Unit6 Discussion: Informatics and Development
Unit6 Discussion: Informatics and Development
Unit 6 discussion Informatics and the Development of Standards Discuss the roles of federal, state, and local public health agencies in the development of standards for informatics in healthcare.
INTRODUCTION: THE DISCIPLINE OF NURSING INFORMATICS
What are some of your experiences with informatics at work and in your associate degree program? Have you been involved in an EHR implementation during which you used technology to document patient information?
Consider some of the general experiences you have in your current practice environment. Do you use informatics to document in your job role? What is your definition of NI?
What you already know from your practice and what you have learned from an associate degree program will provide the answers to these questions, especially if you have been involved with an EHR implementation through which you began to develop informatics skills and an understanding of what informatics is. These considerations may also stimulate curiosity regarding how informatics skills can be developed if you have not had the opportunities to do so yet.
Questions to Consider Before Reading On
- What are the differences among NI, health informatics, and consumer health informatics?
- Did you know nursing informatics is a discipline unto itself? What do you think this might include?
- How do you think understanding the discipline of nursing informatics might apply to your practice? What are some of the skills taken from NI that you might use?
What Is Nursing Informatics?
Nursing Informatics, as a new, evolving discipline, is an established specialty within nursing. Its definition is the fundamental element shaping the specialty. The definition guides role description for nurses interested in informatics and recommends components of practice, education, training, and research, and supports the legitimacy of the practice and the general competencies of a nurse who specializes in informatics. The definition is the introductory element shaping documents of national scope for the NI specialty. In addition, the definition is used by funding agencies to outline projects and fund NI efforts, such as the Division of Nursing in the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the National Institute for Nursing Research (NINR).
The profession of nursing was among the first health disciplines to embrace informatics through its recognition of NI as a specialty practice area (). In little over two decades, NI has evolved into an expanding body of knowledge, confirming and supporting its relevance and applicability to all domains of nursing (e.g., education, research, practice, information management and technology, administration).
The evolution of NI is apparent in the establishment of many higher educational NI programs. Its growth is seen through the development of professional organizations dedicated to NI, as standards and scope of practice are set, and certification is made possible (; ; ). The Technology Informatics Guiding Education Reform (.) project in the United States (; ; , ) has facilitated and promoted NI in practice and in academia to improve and support better overall quality of care for patients.
The TIGER initiative began in 2006 as the result of nursing leaders coming together to harness the benefits of EHRs for the nursing profession (). The goals of the TIGER summit were to improve patient care through use of informatics and technology by the healthcare team. The work of the TIGER initiative has produced measurable results in competency implementation and validation (). Currently, 21 countries have come together through this initiative TIGER to create international informatics competencies that incorporate evidence-based research and technology that will improve patient care globally. Today, the TIGER initiative is responsible for developing what is known as the Health Information Technology Competencies (HITCOMP) tool, which is used to assess informatics competences on a universal scale.
There are a number of different definitions of informatics; the three listed here are the ones most frequently used. The defined NI as “the specialty that integrates nursing science with multiple information and analytical sciences to identify, define, manage, and communicate data, information, knowledge, and wisdom in nursing practice (pp. 1–2)”. Examples of how these might be used are discussed in the following text. NI supports nurses, consumers, patients, the interprofessional healthcare team, and other stakeholders in their decision-making in all roles and settings to achieve desired outcomes. This support is accomplished through the use of information structures, information processes, and information technology (IT).
The AMIA defines consumer health informatics as “the field devoted to informatics from multiple consumer or patient views. These include patient-focused informatics, health literacy and consumer education” (p. 1). The focus of this type of informatics is different; it emphasizes “information structures and processes that empower consumers to manage their own health—for example health information literacy, consumer-friendly language, personal health records, and Internet-based strategies and resources” (, p. 1). Health informatics, defined by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, is “the interdisciplinary study of the design, development, adoption, and application of IT-based innovations in healthcare services delivery, management, and planning (p. 1).”
The ANA includes the advancement of outcomes for population heath in their informatics framework (, p. 2). When nurses have a degree of informatics proficiency, they are better equipped to manage patients’ complex medical data and provide high-quality patient care as well as support consumers, the interprofessional healthcare team, and other stakeholders in their decision-making in all roles and settings to achieve desired outcomes. Nurse informaticists work to advance healthcare as developers of communication and information technologies, researchers, chief nursing officers (CNOs), chief information officers (CIOs), software engineers, implementation consultants, and policy developers. This support is accomplished through the use of information structures, information processes, and IT.
Other definitions vary, but, in general, NI is an integration of computer and nursing science to convey “data information, knowledge, and wisdom in nursing practice” (, p. 2). Because the use of technology is extensive, every aspect of nursing practice falls within the category of an informatics nurse (IN), regardless of whether she or he has board certification or not ().