In Chapter 1 of An Introduction to Nursing Informatics: Evolution & Innovation (HIMSS Books, 2015), educator and healthcare informatics consultant Susan K. Newbold, PhD, RN-BC, FAAN, FHIMSS, CHTS-CP, writes:
“Nurses work in a discipline that must integrate concepts from other fields in order to accomplish the work of providing safe, efficient, and effective care. Informatics and other nurses do not work in isolation, but need to partner for providing better care. …Not all nurses are informatics nurse specialists, but all nurses need to understand nursing informatics concepts. All nurses utilize data and put it together in meaningful ways to create information. The information then can contribute to the creation of new nursing knowledge. Health information systems are being integrated into every nursing role at the point of care and beyond. We are moving past the stage at which we merely input data to now understanding the information being created about the individual patient and patient populations.”
The final chapter of the book features 15 essays from nurses working in myriad healthcare settings and at different points in their careers. Each reflects upon the challenges and opportunities for the nurse informaticist in any healthcare setting. Here are some of their thoughts.
- I see my role as CNIO as one that creates a climate that promotes staff engagement, and I hope to inspire nurses to adopt innovation as they think about their work at the side of a patient. All this is being considered in order to impact the overall outcomes of those whom we are privileged to serve every time and with every touch of our patients.
—Patricia Mook, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, Chief Nursing Informatics Officer, Inova Health System
- A consultant is someone outside an organization who is hired, as an expert, to address a specific need. In the field of nursing informatics, consultants possess expertise in a wide variety of areas—EHR selection, clinical transformation, solution implementation, quality improvement, benefits realization, and workflow redesign among them. A consultant will address any issues or needs for which the organization has hired them.
—Patricia Foley Daly, DNP, RN-BC, Nursing Informatics Consultant
- The key skills that consultants need is similar to those needed by nurses—change management, facilitation, communication, documentation and experience working in complex healthcare organizations.
—Lisa Anne Bove, DNP, RN-BC, Informatics Specialist and Project Manager, Leidos Health
- Nurses, physicians, pharmacists, and so many others seek efficiency, better processes, and easier and less socially invasive ways to get work done. Everyone wants better patient outcomes, reasonable reimbursements for good work, and strong incentives for excellent work. Attenuating and facilitating all of these interactions at a micro level are the individual actors: clinicians, vendors, payers, and—increasingly—patients. At the macro level, wonks come out to play. I am a wonk.
—Darryl W. Roberts, PhD, MS, RN, Quality & IT Consultant, Econometrica, Inc.
- EHRs are installed in many of our healthcare venues; now the challenge at the national level is interoperability of those EHRs and getting health information exchanged between them to provide patient-centric care. Who better than a nurse to help coordinate the national foundation for health IT to build a 21st century healthcare system?
—Judy Murphy, RN, FACMI, FHIMSS, FAAN, Chief Nursing Officer & Director-Global Business Services, IBM Healthcare
How has the discipline of nursing informatics impacted your career?
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