Importance of information and clinical technology to nursing
Unertl, Johnson, and Lorenzi (2012) discuss the importance of information and clinical technology to nursing by noting that information technology enables nurses to manage time and schedule activities as required. That is besides establishing the nursing workload by ensuring that real time staffing decisions are made to respond to the workloads. Using information systems enables nurses to collect patient data in real time instead of using the legacy methods that are expensive and often lead to imperfectly related redundant data. Besides, patient data can be retrieved from the information systems repository to identify patient problems and determine the necessary actions to take care of the patients (Unertl et al., 2012). The rationale is that modern information systems have been designed with the principle of usability on mind and that arguers well with nursing informatics. Usability implies the ease of learning, efficiency of use, user satisfaction, easy to remember, and error free. On the other hand, clinical technology provides long run efficiency and short run losses.
An investigation of nursing informatics on effectiveness considering the results of a cost effective analysis shows an increase in cost efficiency because electronic records bridge the gap between the patient and the clinician because of the temporal gap that might geographically exists among them. That is besides the fast transfer of medical records, earlier response to medical emergencies, and facilitates further research in a medical facility. A study by Greiner and Knebel (2003) show that clinicians are content working with information system after they have undergone training that enables them to understand how to effectively use the design to perform various tasks to achieve time and cost effectiveness.
When appropriately designed and use din nursing, information and clinical technology supports the nurses’ education, research, and analysis of healthcare data (Unertl et al., 2012). It provides computer generated critical pathways and nursing care plans, automatic billing, and supports automated documentation and prompts. That results in increased time for taking care of the patient.
Critical issues related to privacy, confidentiality, and informatics
According to Tellez (2012), patient privacy is the right to be left alone and confidentiality is the right to share and disclose patient information only to doctors and nurses and those who are legally allowed to access the information without revealing it to unauthorised parties. Informatics is about integrating information systems into the nursing discipline to enable nurses to identify the right information about a patient, collect and analyse the data, manage nursing knowledge and consequently develop wisdom for the nursing profession. According to Tellez (2012), privacy issues include access to patient records with or without the patient’s permission and the ethical and legal issues of accessing patient information besides the validity and integrity of patient data. Confidentiality issues include accidental disclosure of patient information, insider insubordination and curiosity, and uncontrolled secondary usage of information.
However, in the context of informatics, the issues that have evolved include provision of clinically effective care, copyright issues, system features, ethical decisions, efficiency in information access, training and development on the use of information systems, and cost issues. Other issues suggested by Blumenthal (2009) include the best methods to liaison with other professionals to make the use of information systems effective, medical malpractice claims, healthcare delivery, and the best method of selecting a nursing informatics consultant. Other issues include security, accountability, public responsibility, and boundary of usage.
Blumenthal, D. (2009). Stimulating the adoption of health information technology. New England journal of medicine, 360(15), 1477-1479.
Tellez, M. (2012). Nursing informatics education past, present, and future. Computers Informatics Nursing, 30(5), 229-233.
Unertl, K. M., Johnson, K. B., & Lorenzi, N. M. (2012). Health information exchange technology on the front lines of healthcare: workflow factors and patterns of use. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 19(3), 392-400