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Health informatics incorporates all healthcare disciplines. Use of informative knowledge and skill reflected in disciplines such as dental informatics, medical informatics, and nursing informatics. Nursing informatics is the joining of clinical, management practices and Information Technology to attain improved health (Cummins et al., 2009). Numerous evolution and reconfigurations of Canada's health information infrastructure started from the mid-1980s going forward. The change realized over 35 years has resulted in national attention to the requirement for timely, appropriate and secure health information access. Standards in health support a combined, patient-centric health records enabling a tranquil view of personal critical healthcare and history shared, managed, updated and interpreted safely whenever required.
Informatics in healthcare has several benefits to patients. They include; improvement of health results, reduction in duplication of procedure and test, accessible personal history of their health and reduction in the repetition of health information. Previously, patients health information faced gross redundancy due to lack of standardized information management system. This was resulting in the administration of drugs and treatment that had already been done to the patient thus wasting time, energy and resources. The incorporation of Nursing informatics (NI) technology enabled easier retrieval of individual's health records. This made it possible for the reduction of test and procedure thus saving time and resources.
Organizations offering health care services recorded some benefits as well. They include; ability to work collaboratively with other healthcare providers, increased confidence in the products used to determine suitability for use and availability of massive breadth of data used to assess results. The digitalized management of information enhances the provision of timely services through easy retrieval of a wide range of data from the system. Institutions offering the services have an advantage of sharing information through established collaborations resulting from integrated technological systems (Collins & Sarah, 2016). At times, health sector experienced lack of trust for new health products that got into the market. Nursing informatics increased the confidence to use newly introduced technology, products, and services in healthcare due to a proper mechanism in place to determine suitability for use.
The personnel in the health sector have also benefited in various ways. They include; timely access to health data, efforts to duplicate information is reduced, shorter response time to assess and treat the patient, reliability of health information and improved patient outcomes. The nurses can retrieve data in the shortest time possible, avoiding duplication of the same data if the patients previously visited the health facility. Timely access to health data helps to reduce the time taken to assess and treat the patient.
There are various examples of innovative nursing technology that encompasses information and communication. Two of such models are the standardized assessment approach that combines telemedicine and telemonitoring with patient education and peer support that assist chronically ill patients in staying at home. The second one is the mobile wound assessment program that is used by the Victorian Order of Nurses (Goodwin et al., 2015). Use of different form of technology by the nurses enables them to have the required information and knowledge thus supporting their practice. Planning of human resource, connected nursing groups, and achievement of desired patient outcomes are some of the benefits of improved technology in nursing. However, the vast collection of techniques that are presently accessible in the health sector, nurses must continue to contextualize technology within space of their professional training.
Collins, S. (2016). Nursing Informatics Competencies: Psychometric Validation, Dissemination, and Maintenance of Self-Assessment Tool for Nurse Leaders. In Nursing Informatics (pp. 710-712).
Cummins, M. R., Sward, K., & Guo, J. W. (2015). Leaders in nursing informatics education and research: The University of Utah Celebrates 25 Years. CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing, 33(9), 379-381.
Goodwin, M., & Jenkins-Weinrub, E. (2015). Student Triads: A Collaborative Approach to Practicum Experiences for Master’s Nursing Students. Nurse Educator, 40(4), 199-202.
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