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New advancements and issues in the healthcare imply that the nursing profession should change. Nurses have the first and direct contact with patients and as a result, they feel they immediately feel the effects of best practices compared to other professionals in the organization. According to Lewenson (2015), technology revolution have made it possible for healthcare institutions and providers to collect and leverage data more efficiently leading to more successful outcomes. The challenges facing healthcare such as aging population, increase in chronic diseases and shortage of nurses can be solved through data and informatics. Mobile health devises and systems and digital technology are critical in supporting in supporting patients. Informatics facilitate in documentation, coordination of resources, determination of evidence-based practices and more importantly, development of expertise skills for better service delivery. It is therefore important to develop an informatics policy to showcase the best practices for a productive organization.
Nursing Informatics Best-Practices Policy
A nursing informatics policy depicts the process of leveraging technology within the nursing practice. Nursing roles are therefore integrated with information technology. Given the efficiency of technology oriented practices, it is critical for a healthcare institution to create an informatics policy. Such a policy stipulates the design, planning, and implementation of practices that foster nursing activities. For example, the use of information systems in record keeping ensures that nurses can quickly access patient records and perform the required services on time. The policy assists the professionals working in the hospital to embed the culture of utilizing information technology in their activities to ensure that quality of services is guaranteed.
The stakeholders are informed of the organizations’ goals and the need to foster an informatics culture. The development of the policy also ensures that the nurses are positioned to change. As an emerging aspect of nursing department, the use of informatics is yet to get actualized. As such, it is important to have a definite policy that projects the expectations of the organization with regards to IT and situate the departments to revise their operational model for adequate implementation.
Best Practices Definitions and Descriptions
Secure Practices, Data Security, and Patient Confidentiality
In line with the creation of best practices policies, securing data and patient information is of utmost important (Finnel et al., 2015). In the era of technology, the threat of data security is an issue of concern that should be addressed. After recording and storing data, it is essential to install programs to secure the information to avoid access by unauthorized people. Data security includes the protective measures given to information so that it is not corrupted or accessed by unauthorized individuals. The actions taken to protect the data are commonly referred to as secure practices. For example, the use of password is one of the practices that staff can use to secure data from wrongful access. The systems are made in a manner that allows people to provide log in information to authorize access.
Patient confidentiality is the privacy given information concerning a client such that only nurses and personnel in need of the data for professional purposes can access the data. Informatics therefore play a role promoting confidentiality through the embedded systems that restrict access of information from unauthorized people.
According to Kasthurirathne (2015), ethical practices include acceptable practices that when fostered lead to values such as trust, honesty, and integrity. Medical industry is one of the most sensitive sectors in relation to ethics. The professionals handle sensitive cases that influence the life of an individual. As such, an ethical code of conduct that is embedded within the informatics policy is essential. Nurses should exhibit high level of integrity to promote data security and patient information confidentiality. Ethical standards promote quality provision since they ensure that all nurses follow the same guidelines while attending to patients. One of the important value that should be included in the ethical standards is the ability to maintain data privacy. Patients are more likely to seek services in a medical facility that respects their private issues and handles information in a confidential manner.
The nursing profession is regulated by local governing health ministries and other globally recognized quality of care standards. Integrating informatics in the nursing unit is one of the many steps that organizations pursue to foster efficiency and quality of medical services (Lewenson, 2015). For example, all public health facilities are required to conduct periodical quality evaluations to monitor progress of initiatives and improve services. Patients are required to answer questionnaires about the services offered at the specific institution and recommend better practices for excellence. Since such data collection initiatives are anonymously issued, hospitals are likely to obtain credible information which they use to improve services. As such, the informatics policy should be embedded within the health care regulations so that quality is promoted across the facility for higher performance.
Successful implementation of the policy requires collaboration of the stakeholders involved in the project.
One of the notable behaviors that foster the implementation process is the desire for change. Nurses, the IT specialists, the unit manager, and the patient should demonstrate a willingness to change. The desire by the nurses to learn the new aspects of the informatics strategy by asking questions and providing opinions for improvement shows that the execution process will be a success (White et al, 2016). The managers should be positioned to address all concerns and provide a platform for participation and knowledge sharing. In addition, a change in behavior that is stipulated by the manner in which the nurses shift from the past practices to the new ones depicts progress towards implementation. A need for training and practical application of the new initiatives is also a sure way to show that the nurses are motivated to implement the new changes.
For successful implementation of the informatics policy, it is critical for the nurses to learn different aspects of computer technology and related applications. For example, digital record keeping require the ability to use Microsoft Office. It is therefore advisable to formulate a training program such that the affected nurses learn computer applications. Moreover, there is a need for research skills, and the use of digital technologies such as cloud computing and social media. The informatics aspect of the policy expects nurses to form virtual communities where they can share knowledge with colleagues using their digital devices. Moreover, the nurses should be positioned to chat with the clients through Smartphone in the organization website where patients raise concerns for redress by the relevant stakeholders.
Health informatics is an emerging concept in the field of nursing that is gradually being utilized to foster quality. A change towards the implementation of information ensures that nurses are positioned to offer quality medical services more efficiently. It is therefore important to craft a standard code of policy that offers guidelines to the staff for effective outcomes.
Finnel D, S. , Thomas, E. L., Nehring, W. M., McLoughlin, K. A., & Bickford, C. J. (2015). Best practices for developing specialty nursing scope and standards of practice. The Journal of Issues in Nursing
Kasthurirathne, S. N., Mamlin, B., Kumara, H., Grieve, G., & Biondich, P. (2015). Enabling better interoperability for healthcare: lessons in developing a standards based application programing interface for electronic medical record systems. Journal of medical systems, 39(11), 182.
Lewenson, S. (2015). Overview and summary: Cornerstone documents in healthcare: Our history, our future. OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in
White, K. M., Dudley-Brown, S., & Terhaar, M. F. (Eds.). (2016). Translation of evidence into nursing and health care. Springer Publishing Company.
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