Informatics is used to support nurses, patients, and the healthcare team (Health Care Information and Management Systems Society, 2018). According to Health Care Information and Management Systems Society (2018), “This support is accomplished through the use of information structures, information processes, and information technology” (para. 1). Nursing informatics is committed to identify and drive practice that delivers high quality and cost-effective health care by using data to improve the health of the populations they serve (American Nursing Informatics Association, 2018).

The use of nursing informatics in health care is vital. One reason to consult the NI specialist would be for clinical decision support. According to American Medical Informatics Association (2018), “Clinical decision support is used by clinicians, patients, and other stakeholders through the use of knowledge, processes, and inference, to support decisions-makers in clinical, administrative, and managerial activities to improve the quality of health care services and outcomes” (para. 1).

From my experience in an inpatient setting, I have seen Nurse Informatics be useful in implementing EMRs, designing and training others in the use of EMRs, serving as consultants, developing policies within their respective institutions, and analyzing and managing outcomes. The American Medical Informatics Association (2018), state that from the primary care standpoint NIs they can help facilitate research and  are used in the same manner and always with patient safety at the forefront of their practice.

Qualifications and credentialing for nursing informatics are held by American Nurses Credentialing Center or ANCC. They have a board certification exam that is competency based. Once, one successfully passes the exam they are awarded the credential Registered Nurse- Board Certified. The credential is valid for 5 years and is kept by meeting the renewal requirements. This ANCC certification is accredited by The National Commission for Certifying Agencies and the Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing (American Nurses Association , 2018).

 

Discussion #2

When would you consult with the nurse informaticists?

Nurses are almost in every health care system involved in the process of delivering care at all levels.  Be it in the hospital, outpatient clinics, rural health centers, schools, nurses are present to provide care to individuals to promote health, prevent and treat illnesses, or help people recover to the best level of functioning they can. In our present time, this care is enabled by technology while enhancing patient safety by translating certain simple and complex functions into automation (Cipriano & Hamer, 2013).  Combined with the nurse’s training and education, her experience in the day-to-day processes involved in patient care, nurse informaticists are in the best position to be consulted for policy and process improvements to make patient care delivery safer and more efficient (Cipriano & Hamer, 2013).  Nurse informaticists mediate clinical and technology which makes them an essential part of the team in designing systems to improve quality and safety in delivery of care (Darvish, Bahramnezhad, Keyhanian, & Navidhamidi, 2014).

As an example, a few years ago, our hospital has involved nursing, led by a nurse informaticist, in developing a new systematic way of minimizing laboratory errors.  This was in response to an increasing rate in laboratory test errors that compromised patient safety. The workflow, half of it significantly involved nursing, specifically in the collection and sending of specimen, has been redesigned by automating from the point of receiving the laboratory order from the physician to bedside collection, and sending the specimen to the laboratory.  The automation ensures scanning of the patient’s armband and collection at the bedside.  If not for the in-depth knowledge and experience of the nurse informaticist in every detail of bedside patient care, the process improvement could have not been realized and successful.

What role does the nurse informaticists play in primary care?

I will always be proud of how our nursing education is strongly hinged on good documentation and effective, therapeutic communication, giving it the reason why nurses are in such an important position to lead and influence change. And because technology pervades the health care system, focus on what the nurses do to be able to provide care for the patients and address their needs safely and effectively is imperative. Before care can even be initiated, information gathering and documentation need to take place. Having seen and experienced the daily processes of history taking, documentation, treatment, referrals, consultation with other specialty groups, coordinating hospital admissions, etc., the nurse informaticist can manage, interpret, and communicate the information that comes in and out of health care facilities, especially in the primary care settings where majority of patients are seen on a daily basis (Rupp, 2016). Nurse informaticists can help customize order sets, documentation templates, and point-of-care reminders based on the clinic’s target population prevalent needs (Morgan, 2017).

Patient care in the present time is greatly influenced by individually, customized care through information gathered from patients which is organized in electronic health records (Rupp, 2016). Having access to this and the ability of nurse informaticists to give meaningful interpretation to raw information and trends, they play an important role in improving documentation, enhancing care management and coordination (Rupp, 2016),

What qualifications and credentialing are held by nurse informaticists?

One of the five core competencies the Institute of Medicine (IOM) identified that all health care professionals should possess to realize the redesign and transformation of the nation’s health care system is the use of informatics (Hamric, Hanson, Tracy, & O’Grady, 2014).  According to the report, health care professionals need to have a solid foundation and skills in using cutting-edge information technology to deliver high quality patient care (Bormann, 2016).  This is a core competency of nurse informaticists which encompasses computer skills, informatics knowledge, and informatics skills (Darvish, 2014).  It involves looking at four levels of nursing practice including beginning nurse, experienced nurse, informatics specialist, and informatics innovator (Darvish, 2014).

The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) provides Informatics Nursing board certification examination, a competency based examination which assesses the entry-level clinical knowledge and skills in the informatics specialty (ANCC, n.d.). This is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) and the Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification (ABSNC). ANCC awards the credential Registered Nurse-Board Certified (RN-BC) after completion of eligibility requirements to take the certification examination and successfully passing the exam (ANCC, n.d.). Credential validity is five years with option to continue use of credential by maintaining license to practice and completing renewal requirements (ANCC, n.d.). The American Nurses Informatics Association (ANIA) offers a nursing informatics certification review course with certification through ANCC (ANIA, n.d.).

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