Posted: December 18th, 2022
Main Discussion Question
The commitment to lifelong knowledge as a professional nurse demonstrates the concept of being a knowledge worker. According to McGonigle & Mastrian 2017, a knowledge worker is a person who absorbs, stores, and manages information of value that will produce a product that benefits themselves and others. Nursing informatics is a method of displaying information obtained from the knowledge worker, which enhances nursing practice. Besides, nurses use daily knowledge from various data sources to complete nursing tasks such as electronic health records, electronic medication records, vital sign machines, and cardiac monitoring, all of which contribute to improved patient outcomes. However, surgical site infections (SSIs) pose a serious threat to patient safety and reduce positive patient results.
As a nurse working in the operating room, SSIs are a significant concern, and prevention is the primary goal. Protocols are in place to avoid infections caused by surgery, but SSIs continue to exist and are costly to healthcare institutions and sometimes deadly to patients. Therefore, surgical evidence-based care is of utmost importance. Through data collection, nursing informatics can play a pivotal role in the surveillance of SSIs. The data will identify factual information to improve patient care quality (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2017). The close observation of surgical infections can help identify trends and causes of contaminations and ultimately reduce infection rates.
Another informatics monitoring tool is the use of antibiotic prophylaxis perioperatively to identify compliance. According to Barnes 2018, the guidelines include recommendations for timely antibiotic prophylaxis, meticulous skin prepping, staff hand hygiene, and sterile technique. Nursing informatics can also play a valuable role in assessing the surgical guidelines above for compliance, helping to determine deficient areas and indications for improvement.
Nursing leadership can use the gathered informatics data on SSIs to improve infection rates. The knowledge obtained by the nurse manager will assist with problem-solving and to develop appropriate action plans (Sweeney, 2017). For example, provide education to staff to improve clinical skills and performance. Informatics technology will undoubtedly increase patient outcomes. Additionally, the notable performance improvements will exemplify champions of success.
Nursing informatics will continue to transform and inspire the nursing practice profession. Nursing informatics will also continue to evolve with innovations and be present in our healthcare system today and in the future.
Barnes, S. (2018). Surgical site infection prevention in 2018 and beyond. AORN JOURNAL THE OFFICIAL VOICE OF PERIOPERATIVE NURSING, 107(5), 547–550. https://doi.org/10.1002/aorn.12144
McGonigle, D., & Mastrian, K. G. (2017). Nursing informatics and the foundation of knowledge (4th ed.). Burlington, MA., Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Sweeney, J. (2017). Healthcare informatics. Online Journal of Nursing Informatics, 21(1). https://www.himss.org/ojni
Nursing informatics is a growing area that will be seen more and more in the forefront as healthcare evolves. It is the cornerstone of practice in the fast-paced healthcare environment dependent upon technology (Sweeney et al., 2006). The integration of the Electronic Medical Record (EMR) into healthcare has prompted the need for informatics nurses to bridge the gap between floor nursing and information technology (IT) specialists. Nursing informatics is a combination of four sciences: nursing, computer, information, and cognitive (Mcgonigle & Mastrian, 2017). Caring for clients while inpatient requires skilled knowledge in information technology. For example, nurses have access to a wide array of information accessible through the EMR, through inputting and accessing.
When caring for a patient, understanding the easiest way to utilize data in the EMR will make bedside nursing more efficient and easy. For example, with the EMR called Epic, there are many different ways to do the same thing. Utilizing premade tools will help with time management. Nurses who use built-in tools for documenting spend less time charting (Yee et al., 2012). A data example includes lab values. Lab values can be accessed via flowsheets, a snapshot, or a shift specific tab. Also, a graph showing the trend of clients’ hemoglobin after surgery can help a healthcare team to determine whether or not packed red blood cells would be needed to be infused. Having the knowledge on how to access and enter data and information in the EMR is key. Errors to data integrity can negatively affect care. Human error, machine error, transmission errors, and malware are four key threats to data integrity and must be taken into account when applying to healthcare practices (Mcgonigle & Mastrian, 2017).
Once healthcare professionals obtain the data they need, having the knowledge of what to do with the data is the critical thinking aspect of the nurse. The graph that is created using a specified time frame, for example, the last year, will show a trend in a patient’s hemoglobin prior to surgery and after. The healthcare specialists will be able to determine the drop in the value while also evaluating vital signs and any current symptoms via the snapshot in the EMR to determine a plan of care.
A nurse specializing in nursing informatics will be able to take data that frontline workers would find useful and integrate that into the EMR. The nurse could serve on a committee that oversees these changes. For example, having the ability to quickly add in a vital sign from a shift specific tab would save nurses time in charting. IT specialists may not know this, as they sit on the informatics side. The informatics nurse can bring this data requested by frontline workers and serve as a bridge between nursing and IT to make the EMR the most efficient.
In conclusion, informatics nurses are coming to the forefront to bridge between nursing and IT. They play a unique role in that they know the technical side as well as the nursing application portion that will in combination make them an asset. The scenario referenced looks at how nurses can obtain lab data such as a patient’s hemoglobin to determine if their post-surgical patient requires packed red blood cells using data from the EMR. The healthcare team will rely on the informatics nurse to bridge between IT and floor nursing to integrate patient care using the EMR most efficiently.
Mcgonigle, D., & Mastrian, K. (2017). Nursing informatics and the foundation of knowledge (4th ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning. https://doi.org/bookshelf.vitalsource.com/#/books/97812
Sweeney, N. M., Saarmann, L., Seidman, R., & Flagg, J. (2006). The design, marketing, and implementation of online continuing education about computers and nursing informatics. CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing, 24(5), 269–277. Retrieved September 1, 2020, from https://doi.org/10.1097/00024665-200609000-00008
Yee, T., Needleman, J., Pearson, M., Parkerton, P., Parkerton, M., & Wolstein, J. (2012). The influence of integrated electronic medical records and computerized nursing notes on nurses’ time spent in documentation. CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing, 1. Retrieved September 1, 2020, from https://doi.org/10.1097/nxn.0b013e31824af835
In the modern era, there are few professions that do not to some extent rely on data. Stockbrokers rely on market data to advise clients on financial matters. Meteorologists rely on weather data to forecast weather conditions, while realtors rely on data to advise on the purchase and sale of property. In these and other cases, data not only helps solve problems, but adds to the practitioner’s and the discipline’s body of knowledge.
Of course, the nursing profession also relies heavily on data. The field of nursing informatics aims to make sure nurses have access to the appropriate date to solve healthcare problems, make decisions in the interest of patients, and add to knowledge.
In this Discussion, you will consider a scenario that would benefit from access to data and how such access could facilitate both problem-solving and knowledge formation.
Post a description of the focus of your scenario. Describe the data that could be used and how the data might be collected and accessed. What knowledge might be derived from that data? How would a nurse leader use clinical reasoning and judgment in the formation of knowledge from this experience?
Respond to at least two of your colleagues* on two different days, asking questions to help clarify the scenario and application of data, or offering additional/alternative ideas for the application of nursing informatics principles.
Working as a travel nurse allows me to see many different policies and procedures implemented throughout different hospital settings. I have been the most surprised by the differences in fall prevention protocols throughout the hospitals I have worked. A fall is defined as either an assisted or unassisted lowering to the floor of a patient. This can be both witnessed and unwitnessed (WHO, n.d.). As nurses, we learn the importance of fall prevention early on in our schooling, both for the physical safety of the patient and the financial hit the facility takes. According to the CDC, the cost of falls is over $50 billion a year paid out by Medicare/Medicaid and other private agencies (2018). Every hospital I have worked at has used the same Morse fall scale for determining whether each patient is at risk for falls and the proper preventative measures to be placed upon the patient (fall band, bed alarm, nonslip socks, etc.). In order to track and prevent future falls, it is important to know the number of falls on the unit and the
Facilities can go into each patient who has experienced a fall’s chart and check their Morse Fall Scale score to see if they were high risk for fall, and then see which measures were implemented to prevent the fall. If the staff is non-compliant with implementing the appropriate measures, the Morse Fall Scale is useless. Facilities typically require a report to be written up in the event of a fall that asks which measures were in place at the time of the fall. This information can be used to determine if the unit is properly implanting fall prevention as well.
As a nurse leader, it is important to set the highest examples. A nurse leader follows the highest standards of care for patients and can get other staff members to follow suit for the common goal of providing high-quality care (Meliniotis, 2019). In the instance of fall prevention, as mentioned, a nurse leader would make sure that the patient’s safety is the number one priority. Nurse leaders can round on patients who are reported as a fall risk and make sure they have their bed alarms engaged, non-slip socks on, fall bands present, call lights within reach, etc. A nurse leader would take the fall reports and examine what preventative measures were missing during the events and educate the unit on how to improve the scores. It has been my goal to be seen in units as a nurse leader and an employee who advocates for the highest level of care for my patients. I look forward to furthering my education to provide even higher levels of care throughout my career as a PMHNP.
Meliniotis, C. (2019, October 29). Effective nursing leadership: How to be an effective nurse leader. Retrieved September 02, 2020, from https://www.elitecme.com/resource-center/nursing/effective-nursing-leadership/
Older Adult Falls. (2018, September 21). Retrieved September 02, 2020, from https://www.cdc.gov/features/falls-older-adults/index.html
World Health Organization. Falls. (n.d.). Retrieved September 02, 2020, from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/falls
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