The Healthcare system should be performant to guarantee high-quality care and improved patient safety. According to Gartner et al. (2022), fragmented healthcare processes are to blame for unnecessary long queues, interrupted information flows, superfluous examinations, and breakdown in service continuity. Healthcare stakeholders incorporated informatics to make the system performant. Healthcare providers specializing in informatics use nursing science to identify, define, manage, and communicate data, information, knowledge, and wisdom (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2017). Through nursing informatics, information technology supports healthcare and helps collaborate and communicate ideas among interprofessional care teams to manage health.
Electronic health records (EHR) in healthcare rendered all caregivers computer-literate. In other words, all healthcare providers were challenged to learn and utilize computer technology in their practice. According to McGonigle and Mastrian (2017), information systems have been part and parcel of nursing since the 1970s; hence nursing informatics is supplementing the work. Since patient medical history or data exists in EHR, healthcare providers must use computers or relevant digital devices to access the information. Nurses also use computers to write and build patients’ charts. Generally, no caregiver can work with multiple patients without appropriate patient-directed charts. Lastly, EHR systems contain clinical documentation templates that are only accessible through digital or electronic devices (Baumann et al., 2018). To improve clinical effectiveness, healthcare providers must enhance screen scanning, browsing speeds, and accuracy. In short, all healthcare providers have become informatics nurses, as Staggers and Nelson suggest.
Description of a Scenario from My Clinical Experience
One day I received a note from the doctor to administer medications to a 46-year-old woman with bronchospasm. I reviewed the doctor’s prescription in the EHR and saw Flomax as one of the medications. The doctor had made a medication error; Flomax relieves the enlarged prostate’s symptoms (knowledge). The doctor should have prescribed Volmax, which relieves bronchospasm. Since the patient was in pain, I needed to act fast. Duty-based ethics requires nurses to do the right thing without focusing on the consequences (wisdom). I changed the e-prescription in the patient’s EHR without notifying the doctor. I deleted the “Flomax” and keyed in “Volmax” patiently. I changed the dosage and made the adjustments (data) without raising the patient’s suspicion. I later realized the computer lacked a keypad backlight which might have resulted in the error (information). I notified the management to replace the keypad backlight to reduce medication errors. Nursing informatics has found its roots in every caregiver’s life and practice.
The Pros and Cons of Having a Single Shared Consensus-Driven Model of Terminology Use
The use of the model in nursing improves communication among healthcare providers and increases the visibility of care interventions. According to McGonigle and Mastrian (2017), healthcare providers use the model to be on the same page and work towards a common direction. The approach also improves patient care and enhances data collection and analysis to assess nursing outcomes. For instance, entering data into EHRs in standardized value improves data interoperability (Balagna et al., 2020). The model makes it easy for nurses to access standardized terminologies and deliver care.
Standardized healthcare terminologies hinder creative thinking and hence interfere with nurses’ work. However, the model’s use might limit nursing practice, eliminating alternative approaches. For instance, in the enumerative approach, the model might generate additional redundant features to the core terminology (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2017). The description logic and automated reasoners might result in inconsistencies and fail to identify equivalences. The approach is likely to impact nurses’ moral reasoning and interfere with the goal of “advancing nursing.”
How the Framework Can Foster the Integration of Knowledge into Nursing Practice
Integrating knowledge and theory into nursing practice accessibility of information. A single agreed model uses standardized codified data to interpret information from various health-related organizations (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2017). The model can facilitate the assessment of healthcare competencies hence aligning theory with clinical practice. Healthcare stakeholders can use the model to absorb nursing students into the field. The approach helps caregivers utilize the field’s data, especially in caring for patients. The model makes it easy for healthcare providers and nursing students to access standardized terminologies (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2017). The approach also considers care delivery’s changing frameworks.
The model can ensure that standardized terminologies are used long enough to generate an effect in clinical practice. In other words, the focus is not on “immediate nursing encounters” or theoretical perspectives but on routine clinical practice. According to McGonigle and Mastrian (2017), consistent terminology can guarantee the quantification of nursing; hence nursing’s unique contribution and effect will be recognized. The model can expand the knowledge base based on development and access. The result will be accelerated integration of evidence-based healthcare into clinical practice.
The Justification of Implementation of an EHR and Hiring a NI Specialist
The introduction of electronic health records (EHR) in healthcare facilities opened a new chapter for nurses since the technology was meant to facilitate information sharing. Multiple studies have shown that computer-based decision support systems would improve patient safety and boost care quality. According to Baumann et al. (2018), technology would reduce prescription and documentation errors. However, one puzzle remained unsolved, explaining why Hospital C requires Nurse Informatics Specialist (NIS). Some EHR functionalities require advanced training and competencies exhibited by NIS. NI specialists will find and understand patterns in healthcare data (Byrne, 2021). Hospital C will use the analyzed data to inform changes to processes.
The healthcare facility needs someone who can oversee the EHR design and implementation; how they accomplish the requirements of the organization’s nurses. The fact is that healthcare providers can use EHR, but not all of them can assess appropriate designs and implementation mechanisms. Since NIS can simultaneously manage multiple complex situations, they can assume multiple roles, including project manager, policy developer, consultant, and clinical analyst (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2017). Hospital C should hire NIS since they need an individual with technical, utility, and leadership competencies. NI specialists are modifiers and innovators and can educate other nurses and patients using the new EHR.
Healthcare is an ever-changing field and hence requires people with high adaptability skills. More importantly, healthcare facilities, including Hospital C, require people with analytical skills, especially during pandemics. According to Garcia-Dia (2021), nurse analysts can manage critical change orders to ensure EHR conforms to emerging public health recommendations. Besides, educational efforts are needed to prepare Hospital C’s nurses on EHR usage. EHR integration-related problems occur with delays in staff training in the implementation phase (Baumann et al., 2018). NIS is in a position to educate nursing staff about the new EHR and address infrastructural issues with the technology. Hospital C’s management should know that NIS focuses on information needs, including education, research, and administration.
Nursing informatics has successfully revolutionized the healthcare system. Today’s caregivers can alter data and information and apply knowledge and wisdom to informed decisions. The “all nurses are INs” era began when EHR debuted in healthcare. All nurses learned to enter data into the computer and retrieve it when needed. Healthcare facilities should hire more NIS since they have advanced training and can “simultaneously” thrive in multiple complex environments.
Balagna, J., Williams, C. R., Wang, J., Burch, S., Dalton, E., Kirchick, J., & Sosa, P. (2020). Consensus-driven approach for decision-making in diverse groups. American Journal of Public Health, 110(1), 5-5.
Baumann, L. A., Baker, J., & Elshaug, A. G. (2018). The impact of electronic health record systems on clinical documentation times: a systematic review. Health Policy, 122(8), 827-836.
Byrne, M. D. (2021). Nursing Informatics Specialist: Role in the Perianesthesia Environment. Journal of PeriAnesthesia Nursing, 36(1), 90-92.
Garcia-Dia, M. J. (2021). Nursing informatics: An evolving specialty. Nursing Management, 52(5), 56. DOI: 10.1097/01.NUMA.0000743444.08164.b4
Gartner, J. B., Abasse, K. S., Bergeron, F., Landa, P., Lemaire, C., & Côté, A. (2022). Definition and conceptualization of the patient-centered care pathway, a proposed integrative framework for consensus: A concept analysis and systematic review. BMC Health Services Research, 22(1), 1-24.
McGonigle, D. & Mastrian, K. (2017). Nursing informatics and the foundation of knowledge (4th ed.). Jones & Bartlett.