Nursing informatics is a critical component of modern nursing practice because it integrates technology-based solutions with routine practice to facilitate effective information management and communication at all times (American Medical Informatics Association, 2013). This area provides support for the active retrieval of relevant data and information to expand knowledge and integrate it into new areas of practice to achieve improved patient outcomes (American Medical Informatics Association, 2013). This area of study also supports the improvement of workflow to achieve positive results across all areas of nursing practice (American Medical Informatics Association, 2013). An interview was conducted with KC, a nurse with ten years of experience in med/surg nursing and three years of experience as a nurse informatics specialist.
The interview that was conducted asked a series of questions regarding nursing informatics and its capacity to provide effective tools for nursing practice. The integration of information technologies into modern practice settings is one of the most important areas this group has to offer and their roles as facilitators of this practice are critical to its success. This area of practice is highly transformative in nature and provides greater insights in regards to how to manage patient data and information in an effective manner, while also considering the opportunities that are available to support patient care and wellbeing (Ball et.al, 2011). The nurse who was interviewed shared a number of insights regarding her position and noted that in this capacity, nurses as caregivers might be overlooked; however, this remains a critical component because patients are the key focus (Ball et.al, 2011). However, in order to achieve this balance, patients must be provided with effective and high quality care and treatment that is a product of accurate data and information as retrieved from various information system components to achieve the desired results (Ball et, 2011).
A successful approach to care and treatment for all patients requires a strategy that supports nursing informatics. This field is often overlooked because it is not well understood throughout the industry. The interviewee shared that her experiences are often challenging because her role is not clearly defined by the majority of nursing staff members and they view her as a technical guru rather than a knowledge manager. This creates challenges in her daily scope of practice in order to meet the requirements of this position and to also train other nurses regarding her true role in the practice setting. In addition, on paper, her role may signify a series of specific responsibilities, but in the real world, this role is much more complex and challenging in order to provide important information to other nurses and patients in a timely and efficient manner so as not to compromise patient care quality.
In this role, the interviewee revealed that she values her flexibility and independence in this role; however, she often misses some of the direct patient care that she used to provide. Rather, she now fills a unique niche in nursing practice and the rewards of this role are substantial. One area that the interviewee has been able to take advantage of in her current role is the expansion of the delivery of important data and information directly to patients through various e-patient scenarios (Gee et.al, 2012). In this capacity, the nurse is able to provide a platform for enabling patients to access their own information in a timely and efficient manner to meet their specific needs (Gee et.al, 2012). These efforts are relevant contributors to the ability of patients to achieve optimal success with the level of care and treatment that they receive in the clinic or hospital setting (Gee et.al, 2012). Under these circumstances, nursing informatics connects the patient with his or her medical information without having to depend on traditional forms of communication, and this has proven to be a very valuable resource for patients and their families in accessing information to meet their medical needs (Gee et.al, 2012).
As a nurse informatics specialist, the interviewee noted that this role is very unique as compared to traditional nursing practice roles, but that her job is very rewarding and attractive for a number of reasons. She has been very successful in achieving her professional goals and objectives in this role to date and continues to explore new insights into new areas of the field that will contribute to a higher level quality of nursing care and treatment for all patients. These efforts have provided her with many valuable forms of knowledge that are applicable to a variety of nursing-related situations and has bridged the gap between current nursing practice and other factors that support successful communication and information sharing.
In her role as a nurse informatics specialist, the interviewee demonstrated her commitment to excellence in nursing practice and patient care through her specific roles and responsibilities in this field. The nurse plays a very important role in shaping the direction of several nursing units and their ability to improve communication through the development of new ideas and strategies that utilize information technologies in the required manner. These efforts also demonstrate a means of exploring the different dimensions of nursing care and treatment that capture the spirit of the nursing profession and its employees. Since patient care remains the most critical component of this role, it is important to offer data that is both accurate and relevant to meet specific needs in a timely manner. The interviewee demonstrated her willingness to share ideas and information that will be helpful in achieving expert communication and knowledge sharing in all nursing environments. References
American Medical Informatics Association (2013). Nursing informatics. Retrieved from
Ball, M.J., Douglas, J.V., Walker, P.H., and DuLong, D. (2011). Nursing informatics: transforming nursing. Nursing Informatics, 5-12.
Gee, P.M., Greenwood, D.A., Kim, K.K., Perez, S.L., Staggers, N., and DeVon, H.A. (2012). Exploration of the e-patient phenomenon in nursing informatics. Nursing Outlook, 60(4), e9-e16.