OpenPlacement Blog

Nursing Informatics - A Look at Technology & Nursing

© Copyright 2010 CorbisCorporationExperienced informatic nurses say the best way is to approach the nursing IT department and volunteer to train.

This specialty of informatics nursing brings together information science, computer science and nursing. Informatic nurses know that constantly improving information management in nursing improves efficiency, increases the quality of patient care, and results in overall cost reduction.

Often, nurses are highly overworked and unsure of their abilities to effectively integrate information technology into their jobs. Many nurses have little experience with information technology and therefore fear not being able to effectively and efficiently use the technology.

Other nurses may want to train but do not know how to ask for the help. So often, every department in hospitals is so busy it can be a challenge to ask for extra help or training.

However, it is crucial for hospital administrators to help nurses and IT to understand the importance of their teamwork in order to change and enhance hospital processes. It is imperative that both nurses and IT departments reach out to each other help make progress in the integration of nursing and information technology. Not only can nurse's jobs be made far more efficient after a possible initial learning curve, but patient care and safety can be greatly improved.

One way that the IT department can reach out and engage nurses in the process of moving to a new system is to engage nurses in the process. By having nurses work with IT from every step from choosing the system to implementing it to maintaining it, nurses feel they are part of the process and better understand how the system works. Also, these nurses are then better enabled to help to train future staff.

Furthermore, nurses that are involved with the process of transforming the system can help IT to make it more effective. Nurses can help with the design and give valuable feedback.

Once IT and nurses have worked together in this capacity, it is easier for nurses to continue to be involved in changing hospital processes with regard to technology and nursing.

There are a variety of other ways to help nursing staffs to become comfortable with the use of new technology. Offering multiple training sessions is one way to help nurses to get to learn how to use new systems. Another way to support nursing staff is to provide several support staff on hand who can immediately help with any system issues.

It may take time for staff to feel proficient at using the new technology, but continued support, training and instruction can mitigate some anxiety and frustration that some new users may feel.

Often, once nurses become experts in the usage of new technology, doctors become interested and willing to learn as well. With a staff of highly trained nurses available to learn from, doctors can also quickly learn how to use new technology and further enhance patient care.