Responsibilities of Informatics Nurse
Nursing informatics refers to a way of maintaining patient information in an organized manner (Lee, Lee & Moorhead, 2009, p. 9). The modern smart phone and tablet computers devices helps nurses keep or maintain the latest patient information. This is an evolving field and the roles of an informatics nurse may change on a daily basis or from one health facility to another. More often than not, though, informatics nurses are in charge of systems implementation. This involves working with information technology to incorporate computer systems within the nursing workflow. Informatics nurse ensures implementations of systems are undertaken smoothly, without affecting patient care.
Informatics nurses are responsible for clinical documentation. Informatics nurses manage electronic records or information of the care provided to patients, by ensuring that systems of documentation are properly working (Lee, Lee & Moorhead, 2009, p. 9). Moreover, some concentrate in telemedicine programs or projects, which offer medical care and information to patients from regions with limited or inadequate health care facilities.
The role of informatics nurse can be collaborative (Reddy, Gorman & Bardram, 2011, p. 3). The position may need multiple or many health care disciplines to operate jointly. For example, during an outbreak of communicable disease, the informatics nurses collects data/information from electronic health documentations, and liaise with state public health groups to guarantee health and safety of patients as well as the community.
Informatics nurses help in managing, interpreting, as well as communicating significant medical information and data which flows into as well as out of hospitals, clinics and other computer systems within a health facility (Reddy, Gorman & Bardram, 2011, p. 3). In addition, informatics nurses may make recommendations on how to improve or develop the uses and processes of computer programs with a view of improving patient outcomes.
In a health care setting informatics nurses can work in administrative position, and participate in decision making concerning medical information technology. As an administrator, informatics nurse can educate other nurses on how to enter medical data into a system of computer, also train other nurses on how to make use of new technology. Moreover, electronically carry out and manage fiscal operations, for instance accounting, authorizing expenditures, planning budgets, as well as coordinating financial reporting (Reddy, Gorman & Bardram, 2011, p. 2).
Through the use of computer programs, informatics nurses can maintain communication flow between departmental heads, medical staff, and governing board by sending electronic mails. Besides, informatics nurses may help in developing care plans by use of collected biometric data. Such plans are significant in administration and implementation of services and programs within a health care, including personnel training, administration, and coordination of other nurses and physical plant employees (Young et al., 2011, p. 12).
Informatics nurses use automated computer programs to develop work schedules as well as assignments for employees, based on workload, equipment and space availability. Moreover, informatics nurses maintain and disseminate awareness of advances within medicine. New advances may include computerized diagnostic as well as treatment equipment, government regulations, data processing technology, financial options, and health insurance changes (Lee, Lee & Moorhead, 2009, p. 10).
Advantages of Informatics Nurse
According to a study by Henry (2013), nurses who are guru in informatics have many advantages over less skilled nurses. First, informatics nurses improve patient safety. They ensure correct maintenance of drug delivery as well as clinical records. This improves workflow as activities and processes in nursing are displayed in an organized manner. Second, increase the competence and accuracy of nursing documentation.
This helps in removing or eliminating redundant documentation, automating the collection as well as reuse of nursing data. Overall, this facilitates analysis of documented clinical data. Third, informatics nurses aids in facilitating and promoting access to resources as well as references for nurses through computerized programs. This ensures inter disciplinary team within administrative and clinical setting. Moreover, a properly coordinated inter disciplinary team is conducive for delivering high quality services and promoting improvements within key relationships with peers, physicians, members of inter disciplinary care team, families, and patients.
Application of Computers in Nurses’ Work Setting
A study by Hwang, Chen, Yeh and Liang (2010), indicate that computers are used in nursing documentation for nursing assessments, patients’ care plans, administration records, medication, nursing notes as well as discharge plans. Computers are programmed to recognize the data, time and all entries, initials and name of the nurse making the entries. Computers are used to store plans for standard nursing care in a format preferred by an institution, to be utilized by nurses as the foundation for creating individualized patient care plan. Computers are programmed to automatically print medication list to be administered or used at pre set times, in the course of the day.
A nurse applying a printout for a definite patient, administers the medication, thereafter, charts it in the computer. In situations where medication was not charted but was given in a specified time subsequent to the programmed time, the computer always prints notification indicating that the medication is overdue. Computers are also used to do drug dosage calculations faster and accurately. Nurses’ notes are entered quickly by selecting statements, suitable for a specific client from many pre planned choices.
Experience with Drug Guide
Drug guide is computer software which enables nurses to verify or check prescription for drug information, interactions with other drugs, and side effects to a patient. In addition, it provides information about dosing and how drugs work. Certain drug guides are developed with built-in calculators. Features on such calculators are blood alcohol calculators and pregnancy calendar.
Henry, S. (2013). A Template-based Approach to Support Utilization of Clinical Practice Guidelines Within an Electronic Health Record. American Medical Informatics Association.
Hwang, Y., Chen, Y., Yeh, J., & Liang, H. (2010). Effects of passive computer use time and non-computer work time on the performance of electronic activity monitoring. Ergonomics, 23(2), 7. doi:10.1080/00140139.2010.512985
LEE, E. J., LEE, M., & MOORHEAD, S. (2009). Developing an Electronic Nursing Record System for Clinical Care and Nursing Effectiveness Research in a Korean Home Healthcare Setting. Cin-computers Informatics Nursing, 5(2), 9-10. doi:10.1097/NCN.0b013e3181a91b75
Reddy, M. C., Gorman, P., & Bardram, J. (2011). Special issue on Supporting Collaboration in Healthcare Settings: The Role of Informatics. International Journal of Medical Informatics, 3(1), 2-3. doi:10.1016/j.ijmedinf.2011.05.001
Young, P. M., Leung, R. M., Ho, L. M., & McGhee, S. M. (2001). An evaluation of the use of hand-held computers for bedside nursing care. International Journal of Medical Informatics, 6(3), 12. doi:10.1016/S1386-5056(01)00163-0