing. They must also meet hour requirements (ex: minimum of 2,000 hours in informatics nursing within the last three years).
Key activities in Healthcare Organization
Nursing informatics, as previously stated, plays an important role in the selection, implementation, and evaluation of health technology in a healthcare organization (Murphy, 2010). Through combining nursing science with computer science and information, nursing informatics helps a healthcare organization communicate and disseminate data and information. This information technology is then propagated by nursing informatics and promotes safe and promotes health of patients and people (Murphy, 2010). An informatics nurse will also help educate individuals on how to adopt new technology in a healthcare organization (Murphy, 2010).
Role in Developing and Governance of Informatics Strategy
Evidence-based practice, patient safety, and development of the nursing field all shape hospital policy. Nursing informatics not only helps shape hospital policy through technical information, it also develops new informatics strategies and help implement it within a hospital (Moen & Knudsen, 2013). Nursing informatics systematizes and formulizes information that is crucial to the development of IT-based technologies (Moen & Knudsen, 2013). Nursing informatics also contributes to conceptual clarifications that then streamline the nursing process. Essentially, nursing informatics can design and deploy IT applications into a healthcare system which then, in turn, enhance quality of care.
While nursing informatics is an essential aspect of healthcare, there are challenges to its success. One major challenge is that there is a difference in the growth pattern between technology and human behavior (i.e. adoption of new legislation, etc.). The development of technology is exponential, while the growth of human change/ adoption of new practices is linear (Nagle, Sermeus, & Junger, 2017). This means that when a nurse finishes his/her education, their knowledge may already be outdated. Furthermore, the adoption of new procedures, protocols, or care pathways may take years to develop and be adopted. By the time the new technical information is adopted and finalized, the technology is outdated (Sermeus, & Junger, 2017). Essentially, a key challenge is time. Another challenge is cost (Sermeus, & Junger, 2017). For a hospital to adopt a technical change, it costs them money. That is another aspect that slows the process of adoption of new IT and advancing technical information.
Nursing informatics plays an important role in the development, implementation, and education of new healthcare technology. It is a field and that is growing and evolving. It has to evolve because technology is constantly changing and advancing. As technology advances, I believe that nursing informatics will trend towards virtual care and connected health over the next five years. Currently, there are aspects of both of these seen in health care. There is telehealth available at some hospitals as a form of virtual care. Nursing informatics will advance and improve upon that current system. In the next five years I believe virtual care will become more common and help decrease the amount of non-emergency visits to the emergency department. Connected care is also an area of development in nursing informatics. It is a technology that enhances the ability of a patient to have access to their health information. It will help a patient get quick test results and information about their care. In the next five years, I believe this technology, with the help of nursing informatics, will help improve the nursing patient relationship and quality of care that a patient receives.
- American Nursing Association (2019). Informatics Nursing Certification (RN-BC). American Nurses Credentialing Center. Retrieved from: https://www.nursingworld.org/our-certifications/informatics-nurse/
- Darvish, A., Bahramnezhad, F., Keyhanian, S., & Navidhamidi, M. (2014). The Role of Nursing Informatics on Promoting Quality Health Care and the Need for Appropriate Education. Global Journal of Health Science, 6(6); 11-18. Doi: 10.5539/gjhs.v6n6p11
- Moen, A & Knudsen, L (2013). Nursing Informatics: Decades of Contribution to Health Informatics. Healthcare Informatics Research, 19(2); 85-92. Doi: 10.4258/hir.2013.19.2.86
- Murphy J. (2010). Nursing informatics: the intersection of nursing, computer, and information sciences. Nursing Economics, 28(3); 204–207. Retrieved from http://0-search.ebscohost.com.libus.csd.mu.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=c8h&AN=105041072&site=eds-live
Nagle, L., Sermeus, W., Junger, A. (2017). Evolving Role of the Nursing Informatics Specialist. Studies in Health Technology and Informatics, 232; 212-221. Doi:
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