Strong leadership is critical in the provision of safe and quality patient care in the healthcare system. The primary role of nurse leaders is to foster collaboration in the interprofessional team, oversee the integration of EBP in clinical care, and support frontline workers in achieving positive healthcare outcomes. The HIMSS made a call of action to all healthcare stakeholders to partner with nurses to lead the technological changes shaping the healthcare delivery processes. As the Healthcare Information and Management System ([HIMSS], 2011) notes, nurses should spearhead the design, implementation, and evaluation of the transformations and reforms occurring in the healthcare system. A nurse manager must have in-depth knowledge of the functions and capabilities of health technologies to articulate the vision of their organization through technology effectively.
With an understanding of nursing informatics and reporting catalogs, I can weigh in on how technology will effectively facilitate clinical workflows and practices to ensure quality patient care in my healthcare setting. Consequently, I will develop and apply workplace policies that encourage nurse participation in IT-based care to promote positive clinical outcomes. I can also partner with technology vendors to ensure the successful adoption of healthcare-related technologies, such as the EHR systems. The HIMSS (2011) underscores the need for nurse informaticists to be involved in the implementation of technology in the workplace. I can also leverage technology to better communication and collaboration practices in my health settings. Innovative technology can aid in resolving communication and collaboration barriers in this sphere. For example, Electronic sign-out and hand-off tools and Electronic Health Records have been shown to improve team collaboration and patient handovers (Alotaibi & Federico, 2017). Ensuring successful installation and adoption of EHR systems might help the organization to meet the current industry requirements, as well as its overall goal of delivering quality care.
The novice designs of healthcare models, clinical practices, and processes require nurses to have the necessary competencies to tackle clinical-related care demands. However, there is a fragmentation between nursing education and medical practice. Sugrue (2011) emphasizes the need to increase the number of nurses with baccalaureate qualifications to eighty percent and double the rate of those with doctorate qualifications by 2020. Sugrue (2011) also endorsed the need to ensure nurses have life-long education to help the health profession keep pace with the advancements occurring in the nursing field. Thus, nurse educators need to align the nursing curriculum with the practice environment.
Continuing education is a requirement for license renewal in most states. Formal and informal learning corresponds with the development of pertinent skills, knowledge, and competencies essential in an ever-changing field. As a nurse, I will always ensure that my knowledge of clinical practice is up-to-date by enrolling in complementary courses to hone my nursing proficiency and expertise, especially in nursing informatics. Supportive leadership is characterized by emotional, informational, instrumental, and appraisal reinforcement to subordinates and peers. I can mentor or coach new professionals, colleagues, and students to participate in career advancement courses mediated by technological resources. It is critically important to invest in educating the workforce in technologies that foster peer collaboration and communication (Mourão, 2018). I can also make professional development a crucial part of the core incentive programs offered in the healthcare setting to encourage lifelong learning.
I can make an impact on nursing practice by integrating user-friendly and patient-centered technologies in care delivery and clinical decision-making procedures. Patient safety involves preventing or reducing the incidence of adverse events or injuries which result from medical errors. There are systems that can improve patient safety by reducing communication breakdown, the omission of critical patient information, minimizing medication errors, and facilitating the coordination process during handoffs (Alotaibi & Federico, 2017). Such systems include the Bar Code Medication Administration (BCMA), Electronic Physician’s Order Entry (CPOE), Clinical Decision Support (CDS), and Electronic Health Records (EHR) (Alotaibi & Federico, 2017). The HIMSS (2011) also recommends collecting and analyzing interprofessional workforce data through technology. Health technology can aid in the identification of patterns in performance data and areas which need development, thereby expediting quality improvement efforts. Additionally, patient information management systems can enhance the automatic retrieval, summation, and restructuring of bedside data.
Nurse leaders need to be assertive in advocating for the rights and needs of their patients and families. They can also campaign for positive work environments and policies that facilitate effective clinical practices. Both the HIMSS (2011) and Sugrue (2011) recommend removing the barriers to the proper implementation of the nursing practice scope to support quality care provision across all healthcare settings. I can advocate for the enactment of policies that allow nurses to practice to the full extent of their qualifications and abilities. I can activate my membership in professional nursing organizations and effectively coordinate with other nurses to make system-wide changes and fundamental improvements in patient care procedures. To make an impact in policy development activities, one needs to participate actively in advisory committees and boards; therefore, membership in these committees is critical. A crucial part of policy development is gaining an understanding of the dynamics of policy initiatives in healthcare. I can foster an interest in policy-making in major stakeholders by sharing my knowledge on policies and how they impact the healthcare system.
Alotaibi, Y. K., & Federico, F. (2017). The impact of health information technology on patient safety. Saudi Medical Journal, 38(12), 1173–1180. Web.
Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society. (2011). HIMSS position statement on transforming nursing practice through technology & informatics. Critical Care Nursing Quarterly, 34(4), 367–376.
Mourão, L. (2018). The role of leadership in the professional development of subordinates. In S. D. Goker (Ed.), Leadership (pp. 123–138). IntechOpen. Web.
Sugrue, M. D. (2011). Informatics’ role in the future of nursing: Health IT and health professional organizations at the crossroad. Journal of Healthcare Information Management, 25(3), 12–14.