The Nursing Tech-Edge
Nurses looking to advance their career at the speed of the health care industry may want to consider the field of nursing informatics. This tech-focused health care profession is on the cutting edge of technology and health care, helping nurses and administrators find more effective and cost-efficient ways to provide quality care to patients through the implementation of information technology.
Transforming Health Care through Information Technology
Nursing informatics integrates information technology with nursing science to improve methods of health care delivery and documentation. The goal of nursing informatics is to create and establish new systems of operations to improve documentation accuracy, increase productivity through eliminating unnecessary work, and to streamline the accuracy and analysis of clinical data. Nursing professionals in this field seek ways to establish productive and economical management procedures to effectively communicate medical data and patient information in the health care setting.
According to the American Nurses Association:
“Nursing informatics facilitates the integration of data, information and knowledge to support patients, nurses and other providers in their decision-making in all roles and settings. This support is accomplished through the use of information structures, information processes and information technology.”
Communication is critical in today’s increasingly complex and integrated health care system. As the level of patient care advances, communication continues to span across multiple health care fields and relies on the expertise of practitioners and medical experts. Documentation is essential to keeping all parties informed and up-to-date on the patient’s current condition and medical treatment as well as the state of overall operations within the health care facility. Nursing informatics is largely focuses on improved documentation within health care facilities to reduce operating and patient care costs, as well as to improve productivity and enhance the quality of patient care. Current nurses can benefit from an Accredited RN to BSN Online program that is accredited to help fast-track their career in nursing informatics.
The field primarily focuses on improving patient charting to expedite communication between care providers, and to improve accuracy, speed and timeliness using information technology. Some tools being implemented in hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation facilities, private practices and other health care facilities include computers, handheld devices and voice recognition tools. These tools must be efficient and highly dependable while also being user-friendly for ease of use by the masses. Nursing informaticists must be sure they design processes and tools that are compatible with staff and current organizational systems for seamless integration and maximum efficiency.
A Health Care Profession for the 21st Century
As the health care industry continues to grow rapidly, and as medical practitioners look to enhance their level of patient care and service, new and more efficient administrative processes need to be implemented to keep up with patient demand to ensure accuracy, timeliness and cost-efficiency of medical and administrative services.
Health care facilities, including hospitals as well as universities, consulting firms and corporations, are looking to nursing informatics to help streamline current processes and improve overall productivity through developing health care information systems.
Nursing professionals seeking a career in nursing informatics may research job titles, including clinical analyst, informatics nurse specialist, director of clinical informatics or clinical informatics coordinator. Many health care facilities are opting to bring nurse informaticists on staff to work closely with its medical team to improve its processes. While you will work in a health care setting, you will have little contact with patients and minimal patient care duties in the nursing informaticist role. Job responsibilities will mainly lie in developing new systems and testing or training staff nurses to use these new systems.
Nurses looking to build upon their professional career should consider the role of nurse informaticist. Experience and continued education could lead you towards a new and advanced career in health care. The job outlook for nurse informaticists is expected to be strong well into the next decade, giving you ample time to continue your nursing education and discover a new career in health care.
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