Recently, there has been a significant shift in the health industry towards digital technologies and electronic records. The nurse informaticist plays a vital role in the facilitation of EHR implementation, optimization and ultimately improved patient outcomes. This proposal’s purpose is to support the necessity of a nurse-informaticist within an organization by highlighting how this person can help improve healthcare outcomes.
The American Nurses Association defines nursing informatics as “a specialty that integrates nursing science, computer science, and information science to manage and communicate data, information, knowledge, and wisdom in nursing practice” (American Nurses Association, 2022). The unique skills of nurse informaticists allow them to bridge between clinical practice, technology and improve patient outcomes. The nurse informaticist is responsible for making sure that technology in healthcare organisations are designed and implemented to support patient safety.
The healthcare industry should hire a nurse-informaticist for several reasons. First, they can optimize EHRs to improve the efficiency of healthcare and care quality. Nurse informaticists, by understanding clinical workflows and patient needs, can recommend improvements to EHRs. This will reduce errors and streamline processes. Nurse informaticists, for example, can ensure EHRs support clinical decision making by providing alerts about potential drug interactions and allergies.
Second, they can ensure EHRs adhere to regulations and standards. This will ultimately lead to better patient safety. The nurse informaticist can ensure EHRs comply with HIPAA regulations and support Meaningful Use. Also, they can ensure EHRs have been designed to support quality clinical measures and ultimately improve patient outcomes.
Nurse informaticists are able to help support evidence-based research. Nurse informaticists are able to identify improvement areas and recommend changes in clinical practices by analyzing the data contained within EHRs. The nurse informaticist can help ensure EHRs support research by facilitating the collection of data for clinical trials.
Evidence is mounting that nurse informaticists are needed in health care organizations. A study by Staggers et al. A study from 2013 showed that EHR adoption success rates were significantly higher for organizations who had nurse informaticists than they were without one. Furukawa, et. al. conducted another study. The 2015 study found that the nurse informaticist was associated with higher EHR adopt rates and better clinical quality measurements.
Ammenwerth et al. conducted a systematic study. The Nurse Informaticist can be a key player in ensuring patient safety as well as improving workflows. This review concluded that nurse informaticists are associated with improved medication safety, reduced errors in documentation, and increased workflow efficiency.
The conclusion of the article is:
Evidence clearly shows that nurse informaticists are needed in health care organizations. They have an unique set of skills that enables them to bridge gaps between clinical practices and technology. This leads to better patient outcomes. Nurse informaticists play an important role in improving patient care by optimizing EHRs and ensuring compliance. They also support research and evidence-based practices. The healthcare industry should hire a nurse to help with their technology and safety initiatives.
American Nurses Association (2022). Nurse informatics. Retrieved from https://www.nursingworld.org/practice-policy/workforce/