The health care improvement envisages increasing the quality of medical care and rational use of available resources. Medical informatics as a discipline considers issues of informatization of health care. Medical information systems are tools designed for the daily work of the medical personnel. Information systems can transform management methods and the performance of a medical institution. The role of a nurse informaticist is to make electronic work with digital information and resources understandable and convenient for everyone.
Nursing Informatics and Informaticists
Nowadays, informatics is referred to as an independent medical field of science, which has its own education, dedicated research, object and subject of study. Informatics used in medical institutions is an applied science representing a combination of medical and technical skills of knowledge. In general, medical informatic is the demonstration of processes of cross interaction of informatics and medicine (Sensmeier & Anderson, 2020). The medicine plays a role in the medical task execution while the informatics provides methods and techniques to ensure the work of the technical part of the process.
As a nursing specialty, nursing informatics integrates information technology and nursing science to process patient-related data and assist in medical decision making. The nurse informaticists understand and apply the concepts of the computer-based standards. They understand the inner workings of data that is collected, processed, stored and downloaded electronically (Sensmeier & Anderson, 2020). These specialist nurses can also evaluate the usability of their information technology systems to ensure fast and accurate data collection.
Nurse Informaticists and Healthcare Organizations
The effectiveness of health care largely depends on the use of advanced technologies. Computers and the Internet are among the most important aspects of digitalization in the modern world. At the same time, not all doctors are trained or know how to work with technologies quickly and efficiently. A nurse informaticist acts as a link between electronic devices and other medical personnel, providing employees with comfortable work conditions, at the same time with patients receiving quality service (Sensmeier & Anderson, 2020). Nowadays, most nurses involved in diagnosis, treatment, and patient care use computers. Therefore, the help and support in the adaptation is essential.
Computers are critical, along with servers and databases containing big volumes of disease records and hospital operating programs. By interacting with the multidisciplinary nurse team, the informatist acts as a person who can ensure the efficient transfer and use of information between professionals (Sensmeier & Anderson, 2020). This may include remote communication between the nurse technologist and the nurse practitioner.
Impact of Full Nurse Engagement in Health Care Technology
The challenge of a quick and efficient assessment of the status of a patient’s condition comes in place in various medical practical areas. Primarily, the quick access to information is required with continuous monitoring of the patient in intensive care units, operating rooms and postoperative departments. In these cases, it is required to provide not only an operative diagnosis of complications during treatment, but also to predict the patient’s condition, as well as to determine the optimal correction of arising disorders (Kleib & Nagle, 2018). Therefore, the medical information system is designed to improve the quality and availability of medical services.
Patient records and other needs, billing, insurance, healthcare staff planning, policies, and procedures are stored and transmitted digitally. All of this information must be secure, confidential and readily available to key healthcare personnel, especially a nurse. Dedicated nurses take care of large volumes of digital records of medical cases with the use of electronic equipment including computers and other specialized devices. A dedicated nurse who is trained to work with electronic information may be responsible for ensuring its preservation, while nurses with purely medical skills may not always be able to work with advanced technologies.
Workflow, Costs and Return of Investment
The nurses and interdisciplinary specialists of any clinic interact with each other. The basis for this interaction is the transfer of information. Informatics nurses act as intermediaries, providing new ways of communicating information, teaching how to work with technology, and overseeing function and efficiency (Meher et al., 2019). Additionally, nurse informaticists can maintain high ethical standards and prevent patient data from being misused or published without patient consent.
Data leaks are one of the most widely discussed problems in the modern world. Leaks of information for commercial organizations can lead to significant losses (Roberts, 2018). Nurses associated with digital technology tend to have higher salaries due to higher training requirements (Sensmeier & Anderson, 2020). However, the use of informatics nurses allows organizations to reduce costs and increase profits, which demonstrates their effectiveness for return of investment (Meher et al., 2019). Since professionals with knowledge of computer science can ensure the efficient and safe operation of a medical institution in relation to the requirements of the modern world, their availability is essential.
Challenges and Opportunities
Few of the key aspects of nursing informatics include obtaining patient information in the electronic or physical format and using it in order to enhance the patient care with the application of digital technologies. As technology advances, informatics nurses can maintain the clarity of electronic details while maintaining the nurse’s role in the process (Heidarizadeh et al., 2017). In particular, informatics nurses can create a healthcare technology that is adaptable and allows the proper assessment and care. In the case of an effective communication model, the informatics nurse can train staff in one department to digitally display and store information, while staff in another department can review it. This will provide an opportunity to disassemble the patient’s case in real time without the need for physical presence.
Daily challenges in the work of nursing informatics include combining nursing principles with electronic data to provide patients with the best possible care. Additionally, one of the challenges in nursing informatics is maintaining patient confidentiality when transmitting data electronically (Heidarizadeh et al., 2017). As the medical community moves further in the use of electronic records, the ability to send patient information from one system to another increases. Informatics nurses ensure the confidential management of all patient data, regardless of how that data is communicated.
Summary and Recommendations
Nursing informaticists can inevitably change the way medical care is delivered. Information systems allow monitoring the quality of medical care, analyzing current medical and preventive work, monitoring health indicators, making managerial decisions, and forecasting the functioning of the healthcare system. Currently, medical informatics is integrated into all areas of medicine, which imposes certain requirements on medical institutions (Kleib & Nagle, 2018). Healthcare personnel should be able to use modern information technologies in their professional activities, while the role of the dedicated nurse is to help with this.
In conclusion, the information processes are present in all areas of medicine and health care. The clarity of the functioning of the industry as a whole and the effectiveness of its safety management depend on their structuredness. Nurses informaticists, with a set of skills and knowledge, can provide interaction between professionals from different medical disciplines and technologies. The involvement of such nurses ensures that the needs of the modern world are met while saving the time of other healthcare personnel.
Heidarizadeh, K., Rassouli, M., Manoochehri, H., Tafreshi, M. Z., & Ghorbanpour, R. K. (2017). Nurses’ perception of challenges in the use of an electronic nursing documentation system. CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing, 35(11), 599-605. Web.
Kleib, M., & Nagle, L. (2018). Factors associated with Canadian nurses’ informatics competency. CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing, 36(8), 406-415. Web.
Meher, S. K., Gupta, S., Sharma, S., Ibrahim M, M., & Ajmera, K. (2019). Nursing informatics as a specialization in India: Present and future. MEDINFO 2019: Health and Wellbeing e-Networks for All, 264, 1955-1956. Web.
Sensmeier, J., & Anderson, C. (2020). Tracking the impact of nursing informatics. Nursing Management, 51(9), 50-53. Web.
Roberts, S. (2018). Learning lessons from data breaches. Network Security, 2018(11), 8-11. Web.