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Nursing Informatics – A Look at Technology & Nursing Christy Rakoczy

October 2nd, 2013

© 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.

Comments

  1. Patricia Player Maxwell October 3, 2013

    So what has happened to the Nurse? Technology has taken the nurse away from Caring, hands on care of the patient. Nurses are always on their computer. They have become Technicians. Leaving the care of the patient to non trained caregivers. Perhaps that is why the experience of being hospitalized makes my clients feel that their experience has been so impersonal. I was a nurse ,as a nurse I learnt more about my patient by bathing, changing the simple act of manually taking a pulse. My patients would talk to me and I would learn more about them. Now when I see my clients in hospital the nurse is more concerned with her computer and all the paraphernalia hanging and going into my clients. Do not deduce from this I am against moving forward and having up to date equipment. I am just sad that the art of nursing is being taken over by machines and the hands on care is no longer there. Or certainly less so.

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  2. Carol Marak October 16, 2013

    Maybe as technology moves forward, Patricia, software will not require you, the nurse, to be glued to the computer while administering care to the patient. Hopefully, as technology progresses, it will enable caregivers, nurses and physicians to be more effective in the type of care given. Eventually, giving better care at lower costs.

    I agree that patients do want hands on care but if it means higher costs and less effective healthcare in the long run…consumers would probably opt for less hands on!

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