Here are the questions: Why nurses nowadays need to understand nursing informatics? What is its significance in today’s healthcare delivery system?
As we live in dynamic times, the future is here today. With the ever-increasing advances in technology, nurses from the bedside to the administration have found that technology is now a standard part of their daily nursing routine. More and more institutions move over toward the use of computers for all healthcare information and nurses are challenged to explore new ways of incorporating these technologies and advancements in their practice which can contribute to the improvement of overall quality of patient care and safety.
What is Nursing Informatics (NI)?
It is the practice of using nursing science, computer science, and information science to support all aspects of nursing practice, including direct delivery of care, administration, education, and research.
At present, nursing informatics is an emerging field in the healthcare industry. However, according to Baskaran and Baby (2015), most of the staff nurses have poor knowledge and negative attitude towards nursing informatics. Nonetheless, national nursing organizations (i.e. Informatics Nurses Society of the Philippines) support the need for nurses to update their knowledge on computer literacy and in the dynamics of nursing informatics.
What is its significance?
Nursing Informatics plays a major role in the provision of quality and safe patient care. According to HealthIT.gov, when healthcare providers have a quick access to complete and accurate information, patients receive better medical care. Health Information System can improve the ability to diagnose disease hence improving patient outcomes. In addition to that, this can reduce or even prevent medical errors. According to the Health Information Management and Systems Society (HIMSS) Patient Safety Survey of 2003, two technologies are most likely to improve patient safety which are barcodes for medication administration and computerized doctors order entry. These two innovations are already being implemented in various hospitals which can contribute to the reduction of the potential of medical errors as well as duplication of efforts.
Innovations in health information technology can significantly impact the quality of care. Nurses are always developing innovations improving the quality of care in various ways. As professional nurses, we shall never stop innovating in order to facilitate the delivery of safe, effective patient care, support administrative decisions, and easy access to health information of patients through the use of well-designed and well-used technology.
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