Information Technology, Safety, and Patient Outcomes Assessment

Nursing Informatics

Introduction

Nursing informatics is a branch of nursing that leverage multiple information and analytical sciences in identifying, defining, managing, and communicating the information and knowledged gleaned from available patient data (Alotaibi & Federico, 2017). Nursing informaticists are responsible for organizing patient care software and the resulting electronic medical records. They use their clinical nursing knowledge to optimize these information systems.

Information Technology, Safety, and Patient Outcomes Assessment

Nursing informatics is thus an integral discipline as it impacts patient outcomes and aids in providing a safe care environment to the patients. With the steady increase in demand for nurses and the rising number of medical-legal issues, the roles, and importance of nurse informatics have been on the rise. To that end, this discussion offers a summative assessment of the impact of healthcare technology on patient safety and outcomes.

Importance of Information and Technology Skills in Safe Patient Care

Arguably, contemporary nursing practice requires one to be competent with technology and information management. Improved health information systems provide an excellent platform for giving evidence of care delivered and supporting evidence-based practice. Technological advancements such as emails, texts, and online portals foster communication between healthcare providers and patients. Existing evidence claims that effective communication enhances patient safety. They also serve as sources of information to both healthcare providers and patients.

The information enhances knowledge hence minimizing medical errors and thus, promoting patient safety and quality of care given to the patients. Alotaibi and Federico (2017) state that healthcare information technologies have enhanced patient safety by “reducing medication errors, reducing adverse drug reactions, and improving compliance to practice guidelines,” (p.1173). They also explain that medical errors are a leading cause of patient mortality and morbidity and can be offset by effective communication aided by healthcare technologies.

The nursing profession is notable for its documentation tasks. Moghaddasi (2017) states that the nurses are led by a slogan, ‘if it is not documented, it is not done.’ The nurses are relieved of the considerable burden of writing by technological advancements. Healthcare systems also serve as banks that store data for analysis. Nurses are thus able to evaluate the care they provide and continuously improve on it.

Baccalaureate Nurse\’S Role in Championing the Use of Information and Technology to Improve Safety and Patient Outcomes

The baccalaureate nurse is mandated to enhance patient safety and ensure patients receive the best quality care. The nurses’ roles in ensuring continuity of patient care are indispensable. One significant role of the nurse is patient advocacy and patient education (Grason, 2020 Information Technology, Safety, and Patient Outcomes Assessment). The baccalaureate nurse should advocate for evidence-based practice only to ensure patients receive the best quality care.

Nurses are in the frontline in protecting the patient’s rights. They should ensure that the information availed to the patients and the healthcare providers are adequate and accurate. As an advocate, the nurse ensures the patient receives all the care they are mandated to receive. These include vital signs monitoring, medication administration, detecting errors, assessing clinical conditions, and identifying and communicating changes.

How Nurses Use Technology to Make Healthcare-Related Decisions.

Technology has greatly influenced nurses’ clinical decisions. As has been mentioned earlier, evidence-based practice is common in nursing practice. Ko, Wagner, and Spetz (2018) state that nurses utilize research findings to eliminate practices that are no beneficial and support those practices that are beneficial. From records kept in healthcare information systems, nurses can isolate areas of care that require more effort and improve on them, improving the quality of healthcare provided to the patients.

Healthcare information systems keep records that show sources of medical errors, which makes it easier to mitigate them. By doing so, nurses enhance patient safety and improve the quality of care they provide to the patients. Nurses can effectively and efficiently communicate through technological advancements. Nurses tend to make clinically informed decisions with effective communication and adequate information, improving patient health outcomes.

Modern diagnostic tests such as radio imaging have aided in diagnosing common illnesses such as cancer in their early stages of development. Thus, nurse practitioners can diagnose the different types of cancers early and manage them appropriately. Technology enhances care collaboration. Interprofessional collaboration and family involvement in the patient’s care create room for new ideas and opinions that give rise to healthcare decisions. The nurses have access to detailed information on the best care from other professionals such as pediatricians, gerontologists, and nutritionists. Client information on the preferred type of care is also instrumental to the nurses and influences their decisions.

Relationship Between the Quality and Integrity of Data Entered into a Database and The Effect on the Quality of Patient Care.

Data entered into the website differs in quality and intention. Information can be educative to the patients and healthcare providers. The information also includes actual care patients receive. There is a positive correlation between the quality and integrity of data and the quality of patient care. Correctly preserving and retrieving patient data in organizations are essential elements of value-based care, patient safety, and care coordination (Alotaibi & Federico, 2017).

The quality and reliability of information entered in a database greatly determine patient outcomes and quality of care. Misleading data leads to wrong healthcare decision making which translates to poor patient health outcomes. The existence of duplicate of mismatched information can always instigate different issues, among them, privacy risks, denial of claims, use of redundant medical tests or procedures, and errors in reported patient information (Moghaddasi, 2017; Odell, 2021). When information is made available to all healthcare providers, and when they know that the information entered shall be evaluated, healthcare providers tend to be more accountable. Accountability breeds quality care.

Conclusion

As seen above, nursing informatics greatly influences the nursing profession, quality of care, and patient safety. Healthcare information and technology skills are integral in enhancing care collaboration and reducing medical errors, thus improving patient safety. Nursing informatics plays a vital role in availing information to patients and providers, data storage, and relieving nurses of the burden of writing tasks, as seen above. Nurses and other healthcare professionals should thus embrace nursing informatics and utilize the relevant information and knowledge in providing holistic, quality, and safe patient care.

Information Technology, Safety, and Patient Outcomes Assessment References

  • Alotaibi, Y. K., & Federico, F. (2017). The impact of health information technology on patient safety. Saudi Medical Journal, 38(12), 1173. doi: 10.15537/smj.2017.12.20631
  • Grason, S. (2020). Teaching Ethics in Classroom Settings: Nursing Faculty Perceptions in Baccalaureate Programs. Journal of Nursing Education, 59(9), 506-509.  https://doi.org/10.3928/01484834-20200817-05
  • Ko, M., Wagner, L., & Spetz, J. (2018). Nursing home implementation of health information technology: Review of the literature finds inadequate investment in preparation, infrastructure, and training. INQUIRY: The Journal of Health Care Organization, Provision, and Financing, 55, 0046958018778902. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0046958018778902
  • Moghaddasi, H. (2017). The influence of informatics on nursing care and professional development. JOJ Nursing and Health Care, 4(3), 555639. DOI: 10.19080/JOJNHC.2017.04.555639
  • Odell, L. (2021). Technology: A help or a hindrance to healthcare? Retrieved from https://digitalcommons.misericordia.edu/research_posters2021/64