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Posted: September 6th, 2023

Nursing Informatics: Integration of Tools into Practice

Write a 2-4 Full Page Paper Times New Roman Size 12 Font Double-Spaced APA Format Excluding the Title and Reference Pages that introduces nursing informatics, then discusses the integration of nursing informatics tools into practice and their pros and cons.
Analyze the current technology trends and how technology is used in your current or most recent healthcare facility
Examine possible uses of technology that would be beneficial to nurse managers/ leaders using healthcare informatics tools. Include the effects of HIPPA and the HITECH Act in the implications of practicing as a nurse leader.

Nursing Informatics: Integration of Tools into Practice

Nursing informatics is a specialty that integrates nursing science, computer science, and information science to manage and communicate data, information, knowledge, and wisdom in nursing practice (American Nurses Association, 2008). It supports nurses, nursing practice, and the profession of nursing in their goal of delivering safe, quality patient care. Nursing informatics tools and technologies have proliferated in healthcare settings in recent years, changing how nurses document, access information, and collaborate with other members of the healthcare team. This paper will discuss the integration of various nursing informatics tools into practice and analyze their pros and cons from the perspective of supporting safe, efficient, and effective nursing care.
Nursing Informatics Tools
Common nursing informatics tools that have been integrated into practice include the electronic health record (EHR), barcode medication administration, computerized provider order entry, telehealth technologies, and mobile applications. The EHR is arguably the most transformative technology, allowing nurses to document assessments, interventions, and other aspects of care at the point of care using a computer (rather than paper charts). This promotes legibility and accessibility of the patient record while reducing medical errors from illegible handwriting. However, some studies have found that EHR use can increase nurse workload and decrease face-to-face time with patients due to time spent documenting (McBride, 2015).
Barcode medication administration (BCMA) is an example of a technology that has improved medication safety. By scanning the patient’s wristband and medication barcodes at the bedside, BCMA confirms the five rights of medication administration (right patient, right drug, right dose, right route, right time) and reduces errors from misread handwriting or misheard verbal orders (Poon et al., 2010). However, BCMA requires an additional step in the medication administration process and occasional “workarounds” if barcodes cannot be scanned, diminishing some of its benefits (Koppel et al., 2008).
Computerized provider order entry (CPOE) allows providers to electronically enter medication orders, laboratory and radiology tests, and other orders that then interface with other systems like BCMA. This eliminates transcription errors, ensures legibility, and supports clinical decision-making with tools like drug-drug and drug-allergy checks (Poon et al., 2010). However, some studies found that CPOE implementation was associated with an increased workload for nurses due to additional time spent verifying orders and resolving issues with the system (Vogelsmeier et al., 2008).
Telehealth technologies like telemedicine, remote patient monitoring, and nursing call centers have expanded access to care for patients in rural and underserved areas. For example, tele-ICU programs allow ICU patients to virtually “room in” an off-site ICU staffed by critical care nurses who can monitor patients, consult with bedside nurses, and recommend treatment changes around the clock (Breslow, 2015). However, these technologies also require an investment of resources for equipment, infrastructure, and training. Regulations around telehealth practice and reimbursement also continue to evolve (Wade et al., 2010).
Mobile applications on smartphones and tablets have also proliferated, allowing nurses to access drug references, clinical guidelines, medication calculators, and other point-of-care resources. Some healthcare organizations have also developed custom mobile apps to support specific workflows like documentation, medication administration, or care coordination. However, concerns around data security, device standardization across platforms, and potential distractions from direct patient care remain challenges with mobile technology in healthcare (Mosa et al., 2012).
Integration Challenges and Opportunities for Nurse Leaders
The integration of nursing informatics tools into practice presents both challenges and opportunities for nurse leaders. Challenges include the need for extensive staff training on new systems, increased documentation time reducing at-bedside time, and potential workflow disruptions during implementation and upgrades. Nurse leaders play a key role in change management, user support, and evaluating impacts on workload, satisfaction, and outcomes.
Nurse leaders can leverage informatics tools to enhance their own roles. For example, EHR data and analytics can support quality improvement initiatives, benchmarking, and strategic decision-making. Telehealth technologies expand access to specialty consultation, education, and mentoring for remote teams. Custom mobile applications have automated some managerial tasks like staff scheduling, time tracking, and communication.
However, nurse leaders must ensure the confidentiality, integrity and availability of electronic protected health information as required by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2009. This includes overseeing compliance with security standards, access controls, data backups, breach response plans, and ongoing staff training on privacy and security practices.
Overall, nursing informatics tools have great potential to support safe, efficient, and effective nursing care delivery when implemented and used appropriately. Nurse leaders play a key role in maximizing benefits and mitigating challenges through change management, user support, workflow optimization, and oversight of regulatory compliance. With experience and refinement, these tools will continue to transform nursing and healthcare delivery in the future.
Conclusion
In conclusion, nursing informatics is an evolving specialty that utilizes computer and information technologies to support nursing practice and improve patient outcomes. While the integration of tools like EHRs, BCMA, CPOE, telehealth, and mobile applications presents challenges, they also create opportunities when implemented and used appropriately. Nurse leaders must guide this process through change management, user support, and leveraging tools to enhance their own roles in quality improvement, strategic decision making, and regulatory compliance. With experience, these tools will continue to revolutionize how nurses document, access information, collaborate, and deliver safe, efficient care.
References
American Nurses Association. (2008). Nursing informatics: Scope and standards of practice. Silver Spring, MD: Nursebooks.org.
Breslow, M. J. (2015). Effect of a multiple-site intensive care telemedicine program on clinical and economic outcomes: An alternative paradigm for intensivist staffing. Critical Care Medicine, 43(1), 31-38. https://doi.org/10.1097/CCM.0000000000000737
Koppel, R., Metlay, J. P., Cohen, A., Abaluck, B., Localio, A. R., Kimmel, S. E., & Strom, B. L. (2008). Role of computerized physician order entry systems in facilitating medication errors. JAMA, 293(10), 1197–1203. https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.293.10.1197
McBride, D. L. (2015). Impact of health information technology on the work of clinical nurses: A mixed-method study. Policy, Politics & Nursing Practice, 16(1-2), 17–26. https://doi.org/10.1177/1527154415580687
Mosa, A. S. M., Yoo, I., & Sheets, L. (2012). A systematic review of healthcare applications for smartphones. BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making, 12(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1472-6947-12-67
Poon, E. G., Jha, A. K., Christino, M., Honour, M. M., Fernandopulle, R., Middleton, B., … Bates, D. W. (2010). Assessing the level of healthcare information technology adoption in the United States: A snapshot. BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making, 6(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1472-6947-6-1
Vogelsmeier, A., Halbesleben, J. R., & Scott-Cawiezell, J. R. (2008). Technology implementation and workarounds in the nursing home. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 15(1), 114–119. https://doi.org/10.1197/jamia.M2393
Wade, V. A., Karnon, J., Elshaug, A. G., & Hiller, J. E. (2010). A systematic review of economic analyses of telehealth services using real time video communication. BMC Health Services Research, 10(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1472-6963-10-233

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