Reflections on the DNP Essentials

Having read the AACN Information Systems/Technology Essentials for the DNP graduate, I thought that the use of information technology is important both for research-focused and practice-focused DNP scholars. Despite the fact that modern students feel comfortable in a technology-rich environment, this does not necessarily mean that they can use it proficiently to implement quality improvement initiatives, enhance patient care, and lead healthcare transformation. The fourth essential highlights that information systems are at the center of efficient, high-quality, and patient-centered care, which is why it is a must for a DNP practice scholar to have a deep understanding of technology.

None of the essentials I have found to be surprising. Even though they were published in 2006, the curricular elements and competencies are still relevant for DNP education. DNP graduates should be prepared to design and use programs that monitor and analyze care outcomes. The use and evaluation of healthcare information systems are crucial for making healthcare delivery more effective and high-quality.

With the proliferation of EHRs, data extraction skills enable DNP practice scholars to deal with large amounts of health information (Zaccagnini & White, 2015). Graduates also need to be prepared to resolve ethical and legal issues that may arise due to the use of information systems. Finally, DNP practice scholars should know how to assist consumers with obtaining accurate information. Thus, all the essentials aim to make graduates proficient in using technologies to deliver appropriate care services.

Changes that I have seen in my practice setting over the past five years that have been caused by the use of technology and evidence-based practice are substantial. Firstly, the implementation of EHRs allowed for reducing the amount of paperwork, establishing more effective workflows, and increasing my productivity, not to mention a decrease in medical errors. Secondly, cloud computing technology made it possible to store medical information safely and at a low cost. Thirdly, search for the best available evidence was significantly facilitated by electronic databases of biomedical literature. Fourthly, the use of best evidence allowed for enhancing healthcare delivery by relying on credible research findings. Due to the great availability of evidence, it has become easier to choose practices appropriate for one’s healthcare setting. Therefore, both technology and evidence-based practice have contributed to more high-quality patient care.

Considering how fast new technologies are developed, I think one may expect to see such promising technologies as artificial intelligence, chatbots, and virtual reality. Supercomputers with artificial intelligence will be able to use complex algorithms to check medical records, automatically generate reports, precisely diagnose patients based on quantitative imaging, and assist healthcare professionals in the decision-making process.

If created, chatbots in healthcare will provide customer service, help in emergency situations, and manage medications. Virtual reality can be utilized for patient treatment, including mental health and psychological therapy, as well as pain management and physical therapy. With this technology, medical students can perform medical procedures and operations in a fully immersive situational environment.

However, these changes have yet to affect nursing practice in my setting. Neither artificial intelligence, nor virtual reality, nor chatbots are currently utilized in my workplace. Nevertheless, I assume that artificial intelligence can be used as a predictive analytics tool to help healthcare workers assess risk better, make more correct diagnoses, and enhance operational efficiency. Chatbots can offer assistance to medical practitioners and help them access appropriate information regarding the medication dosage.

Reference

Zaccagnini, M., & White, K. (Eds.). (2015). Doctor of nursing practice essentials: A new model for advanced practice nursing (3rd ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.