The health care system has greatly changed with noticeable reforms and restructuring taking place as a result of technological advancements and innovations. The introduction and implementation of information systems in the health care system has positively impacted on service delivery (“importance of increasing health literacy content in nursing education,” 2015). As a result, new roles and responsibilities have emerged in the nursing practice as the integration of information systems continues to be adopted. Information systems have proved to be an effective management tool in the health care system (Mitchell & Hull, 2020). The new roles and responsibilities have challenged nurses to seek more education on the operation of the systems and to remain relevant in the practice. The complexity and cost of different information systems as well as the rate of change in computer technology are various factors that should be considered when evaluating the appropriate information system to implement (Lin, 2017). Nurses and nurse leaders need a sound knowledge of health care information system and understanding of nursing practice to be able to obtain the computer tools relevant to the practice (Sahay, Sundararaman, & Braa, 2017).
Nursing is a critical profession in the health care system and their input cannot be ignored. Nurses interact with patients more compared to any other health care profession (Lin, 2017). Their primary goal of providing health care to patients gives them an upper hand in understanding the patients’ needs and preferences. This makes it necessary to involve nurses in the evaluation and implementation of information systems in the health care. Implementation of informatics in the health care has aided in the effective communication significantly impacting on interprofessional collaboration (Lin, 2017). As a result, better patients’ outcomes have been achieved and reduced medical and human errors. In my organization, nurses have been actively involved in the evaluation and implementation of health care systems. In the process of evaluating and implementation of these information systems nurses need to be trained and educated on a number of issues.
When introducing a new information system nurses need to be trained on the navigation of the various tools. Some of the information systems are complex and requires a wide scope of ICT knowledge (“importance of increasing health literacy content in nursing education,” 2015). It is therefore necessary to equip nurses with the relevant knowledge and skills to effectively and efficiently use the information systems to offer quality services. As earlier stated, nurses interact more with patients compared to other health care professionals. In organizations that offer telehealth services patients need to be conversant with the system being used by the organization. To educate patients on how navigate the system, nurses are best placed to take them through. It is therefore necessary to equip nurses with teaching skills that will give them capacity to educate patients (“importance of increasing health literacy content in nursing education,” 2015). Nurses too need to be trained on how to operate health care machines that are linked to the information systems. Innovations in technology have led to development of health care machines and equipment that do not necessarily require manual operation but are rather operated from the computers (“importance of increasing health literacy content in nursing education,” 2015). In order to effectively use equipment to offer health care services, nurses have to be trained. Application of informatics can not be avoided in the modern world as it has become a way of life.
The importance of increasing health literacy content in nursing education. (2015). American Research Journal of Nursing. doi:10.21694/2379-2922.15023
Lin, H. (2017). Nursesʼ satisfaction with using nursing information systems from technology acceptance model and information systems success model perspectives. CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing, 35(2), 91-99. doi:10.1097/cin.0000000000000293
What is and/or should be nursing’s role in decision making regarding selecting information systems?
There are so many systems in the healthcare workplace that it can easily be assumed that all systems work for every person. In healthcare, these systems “aim to improve the processes of data handling in order to extract useful information for health planning, decision-making, and resource allocation through different sources to provide quality services” (Yazdi-Feyzabadi, 2015). Therefore, since our nurses work closely with these systems, our opinion should be considered when it comes to selecting new systems or altering those in place.
In 2010, The Institute of Medicine published a report called, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change and Advancing Health. This report offered goals for the future of nursing. Two of the ten recommendations states that healthcare should “enable nurses to lead change to advance health and expand opportunities for nurses to lead collaborative improvement efforts” (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, 2016). Nurses are our front-line resource to give feedback to improve the quality of patient care. “In the past, a common mistake has been selecting healthcare systems that affect patient care with little or no input from providers across the healthcare team” (Nelson & Staggers, 2014).
Examples of information systems include telehealth services, mobile health applications, installing new EHRs technology (electronic health records). In this case nurses can be vital in selecting which patients can benefit from telehealth services, which interventions are best used through telehealth services and which are more appropriate for in-person appointments. With mobile applications nurses can give their opinions on how the application is operating, how it can be improved and in which instances would be the best situation for an application implementation. In my workplace, we have a mobile app that we use for clocking in and out of our shift. Using the system for almost a year now, I have found many difficulties in its use. It requires a GPS location to log-in for the shift and on most occasions it does not recognize my location even if I am standing at the patient’s front door. It also only offers the patient address under the documents tab. If the app included the eMAR and POC we could eliminate the use of paper each month, transferring our company closer to an all-digital environment. These are just a few examples of how nurses can implement change with information systems. Establishing new systems takes time and care from an interdisciplinary team of healthcare workers.
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (2016) Assessing Progress on the Institute of Medicine Report The Future of Nursing. The National Academies Press. DOI 10.17226/21838
Nelson, R., & Staggers, N. (2014). Health Informatics: An Interprofessional Approach (2nd ed.). Mosby.
Yazdi-Feyzabadi, V., Emami, M., & Mehrolhassani, M. H. (2015). Health Information System in Primary Health Care: The Challenges and Barriers from Local Providers' Perspective of an Area in Iran. International Journal of Preventive Medicine, 6, 57. DOI: 10.4103/2008-7802.160056 (Links to an external site.)
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