The 21st century has seen significant progress in terms of computer technology growth and its practical applications in a variety of spheres. Modern informatics allows for efficient data storage and exchange, thus contributing to the quality of services. This factor plays a role of paramount importance in healthcare, as this sphere remains one of the cornerstones of a functioning society. Nursing informatics has attracted much attention in recent years because it serves to improve the work process, improving it for both nurses and patients. The purpose of this paper is to examine the concept of nursing informatics in terms of its advantages and practical application.
The Concept of Nursing Informatics
Nowadays, there is a range of opportunities related to information technology. Computers are available globally, which allows for storing, computing, and analyzing significant amounts of data. The recent progress has also translated into new advancements in the field of healthcare in general and nursing in particular. Nursing informatics implies an extensive use of modern technology in terms of data analysis, communication, and information sharing. Cassano (2017) states that nursing informatics remains in the vanguard of innovation in healthcare and receives increasing recognition. The daily tasks of a nursing informatics specialist comprise overall assistance with the healthcare institution’s electronic systems (Cassano, 2017). Moreover, such nurses contribute to the hospital’s research activities, partaking in innovation, and education discussions. In addition, nursing informatics proves useful outside healthcare institutions, as some corporations recruit clinical analysts, participating in “creating, supporting, and maintaining current knowledge in areas of clinical specialty” (Cassano, 2017, para. 3). In general, the concept of nursing informatics implies the use of technological advancements in relation to healthcare system functioning.
As mentioned above, the field in question remains crucial in today’s environment, as the landscape of the 21st century is dominated by progress in all areas. However, the importance of nursing informatics is highlighted by competency requirements a nurse has to meet in order to excel at it. Shin et al. (2017) state that the demand for nurses qualified to work with information technology systems is increasing. Accordingly, much attention has been paid to the nurses’ training and education in the new reality. As noted by Honey et al. (2017), the focus of attention has shifted over recent years, as the importance of nursing information grew along with technological progress and computer literacy. Honey et al. (2017) view nursing informatics as important in light of the Institute of Medicine recommendations, as one of its principles dictates information technology utilization in healthcare. Therefore, the matter at hand correlates with the common vision of 21st-century healthcare. Overall, informatics allows nurses to stay up-to-date and apply technological advancement to healthcare procedures, making the system more efficient.
Nursing Informatics Application
The advancements of nursing informatics are applied in a variety of clinical situations. First of all, technology allows for the existence of electronic health records (EHR), which is a useful instrument in the clinical environment. EHR provides a comprehensive database of clinical cases and serves to improve the processes of data collection and analysis. Dinev et al. (2016) its nationwide adoption is “considered an essential component of the health care system overhaul sought by policymakers and health care professionals,” as EHR provides substantial benefits while cutting losses (p. 19). Electronic systems facilitate information exchange between departments and institutions, which positively contributes to patient care quality and clinical research opportunities. As nurses are a key element of the healthcare system, EHR improves their work process, as well, in terms of both quality and efficiency. Therefore, electronic records present a range of advantages for all parties involved in health services, including medical staff and patients.
On the other hand, extensive use of electronic resources often raises concerns on both public and individual levels. Indeed, EHR contains sensitive information regarding the patients’ conditions, which is why there are worries regarding data confidentiality. Accordingly, the implementation of electronic services faced serious challenges in terms of the patients’ opinions. There has been a significant percentage of people who object to the comprehensive implementation of technological advancements in healthcare, thus impeding the process. Dinev et al. (2016) state that such an attitude is understandable, and the situation requires a delicate approach. The approach consists of conducting research to collect and analyze the information concerning the factors, which lead to negative views on EHR. Dinev et al. (2016) suggest that the public should be educated on the benefits of electronic systems and healthcare in order to see that the advantages outweigh the risks by far.
Summary and Conclusion
In my opinion, information technology is embedded in areas of activity due to its proven efficiency. As for nursing, my experience with informatics confirms this point of view, as it makes patient care quicker and more accurate. Storing patients’ data in EHR allows nurses and doctors to remain informed of their history regardless of temporal or geographical factors. However, I am convinced that healthcare informatics can become even more efficient by implementing advanced research mechanisms and algorithms aiming at prevention rather than treatment. Therefore, nurses and other practitioners would need additional training to enhance their computer literacy and informatics competencies
In conclusion, nursing informatics is a field that utilizes modern advancements in computer sciences in order to improve the quality of healthcare. It consists of implementing such instruments, as electronic medical record database and data analysis, in both the clinical environment and related spheres. While nursing informatics provides an array of benefits for the practitioners, it is associated with reasonable concerns regarding confidentiality. Nevertheless, the effectiveness of such systems proves to be superior to the risk probability, and comprehensive information presented to the public leads to a positive response.
Cassano, C. (2017). Nursing informatics careers -The future of healthcare. JOJ Nursing & Health Care, 5(5). Web.
Dinev, T., Albano, V., Xu, H., D’Atri, A., & Hart, P. (2016). Individuals’ attitudes towards electronic health records: A privacy calculus perspective. Advances in Healthcare Informatics and Analytics. Annals of Information Systems, 19, 19–50. Web.
Honey, M. L. L., Skiba, D. J., Procter, P., Foster, J., Kouri, P., & Nagle, L. M. (2017). Nursing informatics competencies for entry to practice: The perspective of six countries. In J. Murphy, W. Goosen, & P. Weber (Eds.), Forecasting Informatics Competencies for Nurses in the Future of Connected Health: Proceedings of the Nursing Informatics Post Conference 2016 (pp. 51-61). IOS Press.
Shin, E. H., Cummings, E., & Ford, K. (2018). A qualitative study of new graduates’ readiness to use nursing informatics in acute care settings: Clinical nurse educators’ perspectives. Contemporary Nurse, 54(1), 64–76. Web.