Why Information and Technology Skills Are Essential For Safe Patient Care – Healthcare experts agree that to revitalize the US’s healthcare system, the application of health information technology is a necessity if all Americans are to enjoy high quality and efficient healthcare (White, 2015)….
Information and technology skills are essential for all nurses to have, but especially for nurse informaticists. This assignment requires you to consider how information and technology connect to patient care outcomes and a safe care environment.
Explain why information and technology skills are essential for safe patient care.
Identify the baccalaureate nurse\’s role in championing the use of information and technology to improve safety and patient outcomes.
Provide examples of how nurses use technology to make health care-related decisions.
Analyze relationship between the quality and integrity of data entered into a database and the resulting effect on the quality of patient care.
Format your assignment as one of the following:
- 875 word paper
Include a minimum of three peer-reviewed sources, and develop an APA-formatted reference page
Sensmeier, Joyce, MS, RN-BC & CPHIMS, FHIMSS. (2011). Transforming nursing practice through technology and informatics. Nursing Management, 42, 20-23. https://doi.org/10.1097/01.NUMA.0000406572.04085.e8
Piscotty, Ronald J, Jr,PhD., R.N.-B.C., Kalisch, Beatrice, PhD,R.N., F.A.A.N., & Gracey-Thomas, A. (2015). Impact of healthcare information technology on nursing practice. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 47(4), 287-293. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jnu.12138
McGonigle, D., Hunter, K., Sipes, C., & Hebda, T. (2014). Why nurses need to understand nursing informatics: Everyday informatics. AORN Journal, 100(3), 324-327. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aorn.2014.06.012
Bowles, K. H., Dykes, P., & Demiris, G. (2015). The use of health information technology to improve care and outcomes for older adults. Research in Gerontological Nursing, 8(1), 5-10. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.3928/19404921-20121222-01
Aathi, M. K. (2014). Nursing informatics: The emerging field. Asian Journal of Nursing Education and Research, 4(1), 127-130. Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/1543042440?accountid=35812
Hebda, T. L., Czar, P., & Hunter, K. (2018). Handbook of informatics for nurses & healthcare professionals, 6/e (6th ed.). Pearson Education.
The effective harnessing of the potential of HIT in the improvement of patient safety, reducing harm, and better patient outcomes are the overarching goal that brings together the patients, the healthcare professions, the healthcare facilities, and regulators. Through these skills, nurses make informed and better decisions about patient care, quality of health care, improve outcomes, and enhanced patient safety resulting from decreased errors. Besides saving lives, healthcare costs are lowered.
Alotaibi & Federico (2017) note that patient safety, defined as the avoidance, prevention, and amelioration of adverse events or injuries emanating from the process of health, has been a significant catalyst that accelerated the development and adoption of information technology. Consequently, this essay aims at examining how information and technology skills interrelate with patient care outcomes and a safe care environment.
The paper examines why information and technology skills are essential for safe patient care, emphasizing the baccalaureate nurse role in utilizing the skills to enhance patient outcomes and improved safety besides citing specific examples. Before the conclusion, the author analyzes the connection between patient data quality and integrity in enhancing patient care quality.
Why Information and Technology Skills Are Essential For Safe Patient Care
Healthcare experts agree that to revitalize the US’s healthcare system, the application of health information technology is a necessity if all Americans are to enjoy high quality and efficient healthcare (White, 2015). Because HIT is presently underutilized, effective utilization of electronic health records would significantly promote a culture of patient safety across all health care organizations in different care settings and at all levels.
Through incentives offered by meaningful use of EHRs, the data contained therein would improve healthcare and outcomes as e-prescribing, implementation of decision support, and tracking and reporting of quality measures become the norm in healthcare facilities. However, while this may be true, its successful implementation would be hampered, mainly if the nurse’s role, especially the baccalaureate, is overlooked or outrightly ignored.
The Baccalaureate Nurse’s Role in Championing the Use of Information and Technology
For over forty years, nurses have been working in informatics, with nursing informatics being ranked as a nursing specialty course since the mid-1980s. According to Dharwish et al. (2015), multiple aspects, among them human-computer interaction, information systems, electronic patient records, imaging informatics, and telenursing, have found their way into the nursing professional competencies.
Most importantly, nursing informatics is defined as information technology application in seminal nursing duties ranging from education, management, and practice. For example, informatics skills enable the baccalaureate-prepared nurse to interpret the flow of information within a healthcare facility. Similarly, the nurse informatics specialist can prepare information flow charts to capture all aspects of clinical systems to facilitate clinical care, nursing education, or administrative purposes.
As espoused in the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), The Essentials of Baccalaureate Education in nursing includes informatics. Essential Four details the utilization of patient care technologies in terms of not just attitudes but also skills as well as knowledge.
Analysis of the Relationship between Quality and Integration of Data
Brenner et al. (2016) emphasize the enormous potential possessed by the effective harnessing of HIT in improving patient safety, decreasing patient harm, and the subsequent improvement of patient outcomes. The application of HIT in nurses’ daily activities not just in the US but across all healthcare systems worldwide indicates that accuracy of data and data completeness emerges as the key factors that determine the quality of data stored in the EHRs(Charnock(2019).
Suffice it to say that the moment a healthcare organization accords data quality the importance it deserves, the recognition will positively affect enhanced patient care. For example, incomplete patient data increases the risk of medical errors, which at best could lead to long-term damage to the patient’s health or, in a worst-case scenario, lead to their eventual death (Vimalachandran et al., 2016).
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Likewise, incorrect information may also negatively impact the quality of healthcare the individual patient receives hence the need for nurses always to strive to maintain the integrity and completeness of a patient’s health information. When viewed from the care continuum perspective, it holds to say that inaccurate or incomplete EHRs data comprises patient care and care coordination, quality reporting, and research, not to mention the likelihood of fraud and abuse.
In conclusion, nursing professionals, particularly nurse informaticists who are baccalaureate-prepared, should spearhead the implementation and effective utilization of HIT to improve patient safety and decrease medication errors. The nurse informatics specialist should also assess data quality within the EHRs since its accuracy, completeness, and timeliness significantly impact patient care of high quality and safety. Amongst other measures, pseudonymization of the HER data would go a long way in ensuring that privileged patient information is not abused through fraud while simultaneously reducing medication errors.
Alotaibi, Y. K., & Federico, F. (2017). The impact of health information technology on patient safety. Saudi medical journal, 38(12), 1173.
Brenner, S. K., Kaushal, R., Grinspan, Z., Joyce, C., Kim, I., Allard, R. J., & Abramson, E. L. (2016). Effects of health information technology on patient outcomes: a systematic review. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 23(5), 1016-1036.
Charnock, V. (2019). Electronic healthcare records and data quality. Health Information & Libraries Journal, 36(1), 91-95.
Darvish, A., Bahramnezhad, F., Keyhanian, S., & Navidhamidi, M. (2014). The role of nursing informatics on promoting quality of health care and the need for appropriate education. Global journal of health science, 6(6), 11.
Higgins, T. C., Crosson, J., Peikes, D., McNellis, R., Genevro, J., & Meyers, D. (2015). Using health information technology to support quality improvement in primary care (No. aad2d999a1ec484b873fa85d57540fc1). Mathematica Policy Research.
Vimalachandran, P., Wang, H., Zhang, Y., Heyward, B., & Whittaker, F. (2016, December). Ensuring data integrity in electronic health records: a quality health care implication. In 2016 International Conference on Orange Technologies (ICOT) (pp. 20-27). IEEE.
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