Communication is a substantial barrier in healthcare. Being able to access medical records to properly care for patients based on their history is imperative to their health and well-being. Navigating through antiquated systems is another immense hurdle that must be addressed. As nurse educators, we not only must learn and teach many systems, but we also must teach students how to utilize paper charting due to technology mishaps. Considering HIPPA regulations, our students are at a disadvantage in accessing medical records. Clinical rotations allow the students time to navigate through each system, but not to access data that is necessary for providing adequate care based on facility statistics. Students do not have any connection with the nurse informaticists and/or data or technology specialists. The information provided to the students is limited and not conducive to the learning environment. Having access to the data within the healthcare system would afford students the opportunity to research high incidences of infection rates, epidemics, and incidents (falls/seizures/abuse) within the facility. Being able to comprehend the cause of any incidence will build upon their knowledge and improve their awareness. An example of this would be to have the ability to recognize poor scrubbing prior to entering the OR, resulting in increased infections post-surgery. Another example would include recognizing safety hazards (cords, clutter) resulting in patient falls. When students are able to infer risks, their heightened awareness may prevent negative consequences. This would all begin with access to the necessary information and/or informaticists.
In our local hospital, there is not a designated “informatics” nurse, however, there are several individuals that play the role of collecting, analyzing, and recording data. The infection control nurse, nurse managers, and nurse educators are huge advocates of this process. They assist with making the necessary changes to correct or implement crucial policies and procedures to ensure that quality care is provided. They also provide vital research that is based on EBP to the staff to better understand changes being enforced. Information is conveyed in many ways to staff members. Emails are the first contact made to staff, yet many nurses spend little time reviewing the content of their emails. Information is also conveyed through HUDDLE meetings (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2017). While this may be the most effective way to communicate, nurses are caring for patients and not able to provide their undivided attention losing focus on the material. Some staff may also be off work on the days that HUDDLE meetings are held. Nurse managers are placed in their positions because of their experience and expert knowledge and will allow them the ability to ”organize, set up, and own the development of nursing informatics solutions” (Mosier, 2019).
The continued evolution of nursing informatics as a specialty would benefit the nursing population if they were to consider the input of the regular staff. Regular staff contend with the dynamics of daily incidents and are well versed in the response that is needed and successful. Nursing informatics staff should be one that will collaborate with all entities within the facility prior to making changes affecting the entire facility. Nursing informatics staff could be a huge asset to educational facilities by providing them with the most compelling information prior to beginning clinical rotations.
Laureate Education (Producer). (2018). The Nurse Informaticist [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author
McGonigle, D., & Mastrian, K. (2017). NURSING INFORMATICS AND THE FOUNDATION OF KNOWLEDGE. [S.l.]: JONES & BARTLETT LEARNING
Mosier, Sammie, DHA, MA, BSN, NE-BC, CMSRN, BC, Roberts, Wm., Dan PhD, RN, et al. (2019). A Systems-Level Method for Developing Nursing Informatics Solutions: The Role of Executive Leadership. Journal of Nursing Administration, 49, 543-548. https://doi.org/10.1097/NNA.0000000000000815
Discussion: Interaction Between Nurse Informaticists and Other Specialists
Nature offers many examples of specialization and collaboration. Ant colonies and bee hives are but two examples of nature’s sophisticated organizations. Each thrives because their members specialize by tasks, divide labor, and collaborate to ensure food, safety, and general well-being of the colony or hive.
Of course, humans don’t fare too badly in this regard either. And healthcare is a great example. As specialists in the collection, access, and application of data, nurse informaticists collaborate with specialists on a regular basis to ensure that appropriate data is available to make decisions and take actions to ensure the general well-being of patients.
In this Discussion, you will reflect on your own observations of and/or experiences with informaticist collaboration. You will also propose strategies for how these collaborative experiences might be improved.
- Review the Resources and reflect on the evolution of nursing informatics from a science to a nursing specialty.
- Consider your experiences with nurse Informaticists or technology specialists within your healthcare organization.
By Day 3 of Week 3
Post a description of experiences or observations about how nurse informaticists and/or data or technology specialists interact with other professionals within your healthcare organization. Suggest at least one strategy on how these interactions might be improved. Be specific and provide examples. Then, explain the impact you believe the continued evolution of nursing informatics as a specialty and/or the continued emergence of new technologies might have on professional interactions.
Technology has changed the way healthcare is delivered and recorded. Given the many ways to record and collect data within the healthcare system, there needs to be someone who can review and trend this data. This data helps to improve patient care and establish ways to enhance the nursing process (Mosier, Roberts, & Englebright, 2019). As nurses working in the hospital, I believe that we mostly interact with informaticists or technology specialists regarding our electronic medical record (EMR) systems. Every unit has patient care information that is pertinent to their unit. For example, in the cardiovascular intensive care unit (CVICU), there are many different lines and devices that we use and need to document that other units do not use. In order to ensure that our assessments on these specific items are accurate and appropriate, our nurse educator and assistant nurse manager (ANM) act as our technology specialists on our unit. If there are any changes to our EMR in the way we document or change the system's layout, they will let our staff know via E-mail and educate them on these changes through a healthstream class or PDF file with pictures showing the changes. There are also times when our staff noticed an issue with not being able to document something specific about a device. Our staff knows to go to either one of them to see if something can be updated in the EMR to help complete our documentation.
I believe some of this education needs to be more hands-on. For example, our hospital recently switched to a new medication scanner. This scanner also has other functions, like scanning blood products. Our educators and technology specialists only provided staff with a short PDF file with pictures to look at and read about using the new scanner. We did not get any hands-on time with the scanner before the launch on the unit. The week of the launch, there were “super users” on the floor around the entire hospital to help staff with any issues or glitches that arose. I believe the launch would have been more successful with an informaticist or technology specialist giving hands-on training before the launch.
New technology breeds new information and generates new ways to obtain, show, and describe patient information that helps to evolve nursing practice (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2017). Nurse informaticists are in a unique position, given their clinical and technological expertise, to become more involved in connecting health care professionals and patients in a way that is convenient for both (Ng, Alexander, & Frith, 2018). Because of this, I believe that nurse informaticists will likely be more involved in interacting with patients and staff to assess the best and most effective way to reach this goal.
McGonigle, D., & Mastrian, K. G. (2017). Nursing informatics and the foundation of knowledge (4th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Mosier, S., Roberts, W. D., & Englebright, J. (2019). A Systems-Level Method for Developing Nursing Informatics Solutions. JONA: The Journal of Nursing Administration, 49(11), 543–548. https://doi.org/10.1097/nna.0000000000000815
Ng, Y. C., Alexander, S., & Frith, K. H. (2018). Integration of Mobile Health Applications in Health Information Technology Initiatives. CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing, 36(5), 209–213. https://doi.org/10.1097/cin.0000000000000445
By Day 6 of Week 3
Respond to at least two of your colleagues* on two different days, offering one or more additional interaction strategies in support of the examples/observations shared or by offering further insight to the thoughts shared about the future of these interactions.
When our facility changed to Cerner from Meditech, we gained not only a more comprehensive charting system, but a scanning system called “Bridge” that allows for scanning blood products for administration. This allows for only one nurse to be present, instead of having to have another nurse sign off and witness the administration. This frees up nurses and allow for some autonomy. I struggled with it at first due to not having that second set of eyes, but after becoming a super user for the “Bridge” program, this is more efficient and even safer than having that second set of eyes. “A blood transfusion administration workflow program, such as the Cerner Bridge Transfusion Administration system, helps prevent workarounds or shortcuts by caregivers, to reduce the risk of transfusion errors caused by patient misidentification. Using this type of system not only improves patient safety, but also protects caregivers from making preventable mistakes that can lead to adverse events such as patient morbidity or mortality.” (Staff, P. D. C., 2017) You said it best when noting new technology generates new ways of doing things and bringing forth better patient care.
Staff, P. D. C. (2017, July 10). Blood Transfusion Safety at the Point of Care – ConnectID. connectID - PDC Healthcare Blog. https://blog.pdchealthcare.com/articles/patient-safety/blood-transfusion-safety-at-the-point-of-care/.