The healthcare landscape has significantly advanced over the past centuries as more individuals have become aware of their right to quality medical services. In addition, the incorporation of information and technology solutions to health services has altered patient-clinician relationships and changed the face of the practice. However, these advancements are not short of challenges as hospital institutions are always on the verge of a crisis due to insufficient staff, limited resources, and an influx of patients seeking treatment services. Subsequently, access to medical records and patient information has become a critical component of health service delivery as it makes work easier. Nevertheless, information obtained from various resources may not assist clinicians and nurses in achieving their responsibilities if not well managed. Thus, the following proposal explains why hiring a professional nurse informaticist is critical for the success of the institution and improved health outcomes.
Nursing Informatics and the Role of a Nurse Informaticist
Nursing informatics is a medical field of practice that is driven by innovation and the heavy adoption of technological solutions in medicine. Medical institutions in the modern era deal with vast information ranging from patient historical records, financial records, hospital records, and medical data (Tiase & Carroll, 2022). As a result, the profession seeks to align technology solutions and medical practice. Nursing informatics is a complex specialty that integrates the science of nursing with information and analytics to identify, define, communicate, and manage information (Mitchell, 2018). The technologies associated with nursing informatics include Computerized Provider Entry Systems, electronic medical records, hospital databases, and financial records. Thus, the main responsibility of a nursing informaticist is to ensure that technological components in healthcare institutions serve their tasks and help nurses to deliver high-quality care.
Nursing informaticists are also responsible for educating staff and answering questions about why these systems are critical to healthcare service provision. Moreover, they must diagnose any issues in health information systems and pioneer the introduction and implementation of the latest technological innovations in healthcare (Tiase & Carroll, 2022). In addition, they are expected to oversee the appropriate use of informaticist technologies and offer occasional training on how to use these solutions for their intended purposes. Therefore, nursing informaticists play a pivotal role in hospitals and medical institutions because they make it possible to stay on par with human developments and advanced medical practice. Nursing informaticists in New York earn a median salary of about $90,130 annually depending on their years of service and qualifications (Snoswell et al., 2020). Nevertheless, the responsibility of guiding data-driven processes, training and educating other nurses, and validating hospital data will significantly minimize the wastage of resources and improve accountability (Snoswell et al., 2020). Hence hiring an experienced NI promises a positive return on investment depending on the size of the institution.
Nurse Informaticists and Other Health Care Organizations
Medical institutions deal with vast amounts of data that requires occasional reference to aid decision-making. As a result, most medical institutions experience significant issues with managing these records and ensuring that they are reliable to staff members. According to Kaminski (2022), information clutter and disorganized data are some factors that introduce workflow challenges and diminished service delivery in high-pressure institutions. However, many institutions across the US report significant changes in the efficiency of service delivery and workflows by hiring professional nursing informaticist teams. Thus, relying on a professional to carry out informaticist tasks can significantly improve data management and outcomes. Although nurse informaticists are ordinary staff members who prioritize social and personal relationships with co-workers, they are assigned to leading others toward achieving better results using available resources. Therefore, most of them engage with other practitioners and the disciplinary team at the management level but collaborate on projects to ensure their effectiveness (Kaminski, 2022). Hence, nursing informaticists can help alter processes in medical organizations for the better as they guide staff members on using the latest solutions to solve medical problems.
Impact of Full Nurse Engagement in Health Care Technology
Medical practitioners rely on patient information to make the appropriate diagnoses and offer tailored assistance. Thus, obtaining the services of a nursing informaticist will enhance the quality of service provided by practitioners and minimize errors, thus improving treatment outcomes. In addition, clinicians can use these technologies to communicate and consult each other for a better understanding of the conditions they deal with (Mitchell, 2018). Hence, nursing informatics has a positive impact on patient care. Similarly, nursing informaticists are tasked with managing records, which include assuring safety, privacy, and confidentiality. Thus, they adopt strategies like managing access to data, overseeing data utilization, and securing private files to limit unauthorized access (Sensmeier & Anderson, 2020). In addition, they create awareness throughout the organization on the roles of other staff members in data security and privacy.
In particular, the strategies used by nursing informaticists to protect private institutional and patient data include encryption, using firewalls, assigning user roles, and password protection. Encryption involves coding messages and data for safe transmission through the internet and other means. On the other hand, firewalls monitor incoming and outgoing traffic in the hospital’s network to limit threats. Assigning user accounts, roles, and password protection gives data access to authorized individuals only and prevents data breaches (Kamerer & McDermott, 2020). Due to the complexity of these tasks, it is advisable to hire a professional who can deal with arising issues.
The effective management of information in organizations is critical as it allows for streamlining processes towards the desired goals. As a result, seeking assistance from nursing informaticists can help the institution to reduce information clutter, improve access to information, and enhance communication within the institution. Subsequently, this will improve work efficiency and workflows, thus preventing associated limitations (Tiase & Carroll, 2022). In turn, medical practitioners will deliver on their responsibilities promptly and experience higher levels of satisfaction in the process, which boosts productivity. The interdisciplinary teams can collaborate by enhancing the interoperability of devices and improving communication through departments to ensure that information is sent and received appropriately. Ultimately, they can assist each other to improve and sharpen their skills in using technological innovations in healthcare.
Potential Opportunities and Challenges of Introducing an Informaticist to the Institution
Medical institutions all over the globe are adopting technological innovations to run processes and manage patient records. As a result, a nurse informaticist will provide the institution and medical practitioners with an opportunity to advance their practice skills to match international standards. In addition, staff members will gain valuable knowledge as they will learn how to effectively deal with issues and use technology to their benefit (Kaminski, 2022). Subsequently, hiring a nurse informaticist will play a critical role in comprehensive job development as all workers and inter-disciplinary teams will be exposed to the new changes. However, these initiatives might suffer from challenges like change resistance and issues during the initial phases of the introduction (Mitchell, 2018). Although the ultimate aim of technological solutions is to enhance the effectiveness of service delivery, the implementation phases can cause confusion and limit productivity. Moreover, resistance to change is among the factors that can inhibit the intended initiatives.
Summary of Recommendations
Technological solutions advance every day, forcing medical organizations to occasionally upgrade their systems to ensure that they meet quality standards. Given the complexity of technological programs, computer components, and associated responsibilities, it is wise to appoint a professional health informaticist to handle health records and information management in the institution. These professionals are equipped with the skills to solve complex technical issues, troubleshoot systems, organize staff members, provide training and education, and oversee the use of digital records (Sensmeier & Anderson, 2020). In addition, they can ensure the safety, security, and confidentiality of data in organizations. Moreover, they can improve workflows, enhance communication, and facilitate valuable partnerships that will ensure continuous development. Thus, their service is critical to the success and sustainability of the medical institution.
Kamerer, J. L., & McDermott, D. (2020). Cybersecurity: Nurses on the front line of prevention and education. Journal of Nursing Regulation, 10(4), 48-53.
Kaminski, J. (2022). ReImagine Health: Creating space for Nursing Informatics in the Vision. On-Line Journal of Nursing Informatics, 26(1).
Mitchell, M. B. (2018). Nursing, Informatics, and Technology: A Look Forward. In An Introduction to Nursing Informatics (pp. 57-74). Productivity Press.
Sensmeier, J., & Anderson, C. (2020). Tracking the impact of nursing informatics. Nursing Management, 51(9), 50-53.
Snoswell, C. L., North, J. B., & Caffery, L. J. (2020). Economic advantages of telehealth and virtual health practitioners: return on investment analysis. JMIR Perioperative Medicine, 3(1), e15688.
Tiase, V. L., & Carroll, W. M. (2022). Nursing Informatics Today and Future Perspectives for Healthcare. In Health Informatics (pp. 231-241). Productivity Press.