With the advent of technology, the typical nurse’s notes have been mode from the traditional script style to a computerized entry form. The nurses nowadays will just enter their password before and after entering pertinent data and findings from the patient in an electronic record. This advancement has a lot to do with information. That is why nursing informatics came about at this era. This is the emerging field that almost each nurse of this time must have in touch in order to grasp the changes around the working environment more.
A nurse must be able to withstand those changes of time as they deliver safe and effective means of care. Nursing informatics is a field in nursing now recognized to combine the advent of computer science and its application to speed up the transmission of information in order to assist the organization and management of patient’s data. Even in textbooks and nursing curriculum, nursing informatics has been known to have a separate subtitle among other titles. The fundamental purpose of nursing informatics is to allow the data to serve as information in order to increase knowledge. It is really a challenge for older nurses to adapt to these changes. However, this is a positive change as nurses can readily respond to emergency situation when the machines they use can generate and keep data better than before.
The very first Nursing Informatics Conference in United States in 1971 has been a successful one in launching this young field of science. The term is used to describe the parts and functions of the computer systems.
Nursing informatics exist literally due to computers. Nowadays there are many types of computers from its memory capacity to its sizes – the options are very varied. It is therefore just fitting to know some of the most common things that a nurse in informatics uses. At this time, these are the computer system that nurses use:
1. Management Information System – This is a designated department that facilitates the organization and application of data used to manage an organization or department. For instance, upon entering the hospital, the admitting section will enter the personal data of the patient to their computer. This computer is actually a centralized one. It means that the information about the patient can be seen in the emergency room, laboratory as well as to the other units that has something to do with the patient. Anything that they have done such as purchases of medications and laboratory results are reflected in a record intended for the single patient. The MIS serves as a way to prevent duplication of data of patients and keeps up the flow of patients especially those old patients.
2. Hospital Information System – It is system catered to the types of data needed to manage client care activities and health care organizations. The personnel in these areas enter the data needed to allow management of billing. The Management Information System and the Hospital Information System actually works hand in hand.
Purpose of Nursing Informatics:
1. For Nursing Education – Through nursing informatics, nursing students can retrieve literature. Computers have significantly present huge amounts of data and catalogues which can search systematically. The tedious job of organizing literature was greatly reduced with computer systems. Users can access statistics from the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, get census and even the current mortality and morbidity of a certain type of disease or group of population in just one click.
2. Computer- Assisted Learning – Nursing students can enjoy learning the basic nursing care through software programs. Programs may cover topics from drug dosage administration to ethical decision making. Programs have been intended to certify the aptitude of nursing students about electrocardiogram and other important nursing activities that is important in the real work set-up.
3. Distance Learning – Through nursing informatics, online degrees in nursing and continued professional education have been a trend. Teachers can now reach a wider group of students. Homework or assignments can be sent via the internet without even facing the educators or meeting them in personal. The physical distance between the educator and the student is now shortened.
4. Documentation of Client Status and medical records – Nursing informatics can make the impossible organization of huge records possible. Research about past medical illness and management are easier since a computer keep the records and the researcher will just get proper access to that information.
Nursing informatics has a numerous positive outcomes in delivering care to patients. However the issue of ethics and confidentiality is still an issue to be pondered. More and more ways are developed daily to protect the information being entered in these systems.
Image courtesy of nursetogether.com