The Nurse’s Role In Informatics
Since its inception as a “clinical analyst,” the role of a nurse informaticist has evolved. Technology adoption and communication between clinical teams and IT resources (e.g., the EHR or an ancillary system) are critical as healthcare focuses more on data science-centric processes to improve patient care, such as machine learning and artificial intelligence. Nursing informatics is now a well-established speciality that has expanded beyond EHR design because nurse informaticists practice at the intersection of technology and clinical practice.
Technology is not just a component of healthcare; it is healthcare itself. Examples include point-of-care solutions (such as electronic physiologic monitors, electrocardiograms, glucometers, and others), patient portals, external health information exchanges, and public health reporting. As a result, nurse informaticists play an essential role in healthcare delivery, including system selection and implementation and technology training, to provide safe, high-quality, patient-centred care across the continuum, regardless of delivery method.
Nurse informaticists communicate information to team members with a multifaceted focus on transforming data into information so that patients can achieve peak health and health systems can achieve peak performance. A nurse informaticist evaluates aggregated data to drive change, improve efficiency, cut costs, and improve the quality of patient care at the intersection of nursing, computer, and information science.
As the healthcare industry relies more on data to understand patient populations, deliver value-based care, and combat COVID-19, a health system’s processes and workflows must become more data-friendly across the organization. Data can help improve accuracy and guide clinical best practices, but it also introduces new challenges for team members. A nurse informaticist informs care teams about new workflows, shows new technology and process implementation, and evaluates data quality, giving care teams the best chance of providing optimal care. A nurse informaticist is critical for health systems to leverage data to better meet the needs of every team member and patient, with an extensive clinical background, growing analytics insight, process and workflow intelligence, and technology savvy.
The Nurse’s Role In Informatics
Step 1 Read each of the following scenarios:
- Scenario 1: Helen has recently graduated from nursing school and passed her boards. Last week, she completed her orientation period on the medical nursing unit at Good Samaritan General Hospital.
- Scenario 2: Paul is a registered nurse in the neurosurgery unit at Good Samaritan General Hospital. He has been a staff nurse for ten years and provides direct patient care. In addition, Paul chairs the unit’s nursing council to improve patient care.
- Scenario 3: Lisa is a nurse manager and leads the medical intensive care unit and surgical intensive care unit at Good Samaritan General Hospital. She is responsible for the day-to-day operations, staff adherence to policies and procedures, staffing, and payroll.