Nursing Informatics – There are many fields in nursing, and as such, there will be those that are considered important and valuable and those that are held in slightly less high regard. Nursing informatics is one of the latter, being wrongly considered a less important role in the field of nursing. However, nursing informatics offers great benefits to the quality of healthcare, making it a great area of study to go into. There are many reasons for this, many of which we’ll cover here.
What is Nursing Informatics?
Nursing informatics is all about data. Individuals in this field use cutting-edge technology to appraise nursing data, such as efficiency, cost of care, time involved in care, and more. They also ensure that all of that data is accurate and readily accessible to those who need it. Using all of that information, people in the nursing informatics fieldwork towards maximizing efficiency and cost-effectiveness on all of those fronts. In this way, nursing informatics is used to not only aid healthcare practitioners but improve experiences for both them and their patients. Think of nursing informatics as the logistics branch of the hospital, facilitating and improving the behind-the-scenes aspects of healthcare that tend to go unnoticed.
Today, nursing informatics is one of the fastest-growing areas in modern healthcare. In fact, it’s one of the highest-paying nursing professions in the United States.
Is Nursing Informatics Really Needed?
Absolutely. Nursing informatics plays a very important role in nursing, connecting the technology side of healthcare to the clinical one. The American Nurses Association defines it concisely:
“Nursing informatics (NI) is the specialty that assimilates nursing science with multiple information and analytical sciences to identify, define, manage and communicate data, information, knowledge, and wisdom in nursing practice.”
Using this definition, nursing informatics is hugely important because it benefits everyone in the medical community. It increases the efficiency of workflow processes, finds ways to reduce healthcare costs, and facilitates quick and easy communication between different medical professionals. All of that together offers a lot of benefits for both patients and healthcare professionals.
In short, nursing informatics focuses on the three following things:
- Lowering healthcare costs
- Simplifying documentation and communication
- Improving workflow processes
As for what all that means, we’ll cover that in more detail as well.
Lowering Healthcare Costs
Ask anyone who lives in America, and they will probably express some dissatisfaction with the rising cost of healthcare. It’s a serious problem that a lot of people face. That being the case, almost everyone should appreciate nursing informatics professionals. By going through all the clinical data that they receive from their hospitals, these professionals find areas where efficiency can be improved throughout the entire healthcare process, thus reducing the cost of those processes. This is achieved in many ways.
Easing the process of communication between healthcare professionals means less time is wasted doing so, and make no mistake, time is money. Streamlined processes for medical professionals also help save time as well and reduce the number of unnecessary actions made throughout the whole process. That also saves money. Ensuring that data is accurate and easily accessible reduces the likelihood of expensive medical mistakes being made. Many troubling and time-consuming administrative processes are automated these days, which saves money for everyone as well.
Simplifying Documentation and Communication
Medical organizations are awash with data. In fact, data is the lifeblood of any hospital, which is why it’s not particularly good for that data to be disorganized. The more problematic it is and longer it takes to access data, the more time and money gets wasted, not to mention there is a higher chance of miscommunication that could lead to serious mistakes.
Nurse Informatics professionals have the important job of testing and implementing data management systems that make all of that data much more organized and much more accessible. Using such systems standardizes information and eliminates redundant documents, making things a lot less cluttered. All in all, this makes it much quicker and easier to access accurate data, and we’ve already talked about why that is so important.
Improving Workflow Processes
There are many important processes involved in running a hospital. In fact, the entire functionality of a hospital is determined by how well its processes and workflows run. Nurse informaticists are tasked with optimizing those workflows and processes to be as efficient as possible. Naturally, they do that by analyzing data. Doing so allows a nurse informaticist to determine where, why, and how processes can be improved.
It doesn’t stop there though. Nurse informaticists have to develop superior processes, but they also have to roll out the upgrades to the organization they work for, and they even train other medical staff in the new best practices that have been developed.
It may sound like a small job, but observing and analyzing the healthcare environment to find better ways of doing things is absolutely vital to the improvement of any health organization. Small improvements ultimately make a very large difference when it comes to time, effort, and money, especially when the small improvements take effect on a process many times throughout a year.
Nurse informatics are extremely crucial to the improvement of healthcare quality. By analyzing and organizing data, and using that data to make improvements to processes or entirely new ones, nurse informatics can increase the efficiency of a healthcare organization by reducing how much time some processes take, or how much money they cost. But optimizing efficiency, they even manage to reduce how much effort may be required for some of these processes. Their value cannot be overstated.
If you are interested in becoming nurse informatics as a career, getting accepted to a school that teaches what you need can be difficult. If you need help with nursing papers, either for admission or once you are actually in the university of your choice, do some research on a professional nursing essay writing service to aid you, similar to CustomWritings.