Nursing Informatics at All Levels of Patient Care
The development of nursing informatics was inevitable. As a matter of fact, nursing informatics is a growing discipline, defined as the “use of information technologies in relation to those functions within the purview of nursing, and that are carried out by nurses when performing their duties. Therefore, any use of information technologies by nurses in relation to the care of their patients, the administration of health care facilities, or the educational preparation of individuals to practice the discipline is considered nursing informatics” (Turley, 1999).
Nursing is a scientific discipline with a focus on information or knowledge. Hence, nursing informatics, too, is focused on the easy access of crucial information to nurses. Indeed, nursing informatics has the power to embrace all pieces of information that a nurse would require at any time. Whether it is patient data or information about medicines that is required by a nurse at any given time, the help that information technology can provide in accessing required information, cannot be discounted. No longer does the nurse have to flip through “book after book” to find needed information at a time of emergency.
No longer does he or she have to go searching for doctors when electronic communication is ready to ease the functioning of healthcare facilities (Nelson, 2005). Nursing informatics also allows teaching nurses to impart education more effectively to their juniors. It is a fact, after all, that information technology allows for accurate information to be stored and retrieved. Thus, Meadows (2002) predicts an increasing use of information systems in the healthcare profession. I would add to the prediction that since nursing informatics is a groundbreaking use of technology in healthcare, all areas of patient care (including my own) would benefit tremendously by its use. Errors will be checked more easily by appropriate use of IT. In point of fact, I predict a general improvement in healthcare as a direct consequence of nursing informatics.
Meadows, Ginny.(2002, November).
Nursing informatics: an evolving specialty. Nursing
Nelson, Darrick. (2005, February). More than a pocketful of knowledge: a family practice group
uses integrated mobile technology at the point of care to improve decision-making and patient care. Health Management Technology.
Turley, James P. (1996, December 22). Towards a Model for Nursing Informatics. Journal of