Understanding how information flows in the hospital setting is crucial for a nurse to be able to identify patients’ needs, evaluate them, and meet them in the environment of the clinical setting and with the resources available at the time. Therefore, the role of healthcare informatics is paramount to the identification of patients’ needs, as well as the choice of tools for faster and more effective management of it.
To prove the significance of IT tools usage in the hospital context, one should consider a hypothetical scenario that involves potential mismanagement of data. For instance, in a local healthcare organization for inpatients, one of the patients has been suggested to increase the length of stay by several dates to ensure that the recovery process is complete. However, after several days of additional hospital stay, the patient was reported to have a decreasing rate of mental health, and the promotion of health education in patients (Atasoy et al., 2019). Specifically it will be critical to examine a situation in which patient’s personal information is transferred to one nurse from another in the course of a handoff situation. In the process, a crucial piece of data is omitted, while the patient is incapable of contributing to the conversation.
In the scenario under analysis, the crucial information that should be used to complete the handoff successfully could have been gathered by observing the patient closely and writing down the changes observed in the patient’s health status. Using different tool to ensure that the principal information about the patient is made aware of to the staff members would, in turn, have helped to mitigate most of the negative consequences of handling the case in question by omitting the conflict and focusing on further recovery of the patient (Aiken et al., 2017). However, since the observed problem in information within the hospital affects its patients directly, remaining silent does not seem to be ethical.
As for the solution to the described issue, an established, IT-based information management framework would have helped to reduce the threat of data omission during patient handoffs significantly. Namely, by submitting every change in the patient’s health status as a record in an appropriate data management system within the clinical setting, a nurse would be able to manage an increased amount of work without experiencing a burnout (Luan et al., 2017). Thus, although automated data collection does not appear to be the most suitable for ensuring that the key changes are recorded accordingly, the acceptance of the IT tools as the support system for information management within a nursing setting should be encouraged.
As seen in the case above, the people are willing to provide extra information of their condition, yet, in some cases, the onus is on nurses to decipher the provided information and record it properly. In the target setting, the failure of a nurse to transfer critical data to another healthcare expert and ensure that no essential detail is mitted is a sign of a major flaw in the established data management system. Namely, the scenario in question is emblematic of the problems in deploying IT tools properly to record data and locate the tiniest changes in the patient’s status so that a new nurse could continue where the previous healthcare staff member left. Therefore, the inclusion of IT tools that would help to create a system for data control, management, and sharing is needed.
Aiken, L. H., Sloane, D., Griffiths, P., Rafferty, A. M., Bruyneel, L., McHugh, M.,… Sermeus, W. (2017). Nursing skill mix in European hospitals: Cross-sectional study of the association with mortality, patient ratings, and quality of care. BMJ Quality & Safety, 26(7), 559-568.
Atasoy, H., Greenwood, B. N., & McCullough, J. S. (2019). The digitization of patient care: A review of the effects of electronic health records on health care quality and utilization. Annual Review of Public Health, 40, 487-500.
Luan, X., Wang, P., Hou, W., Chen, L., & Lou, F. (2017). Job stress and burnout: A comparative study of senior and head nurses in China. Nursing & Health Sciences, 19(2), 163-169.