Nursing informatics denotes the practice and the science applied in integrating nursing knowledge and information along with technology to manage and integrate health information. Nursing informatics helps in reducing the chances of encountering medical errors within the healthcare organization and all the associated costs. The combination of training staff, indulging in best practices, and process improvement assists in enhancing the quality of care administered and helps limit the patient’s risks. In the nursing sector, technology helps in improving the efficiency of patient care and makes it easier for medical practitioners to communicate effectively. Emerging technologies in nursing informatics such as artificial intelligence have at great length led to the improvement of patient care efficiencies and outcomes. The focus of this paper is to expound more on the impacts of nursing informatics in improving patient care efficiencies and outcomes. It also puts forth a proposal that aims to provide ways of enhancing the informatics skills of nurses.
Improvement in information technology and the emergence of new operational devices have led to enhancing the quality of patient health and healthcare professionals. New devices such as EHRs (Electronic health records) have assisted in transforming the healthcare informatics space by improving the accessibility of information needed (Gartley 2020). EHRs contain health records stored in a digital version, making it easier to access patients’ medical history. The information record kept comprises lab results, progress notes of patients, problems, medications so far administered to the patient, etc. The technologies have also resulted in decreased human errors, making it possible to simplify routine procedures. For instance, automated IV pumps are now resourceful in measuring the dosage of medication given to patients.
On the other hand, artificial intelligence (AI) in nursing informatics has greatly improved patient care outcomes. Artificial intelligence in healthcare denotes software programs of the computer designed to assist in interpreting data such as patient records, medical imaging, administrative claims, and data obtained from mobile devices. It also aids in learning the data obtained and helps clinicians make informed decisions. The AI comprises various methodologies and technologies that have led to numerous developments in today’s healthcare setting. AI helps in learning machines by using algorithms in analyzing raw data and developing computer instructions that aid in achieving intended objectives such as translating text, making predictions, etc. (Gartley 2020). Through the use of AI machine learning capability, it is possible to predict the presence of diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. It also helps in the earlier detection of sepsis and assists in analyzing automated diagnoses that require medical images, e.g., tumor staging and recognition. AI also helps detect outbreaks of diseases and contact scientific procedures of drug discovery. The technology also makes it possible to confirm the diagnosis of a certain illness. Generally, AI poses the potential to assist nurses in improving the efficiency and quality of healthcare, which aims at benefiting both patients and clinicians.
The following is a proposed framework on how training nurses on informatics programs will impact achieving efficiencies in patient care and outcomes.
Improving the informatics skills of nurses through educational programs.
Nursing informatics (NI) and the development and growth of health information technology (HIT) are a fundamental part of every domain involved in the nursing practice, majorly in the healthcare settings. Therefore, nurses must get equipped with nursing informatics competency as it aids in providing evidence-based patient-centered care (Adelphi 2020). Since not all nurses are conversant with advanced nursing informatics, establishing educational learning programs majoring on effective ways of using HIT will help improve the efficiencies of patient care and outcomes. This proposal will equip nurses with adequate knowledge in using NI, such as AI.
Stakeholders impacted by the project.
Stakeholders impacted by this project include hospital board members, the chief financial officer, principal executive officer, chief nursing officer, informatics/IT leadership officer, and clinical champions. These stakeholders will be resourceful in this project as they are selected from the departments affected by the proposal.
Patient outcomes and how improvement would occur
Equipping nurses with the knowledge required in nursing informatics helps them identify, define, and communicate data, knowledge, wisdom, and information needed in providing patients with improved care. Some of the patient outcomes that will achieve in this training program include; obtaining quality medication reports that will help in devising the best treatment procedure suitable for the patient (Grenuk 2019). It will also result in coordinated care among clinicians, which will ultimately boost patients’ condition and help them recover faster. The patients will also benefit patients since the IN advocates for efficiency in clinical procedures that will prevent overly/ unnecessary expensive procedures. Patients will also be able to respond to treatment faster since the nursing informatics learned assists in reducing medication and treatment errors.
This improvement will occur by helping nurses align their nursing practices with the care and clinical flows intended to improve patients’ health. This improvement will be attainable since the informatics are all engrossed in incorporating best practices that aid in maximizing patient care outcomes as much as possible (Jouparinejad et al. 2020). Nurses must constantly design and evaluate clinical reviews on workflow and devise new treatment and diagnostic plans for the achievement to bear effectively. The progress will also occur by improving the clinical protocols, policies, and procedures that will incorporate nursing informatics with the healthcare outcomes of patients. Since data is the main focus of applying nursing informatics, we can utilize the information and data derived in measuring the accomplishment of various procedures, protocols, and processes within the healthcare setting. The nurse informaticist will be mandated to count ways in which specific departments of the organization are performing to focus on obtaining successful patient-centered outcomes. The informaticist is also capable of making specific changes to certain parts of the process to streamline activities, improve care, and avoid bottlenecks. The improvement will also occur by selecting and testing various medical types of equipment. Connected medical devices provide nurses with an immense quantity of patient data (Jouparinejad et al. 2020). Therefore, the nursing informaticists will be necessitated to understand the value of data received and offer recommendations on ways through which it can be recorded and later accessed for future clinical reference. Involving informaticists in the selection criteria of devices to be used ensures an improved understanding of alternative devices that can be opted in case one fails. It also ensures how data received can be used to attain new diagnoses, treatment plans that align with the data and information obtained, and the intended patient outcomes. We will also realize the improvement by providing learning and training based on understanding the objective data. By delivering the clinical staff with training, they will be able to know various ways they can use obtained data to identify endemic issues within the organization and consult on the ideal forms of resolving such problems.
Desired technologies intended to realize a sound outcome in patients includes being conversant with;
- Automated IV Pumps. These machines help in controlling the drips and dosage given to the patients. Medical and software technology permits nurses to change the amount of medication and drip doses to avoid keeping patients waiting for the changes. There exist IV pumps purposed for nutrition, which can give patients meals at the required time. Additionally, there are types of self-pumps that enable patients to increase a controlled quantity of pain medicine for themselves (Western Governors University 2021). These pumps aid in speeding up the nursing processes and are vital in instances where there is a necessity for an immediate adjustment. Changing medication by use of the IV pump aids in removing rudiments of human error that could lead to problems for patients and clinicians. Knowledge of using the automated IV pumps will also allow nurses to concentrate on other areas of healthcare. Since hospitals have different types of automatic IV pumps, this education program will assist nurses in getting conversant with the current automated IV pumps available in the specific hospital where they work.
- Electronic Health Records (EHRs). This technology is quickly replacing the traditional method of filing papers. The technology helps nursing experts document the information of care offered to the patients and makes it easier to retrieve data for future reference that helps prioritize care. EHRs can inform registered nurses regarding any further steps they should take in patients, such as monitoring small changes in patient condition and providing them with information as soon as the alerts are ready. The real-time results obtained by using EHRs impact the accuracy and speed of medical care. Training registered nurses on how to use this technology help them understand the meaning of different medical record indications, resulting in improved patient outcomes.
- Portable Monitors. This equipment makes it possible for nurses to monitor the condition of patients even when they are not physically present at the moment. The portable devices can monitor crucial signs in patients, such as oxygen saturation, respiratory rates, ECG, etc., by transmitting the information acquired back to the central device (Western Governors University 2021). This advancement in technology implies that nurses will be able to receive a notification alarm in case of an emergency—these alerts aid in saving patient lives since nurses could be attending to other patients.
- Smart beds. The recent technology in the use of smart beds assists nurses in tracking the weight, movement, and vitals of patients. The smart beds also ensure that patients are comfortable in cases where they are required o spend more time in the hospital premise, such as through administration. The technology assists nurses in achieving a constant room monitor that equips them with regular communications and updates on the patient’s activities. The technology also aids in identifying changes in patterns that they can utilize to understand the condition better or help in new diagnoses. Understanding how this technology functions will assist nurses in spending less time used in adjusting medical types of equipment and supplies for the safety and comfort of patients. This improvement helps nurses indulge in other activities purposed to improve patient care.
- Wearable Devices. The recent use of wearable devices and mobile applications is massively transforming the health care industry. This device helps track heart diseases, respiration, sleep, exercise, etc. For example, the Steth IO smartphone stethoscope app permits doctors and nurses to use their smartphones to access patients’ breathing sounds to get the heart rates (Western Governors University 2021). Using these applications enables the providers to gain a full range of patient information, making it easier to track the medical needs necessary to improve patient care outcomes. Due to their capability to access wider data, these devices assist in keeping records faster and benefits nurses and patients in maintaining consistent monitoring of their health. The apparatus additionally assist in eliminating human errors since the data received is directly transmitted from the device itself.
Project teams by roles
Board members will help make and implement critical decisions and offer guidance in supporting the nurses in their training program. The chief financial officer would ensure that the program is funded and that the hospital’s selected software is cost-effective and affordable. The principal executive officer is mandated to support and provide ideas to the general staff and board members since he is the head of the hospital. He would assist in ensuring that the ideas generated are considered and implemented in the healthcare operations. The chief nursing officer is the head of all nurses in a hospital setting, and he would ensure that the nurses are well conversant with the health informatics being taught. The informatics/IT officers would be obligated to consider how the intended software operates and educate nurses about it. Clinical champions include the nurses and all hospital end-users who would be mandated to utilize the knowledge learned in the hospital operations.
Adelphi University. (2020, September 10). Benefits of Informatics in Nursing. Adelphi University Online. https://online.adelphi.edu/articles/benefits-of-informatics-in-nursing/
Gartley, C. E. (2020, September 6). How artificial intelligence is transforming the future of nursing. American Nurse. https://www.myamericannurse.com/how-artificial-intelligence-is-transforming-the-future-of-nursing/
Grenuk, J. (2019, January 23). How Nursing Informatics Improves Patient Care | TigerConnect. TigerConnect. https://tigerconnect.com/blog/how-nursing-informatics-improves-patient-care/
Jouparinejad, S., Foroughameri, G., Khajouei, R., & Farokhzadian, J. (2020). Improving the informatics competency of critical care nurses: results of an interventional study in the southeast of Iran. BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making, 20(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12911-020-01244-5
Western Governors University. (2021, March 1). 7 nursing technologies transforming patient care. Western Governors University. https://www.wgu.edu/blog/7-nursing-technologies-transforming-patient-care1903.html#close