The field of nursing informatics is a relatively new and is considered a specialty area of nursing. Nursing informatics is a field of study that focuses on using technology and information science to aid healthcare and improve patient care. This field combines the knowledge and skills from fields such as nursing, information science, and computer science.
What is a nurse informaticist?
A nurse informaticist is a healthcare professional specializing in technology and information science that supports and improves patient care. This can include electronic medical records (EMRs), computerized physician order entry (CPOE) systems, telehealth technologies, and other digital tools used to manage patient data and communicate with other healthcare providers. Nurse informaticists also play a key role in designing, implementing, and evaluating these systems to ensure that they meet the needs of patients and healthcare providers.
Nurse informaticists typically have a background in nursing and possess advanced education in nursing informatics. Baylor University’s Accelerated BSN program is a great option for those who wish to pursue a career in nursing. It is a one-year program where students can gain clinical experience and learn from top academics.
Most of the coursework in this type of program is covered online, and it offers an on-campus residency and clinical hours within the community. One can become a nurse informaticist with just a bachelor’s degree; an advanced degree in nursing is also recommended, such as MSN or DNP.
Some nurses may also obtain certifications in the field, such as the ANCC’s (American Nurses Credentialing Center) certification of Healthcare Informatics Board Certified (CHIBC) or the International Nurses Association’s Board of Informatics Nursing Certification (BINc).
Nurse informaticists may work in various settings, including hospitals, long-term care facilities, outpatient clinics, and government agencies. They often work closely with other healthcare professionals, including doctors, nurses, and information technology (IT) staff, to ensure that technology is being used to benefit patients and support the delivery of high-quality care.
Benefits of nursing informatics in healthcare
Nursing informatics can bring many benefits to healthcare and is critical for the continual development and advancement of healthcare technology. Some of the benefits of nursing informatics include the following:
Improved patient care: By using technology to manage and analyze patient data, nurse informaticists can identify trends and patterns in health outcomes, which can be used to improve patient care and prevent adverse events. Electronic medical records (EMRs) and other digital tools can help healthcare providers make more informed decisions and improve communication between healthcare providers and patients.
Technology can streamline many aspects of healthcare, from scheduling appointments to managing patient data. This can lead to improved efficiency and reduced costs for healthcare providers and patients.
Technology can facilitate communication and collaboration between healthcare providers, patients, and other stakeholders, such as public health agencies and researchers. This can lead to a more coordinated and effective healthcare system.
Improved patient engagement
Patients can also benefit from nursing informatics because digital tools help them take a more active role in their own health and wellness. For example, patients can use telehealth technologies to consult with their healthcare providers remotely or use mobile apps to track their health data.
Improved data quality
With nursing informatics, the data generated can be standardized, clean, and complete. This enables healthcare providers to make better decisions and improve patient care.
Clinical decision support
With EMR and other informatics systems, nurse informaticists can facilitate the use of clinical decision support systems, which can assist healthcare providers with diagnosis and treatment options.
Research and evidence-based practice
Informatics systems can store large amounts of data that can be used to research various health issues. Informatics can also facilitate the implementation of evidence-based practice in the healthcare setting.
What role do nurse informaticists play in healthcare?
Nurse informaticists play a critical role in healthcare by using technology and information science to support patient care and improve the overall healthcare system. Some specific roles and responsibilities of a nurse informaticist include the following:
Analyzing and evaluating technology in healthcare
Nurse informaticists assess the technology used in their healthcare facility to ensure that it meets the needs of patients and healthcare providers and make recommendations for improvements where needed.
Participating in the design and implementation of new technology
Nurse informaticists help to design and implement new technology systems, such as electronic medical records (EMRs) and computerized physician order entry (CPOE) systems, to ensure that they meet the needs of patients and healthcare providers.
Providing education and training
Nurse informaticists often provide education and training to healthcare providers on how to use new technology and how to navigate electronic medical records (EMRs).
Facilitating communication and collaboration
Nurse informaticists use technology to facilitate communication and collaboration between healthcare providers, patients, and other stakeholders, such as public health agencies and researchers.
Managing and analyzing data
Nurse informaticists can leverage technology to manage and analyze patient data, which can be used to improve patient care and identify trends in health outcomes.
Ensuring data security and privacy
Nurse informaticists also play a role in ensuring the security and privacy of patient data, making sure that it is protected from unauthorized access, breaches, or misuse.
Acting as a liaison
They can serve as a liaison between IT and clinical teams to bridge the gap between needs and expectations and ensure that both sides’ requirements are met.
The bottom line
Overall, the role of a nurse informaticist is to use technology and information science to support the delivery of high-quality patient care and improve the overall healthcare system. Nurse informaticists can support patient care, improve healthcare systems and outcomes, and facilitate communication and collaboration between healthcare providers. They bring a unique perspective and skill set to the table and are essential for the successful implementation and use of technology in healthcare.