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Nursing Informatics and the Nurse Informaticist

Nursing Informatics and the Nurse Informaticist

Nursing informatics is a complex field that can be quite difficult to summarize. However, at its core, nursing informatics takes the technical and clinical languages of Health and then translates them into one. It also endorses meaningful, patient-centric, and user-friendly innovation while driving enhanced patient results and improved clinical workflows for the healthcare staff. The American Nurses Association defines nursing informatics as the specialty incorporating nursing science with various analytical and information sciences to identify, communicate, manage, and define wisdom, knowledge, information, and data in nursing practice (HIMSS, 2020; Andrea, 2014). The International Medical Informatics Association describes nursing informatics as the practice and science that incorporates nursing, its knowledge, and information with the management of communication and information technologies to promote the Health of individuals, families, and the community  (Explore Health, 2020).

Nurse informaticists work as educators, chief nursing officers, software engineers, implementation consultants, developers of information and communication technologies, business owners, and policy developers to advance healthcare. The key roles of nursing informaticists include: defining health care policy to improve the Health of the public, managing and overlooking the development, implementation, and design of information and communication technology, and designing and implementing communication and information technologies to address the interprofessional workflow needs across every care units, presenting and retrieving approaches to support safe patient-centered care, making use of proper research to design new knowledge into practice and build communication and data standards that create an interoperable national data infrastructure (Explore Health, 2020).

Nurse Informaticists and Other Health Care Organizations

Informatics is rapidly changing the face of healthcare. As technological advancements are made, healthcare providers and organizations can gather, analyze and leverage data more effectively, impacting how care is delivered teams operate. Resources are managed daily. Nursing informatics has driven healthcare applications of computerized provider order entry and Electronic Medical Records, which enhance safety, patient-centeredness, education, efficiency, and communication in care. Research conducted by HIMSS shows that 67 per cent of the hospitals that made use of nursing informatics recorded increased quality of care for patients, and over three-quarters of these hospitals hailed nurse informaticists for their ability to streamline workflows as well as user acceptance of health IT systems while at the same time ensuring patient safety (Bresnick, 2020). Bresnick (2020) further reveals that about a quarter of healthcare organizations have utilized nurse informaticists on staff since 2000. During this time, more than two-thirds of the organizations have promoted nursing informaticists to leadership roles, including Chief Nursing Information Officers. Respondents agree t that the longer the organization has employed the nurse informaticist, the greater their effect on patient care.

Furthermore, 70 per cent of nurse informaticists are said to have enabled organizations to enhance their medical device integration programs which is an important effort to increasing patient safety and ensuring data integrity in the clinical chart. Over two-thirds of hospitals that use nurse informaticists claim that these nurses help lessen alarm fatigue and mitigate probable patient safety errors by streamlining EHR alerts and any associated workflows (Bresnick, 2020). In Carolina’s Healthcare, nursing informatics is said to have enabled the organization to get rid of 18 million clicks by reducing documentation time by 20 per cent (equal to 35,000 working hours returned to nurses who are directed to patient care), increasing on-time medication administration by 14 per cent and improving quality and saving the organization over $60,000 per year (Davis, 2017).

The nurse informaticists interact with other nursing staff and the interdisciplinary team differently. According to (Holden et al., 2018), nurse informaticists have a professional role on teams beyond providing direct care. In an interprofessional team, nursing informaticists can be innovators, visionaries, evangelists, and facilitators (Holden et al., 2018). The nursing informaticists also have an important role in training the nursing staff and other interdisciplinary staff on using technologies in healthcare and ensuring that the nursing staff understands different information and communication technologies that can be employed to enhance performance and work efficiency. This constant interaction facilitates an environment of constant learning and growth. Individual input can be considered in various decisions or changes that might need to be made in the organization. Nursing informatics also interact with other nursing staff by helping them to collect important healthcare information that can be used to facilitate nursing research, including evidence-based research, or by discussing with them the necessities for a new system that should be developed to help them in their daily healthcare or nursing operations

 Impact of Full Nurse Engagement in Health Care Technology

One of the commonly applied technologies in healthcare is electronic health records. This technology has made it possible for nurses to increase continuity of care by enhancing their access to health information, providing care coordination, reducing costly medical errors, increasing patient satisfaction, and increasing care quality while lessening the cost of care (Gomes et al., 2016). Gomes et al. (2016) further claim that EHR use was linked with more time spent in patients’ rooms and in care for patients. Full engagement of the nurses in health care technology has therefore made it possible for better patient care to be administered to patients as observed in the reduced number of errors and the efficient manner in which care is provided to patients, among other things.

Health Care Technology, like other technologies, raises questions concerning the confidentiality, privacy, and security of protected health information. Engaging nurses in healthcare technology can help them be educated on various ways to protect patient data. This can be done through training on the importance of valid usernames and passwords as a standard mechanism to restrict access to relevant patient information and (Samadbeik et al., 2015) claim that nursing informatics can help define an effective strategy for enhancing electronic nursing documentation to limit security damage. A working electronic signing process can also be employed. Furthermore, with technological advancements, biometrics identification techniques like face recognition, voice, fingerprint, and iris scanning can control access and identify individuals, facilitating proper patient security, confidentiality, and private care.

In relation to workflow, using healthcare technology has been associated with increased workflow streamlining. Commonly, workflow problems linked to EHR have resulted in unsafe workarounds, slow rates of adoption of EHR, reduced productivity, and inefficient clinical documentation (San Jose, 2017). Nurses’ lack of knowledge brings about such problems, and proper training on workflow changes is brought about by such technologies as EHR. Therefore, fully engaging nurses in healthcare technologies can help streamline workflow at the workplace.

Nurse engagement is generally associated with higher profitability, reduced mortality rates, and increased personal initiative. Wang, Wang, and McLeod (2018) claim that using health information technology is linked with increased organization performance, profitability improvement, competitive advantage, cost reduction, and inventory reduction. Given the benefits associated with the use of technology in healthcare, fully engaging nurses in the process will result in reduced cost of care, enhance higher savings for the organization, and lead to a higher return on investment.

Opportunities and Challenges

There are various opportunities for nurses and the interdisciplinary team with the addition of a nurse informaticist role. The current world is evolving towards more advanced technology, and one of the major problems that nurses face is their lack of proper skills and knowledge of technology. However, with a nurse informaticist on board, nurses will have an opportunity, through proper and continued training, to improve their technology skills to facilitate better patient care. A nurse informaticist will enable nurses to integrate data, knowledge, and information to support nurses in their decision-making in every setting and role (Nagle, 2021). However, there might be challenges in integrating the role of the nurse informaticist as well as accepting the changes that might occur with the role of a nurse informaticist.

To enhance collaboration among the interdisciplinary team to increase quality care outcomes through technology, enhanced communication, shared decision making, proper training on the technologies and the need for teamwork should be encouraged. Peltonen et al. (2019) outline the importance of effectively communicating the importance and value of the nursing informaticist to the organization to reduce resistance, and increase support for changes that will occur, to facilitate quality care outcomes.

Summary of Recommendation

Nursing informatics will play a major role in the organization, enabling it to become more competitive and ensure a better quality of care for patients and a reduced workload for nurses. A nursing informaticist will help other staff members to embrace the use of technology in healthcare delivery to improve effectiveness and efficiency of care and lessen the costly medical errors. Nursing informatics can also result in increased research and development, to develop evidence-based practice in the organization. Lastly, nursing informatics will help streamline workflow and help prevent nurse fatigue which is commonly linked to various errors and poor patient care.

References

Davis, J. (March 27, 2017). How nursing informatics helped Carolinas HealthCare eliminate 18 million clicks. Retrieved from https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/how-nursing-informatics-helped-carolinas-healthcare-eliminate-400000-clicks

Explore Health. (2020). Nursing Informaticist. Retrieved from https://explorehealthcareers.org/career/informatics/nursing-informaticist/#:~:text=Nurse%20informaticists%20work%20as%20developers,owners%20to%20advance%20health%20care.

Gomes, M., Hash, P., Orsolini, L., Watkins, A., & Mazzoccoli, A. (2016). Connecting professional practice and technology at the bedside: nurses’ beliefs about using an electronic health record and their ability to incorporate professional and patient-centered nursing activities in patient care. Computers, Informatics, Nursing, 34(12), 578.

HIMSS. (2020). What is Nursing Informatics? Retrieved from https://www.himss.org/resources/what-nursing-informatics

Holden, R. J., Binkheder, S., Patel, J., & Viernes, S. H. P. (2018). Best practices for health informatician involvement in interprofessional health care teams. Applied clinical informatics, 9(1), 141.

Lee, A. (2014). The role of informatics in nursing. Nursing Made Incredibly Easy, 12(4), 55.

Nagle, L. M. (2021). The role of the informatics nurse. In Introduction to nursing informatics (pp. 295-315). Springer, Cham.

Peltonen, L. M., Nibber, R., Lewis, A., Block, L., Pruinelli, L., Topaz, M., & Ronquillo, C. (2019). Emerging professionals’ observations of opportunities and challenges in nursing informatics. Nursing Leadership, 32(2), 8-18.

Samadbeik, M., Gorzin, Z., Khoshkam, M., & Roudbari, M. (2015). Managing the security of nursing data in the electronic health record. Acta Informatica Medica, 23(1), 39.

San Jose, R. L. A. (2017). Educating nurses on workflow changes from electronic health record adoption. Walden University.

Wang, T., Wang, Y., & McLeod, A. (2018). Do health information technology investments impact hospital financial performance and productivity? International Journal of Accounting Information Systems, 28, 1-13.

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Question 


Nursing Informatics and the Nurse Informaticist

Write a 4-5 page evidence-based proposal to support the need for a nurse informaticist in an organization who
would focus on improving health care outcomes.
As you begin to prepare this assessment, you are encouraged to complete the Team Perspectives of the Nurse
Informaticist activity. Completion of this will help you succeed with the assessment as you explore the nurse
informaticist’s role from the different perspectives of the health care team. Completing activities is also a way to
demonstrate engagement.
Nurses at the baccalaureate level in all practice areas are involved in nursing informatics through interaction with
information management and patient care technologies. Nurses must not only demonstrate knowledge of and skills
in health information and patient care technologies, but also how to use these tools at the bedside and
organizational levels. Moreover, nurses need to recognize how information gathered from various health information
sources can impact decision making at the national and state regulatory levels.

Demonstration of Proficiency
By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the course competencies
through the following assessment scoring guide criteria:
Competency 1: Describe nurses’ and the interdisciplinary team’s role in informatics with a focus on electronic
health information and patient care technology to support decision making.
Define nursing informatics and the role of the nurse informaticist.
Explain how the nurse collaborates with the interdisciplinary team, including technologists, to improve
the quality of patient care.
Justify the need for a nurse informaticist in a health care organization.
Competency 2: Implement evidence-based strategies to effectively manage protected health information.
Explain evidence-based strategies that the nurse and interdisciplinary team can use to effectively
manage patients’ protected health information (privacy, security, and confidentiality).
Competency 5: Apply professional, scholarly communication to facilitate use of health information and patient
care technologies.
Follow APA style and formatting guidelines for citations and references.
Create a clear, well-organized, and professional proposal that is generally free from errors in grammar,
punctuation, and spelling.

Scenario

For this assessment, assume you are a nurse attending a meeting of your state’s nurses’ association. A nurse
informaticist conducted a presentation on her role and its impact on positive patient and organizational outcomes in her workplace. You realize that your organization is undergoing many technological changes. You believe this type of role could provide many benefits to your organization.
You decide to pursue proposing a nurse informaticist role in your organization. You speak to your chief nursing
officer (CNO) and human resources (HR) manager. These individuals ask you to prepare a 4–5 page evidence-based
proposal to support the new role. In this way, they can make an informed decision as to whether the addition of such a role could justify the return on investment (ROI). They need your proposal before an upcoming fiscal meeting.
Preparation
To successfully prepare for this assessment, you will need to complete these preparatory activities:

  • Review assessment resources and activities.
  • Conduct independent research on the nursing knowledge and skills necessary to interact with health
    information and patient care technology.
  • Focus your research on current resources available through peer-reviewed articles, professional
    websites, government websites, professional blogs, wiki pages, job boards, et cetera.
  • Consult the BSN Program Library Research Guide for help in identifying scholarly and authoritative
    sources.
  • Interview peers in your network who are considered information technology experts.
  • Ask them about how information technology advances are impacting patient care at the bedside, at
    the organizational level, and beyond.

Proposal Format
The Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) and Human Resources (HR) manager have asked you to include the following
headings in your proposal and to be sure to address the bullets underneath each heading:

  • Nursing Informatics and the Nurse Informaticist
  • What is nursing informatics?
  • What is the role of the nurse informaticist?
  • Nurse Informaticists and Other Health Care Organizations
  • What is the experience of other health care organizations with nurse informaticists?
  • How do these nurse informaticists interact with the rest of the nursing staff and the interdisciplinary team?
  • Impact of Full Nurse Engagement in Health Care Technology
  • How does fully engaging nurses in health care technology impact:
    Patient care?
    Protected health information (security, privacy, and confidentiality)?
    Workflow?
    Costs and return on investment?

Opportunities and Challenges
What are the opportunities and challenges for nurses and the interdisciplinary team with the addition of a
nurse informaticist role?
How can the interdisciplinary team collaborate to improve quality care outcomes through technology?

Summary of Recommendations

What are 3–4 key takeaways from your proposal about the recommended nurse informaticist role that you want the CNO and the HR manager to remember?

Additional Requirements
Written communication: Ensure written communication is free of errors that detract from the overall
message.

  • Submission length: 4–5 double-spaced pages, in addition to a title page and references page.
    Font: Times New Roman, 12 point.
  • Citations and References: Cite a minimum of 3 current scholarly and/or authoritative sources to support your
    ideas. In addition, cite a minimum of 1 current professional blog or website to support your central ideas.
    Current means no more than five years old.
  • APA formatting: Be sure to follow APA formatting and style guidelines for citations and references. For an
    APA refresher, consult the Evidence and APA page on Campus.
  • Portfolio Prompt: Save your presentation to your ePortfolio. Submissions to the ePortfolio will be part of your final capstone course.

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