Nursing Informatics, Involvement, Implications of the New Systems

Subject: Nursing
Pages: 4
Words: 1059
Reading time:
4 min
Study level: College

It is evident that all fields of human involvement have felt the impact of technological advancement, especially in the twenty-first century. The provision of quality health care services, in particular, has significantly improved due to the integration of computer science and information science in the broader field of medicine. Modern health informatics ensures the availability of resources, devices, and effective methods necessary for the acquisition, maintenance, retrieval, and utilization of information in the provision of health care (Sharie, 2002). A key area that has benefited from the new technologies in nursing. Apart from using computers, nursing informatics uses clinical guidelines, modern medical terminologies, and communication and management systems. Indeed, most nursing departments in the United States have resorted to investing money in conducting research and obtaining computerized management systems in nursing (Sharie, 2002). This paper seeks to identify two new computerized management systems in nursing and analyze their appropriateness. It will highlight the advantages of the systems as far as the provision of quality health care is concerned. The need for nurses’ involvement in the planning, choosing, and implementation of systems, security concerns, and the cost implications of the new systems will be discussed. Furthermore, the best management systems for use will be recommended.

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One of the most recent computerized management systems in the field of nursing is the Nursing Workload Management System (NWMS). The system was developed with an aim of reducing the nurses’ workload and hence improving efficiency in the provision of health care (Sharie, 2002). The NWMS was designed from the initial Patient Data Management System (PDMS). The effectiveness of NWMS is in the automation of the preparation of health care plans by nurses, and the production of schedules for the tasks recorded in the plan care. It also provides an audit trail facility to make notes on the care administered to a patient. This system is mostly used in a pediatric intensive care unit. Given the environment in the ICU, the use of such a computerized system will aid in the provision of quality care due to easier and clear display of information (Sharie, 2002). The data collected using handheld devices can also be recorded on the NWMS by the nurse responsible for the patient. This approach has helped in integrating handheld devices into the computerized system for better health care provision.

Since the nurse is directly responsible for the information recorded on the NWMS, they should, therefore, be involved in the planning, choosing, and implementing of the system (Sharie, 2002). This is important since incidences of incorrect use of the system are minimized if not totally avoided. Each patient has his or her database in the system and is controlled by the nurse in charge. This ensures the security of individual patients’ data. Besides, the information stored is to be used in monitoring the progress of the patient. Moreover, the system is designed such that it automatically creates data backup in case there is a system failure. These security concerns are informed by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) which stipulates the privacy and security rules concerning the protection of individually identifiable electronic health information.

The second computerized management system available to the nursing profession is the Nursing Knowledge Management System (NKMS). This system was designed due to the realization that the modern health care industry is increasingly relying on knowledge-based management to improve the quality of health care (Hsia, Lin, Wu, & Tsai, 2006). It seeks to ensure the utilization of knowledge management systems to monitor patients’ medical information. The advancement in information technology has been embraced in the provision of electronic health (e-health) care services. Health organizations have been transformed into knowledge-based communities interconnected with clinics, hospitals, pharmacies, and clients, with the aim of disseminating knowledge, minimizing costs, and improving the quality of health care. The advantage of this system is that it has no organizational boundaries since most people have direct access to medical information and knowledge (Hsia et. al., 2006).

The knowledge supplied through this system, however, must be the most reliable and this calls for the involvement of the key stakeholders. Strictly professional information/knowledge must be available to nurses while health care knowledge must be supplied to the consumers by the nurses. Hence, nurses must participate directly in the development, planning, choosing, and implementation of the system. It has been difficult to ensure that all crucial information is integrated into the system due to privacy concerns. Another concern is the effective management of the great need for knowledge using the new information technologies. The integration of handheld devices into this computerized system has not been very easy either and a lot needs to be done to ensure meaningful improvements are made.

The NKMS is designed such that data is converted into a utilizable set of information which in turn acts as a source of knowledge for action, and crucial decision-making (Hsia et. al., 2006). The system can also be enhanced to support organizational processes of creating knowledge, storing information, transferring, retrieving, and applying the knowledge for high-quality health care provision. This free and accessible information system is hampered by the HIPAA since no individually identifiable health information can be posted publicly on the NKMS.

The above systems have the potential of transforming the health care industry to match the level of technological advancement of the 21st century. Both systems, from the discussion, can drastically reduce the cost of accessing nursing services. The effectiveness of NWMS is unmatchable since the nurses are able to attend to the patient without missing a single important detail. This will save on time spent in hospital and hence cut on healthcare costs. With the necessary improvements, the NKMS can also be very beneficial both to the nurses and the patients (Hsia et. al., 2006).

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From the above discussion, we realize that there is need to ensure that the existing IT is integrated into the nursing processes that will offer support in the creation of knowledge, application, and proper management of patients’ data. Informed by the overwhelming workload that we experience as nurses in the current situation, it is my recommendation that the team purchase the Nursing Workload Management System (NWMS). This will go a long way in reducing the current paper-work and the regular loss of individual patient’s medical information which usually hampers the provision of high quality services.

References

Hsia, T., Lin, L., Wu, J., & Tsai, H. (2006). A structure for Designing Knowledge Management Systems in Nursing. Journal of Interdisciplinary Information, Knowledge, and Management. Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

Sharie, L. N. (2002). Modern Computerized Nursing Management Systems. Springhouse Corp.

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Improving American health, safety, and well-being. 2010. Web.