In the current facility I work at, Monument Health, we use the electronic health system of EPIC. With EPIC, I have found that healthcare informatics is easily organized and dispersed throughout the system. For example, I work in labor and delivery and every month EPIC compiles our data on the number of deliveries and divides this data into inductions, cesarean sections, APGAR scores, and physician-specific data. This is something helpful to our unit in order to see where we excelled or maybe didn’t each month, as well as visualize our numbers for the month.
In our organization, they have data technology specialists who are available to us via phone call, at all times. They also make a point to visit each department at least once a month to discuss any changes to EPIC, or help us improve on certain mechanisms of EPIC that we may not be using to its full ability. We are able to contact them to come to visit our unit for any issues that may arise that don’t require immediate attention. Health informaticians are able to participate in an interdisciplinary approach by supporting system interoperability as well as facilitating interprofessional collaboration (Holden et al., 2018). I believe in my current facility, our informaticists do just that and are vital members of the healthcare team.
In order to improve the interactions between the healthcare team and the informaticists or specialists, I think it could be useful to hold monthly informatic meetings to involve the entire healthcare team rather than just the few that happen to be on the unit on the day they come each month. I feel that oftentimes, concerns that are found are forgotten about or missed until it becomes a problem again in the future. Nursing leadership can help mitigate this issue by addressing concerns from staff regarding informatics and being able to present these issues at meetings. Nursing leaders are able to contribute positively to the development of nursing informatics because of their broad understanding and ability to oversee the care that nurses are providing (Mosier, Roberts, & Englebright, 2019).
In the future, I believe the evolution of nursing informatics could have both a positive and negative effect on professional interactions. With the emergence of new technologies on a day-to-day basis, the ability of a nurse to communicate with other members of the healthcare team as well as the patients their team cares for continues to become easier and more accessible. With that being said, these new technologies create limitations to the face-to-face interaction’s members of the healthcare team and their patients participate in. For example, many healthcare organizations utilize mobile devices in order to communicate between nurses, physicians, and other team members. This method of communication can limit understanding and personalization. This also is true in regards to patients being able to access their healthcare data on a mobile application and message their providers in this location as well. Key information can oftentimes be lost through internet communication. Mobile phones have revolutionized healthcare informatics and nurses play a significant role in their usage (Ng, Alexander, & Frith, 2018).
Nursing Informatics (NI) is a specialty that integrates nursing science with information and analytical sciences to identify, define, manage, and communicate data, information, knowledge, and wisdom in nursing practice. NI supports nurses, consumers, patients, the interprofessional healthcare team, and other stakeholders in decision-making in all roles and settings to achieve desired outcomes. (McGonigle and Mastrian 2022)
In the facility where I work, the director of the advanced clinical unit was once the director of ICU; 2013 was when RGRH, an HCA facility I work, started upgrading the MEDITECH and CPOE for physicians; she then took the position. Nurse executives and nurse informaticists are shaping new solutions to improve nursing processes and patient care. (Alexander, 2018) The advanced clinical unit oversees the training of physicians, nurses, nursing assistants, pharmacists, and physical therapists all over the hospital. Nurse informaticists are communicating to all staff the updated training, evidence-based care modules, Meditech upgrades, and a new form of order entry through hospital e-mails, health streams, and rounding the unit for updates. The office of the data specialist in our hospital is just outside the ICU, so nurses visit the office for immediate clarification whenever we have issues and concerns.
In our hospital, we have our own assigned mobile phones issued by the nurse informaticist to communicate from one unit to the other. Other departments quickly call nurses via I-mobile if they must report critical results to a patient assigned to them. I-Mobile, introduced by the clinical staff, includes the patient’s recent laboratory results, admission history, and trusted physicians and consults. Data about nursing care have become a critical component of operational, effective, and appropriate patient care decisions. (Mosier, 2019)
Nurses and other personnel send text messages and call each other through this I-mobile. Patients can directly contact our I-mobile if they need help with something, and I-mobile alarms whenever the patient exits and gets up on his bed. It is a fantastic gadget whenever we are caring for a patient. Nursing can be hard work and requires multi-tasking, but new technologies such as smart pumps, bar-code medication administration systems, electronic health records, and smartphones made nursing efficient and safer. (McGonigle and Mastrian 2022) New technologies impact face-to-face professional interactions. Communications are done via smartphones and webinars. With this technological advancement, nurses and other professionals should still be mindful of physical or social contact by having monthly meetings and live training. Discussions and problem-solving are managed in a room and not on live cameras.
Nursing is a caring and nurturing profession. Technology (cardiac monitors, dopplers, ultrasound, and computers on wheel) may be around the corners of the patient’s room, but we should never forget they are available to help each nurse provide effective and appropriate delivery of care to our patients, not mainly the focus of our attention. Remember that therapeutic communication, listening, touch, and mindfulness of patients’ needs are an integral part of what nursing science is all about to help maintain, enhance, and restore patients’ health. (McGonigle and Mastrian 2022)
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