Introduction Technology has become the core of education and nursing, there is a need to study the role of nurses and emphasize the importance of appropriate educational programs dealing with information technology, in order to incorporate the changing of technology. Nurses have been working in the discipline of informatics for decades. This is evidenced by many components of data recovery, patient care, human-computer interaction, decision support systems, electronic patient records, telenursing as well as e-learning among other components. From the mid-90s and in the 80s, scholars have defined nursing informatics differently. However, this paper adopts the definition as the incorporation of information technology and all aspects of nursing spanning from clinical nursing, management, research and education. To achieve this goal, an informatics nurse specialist (INS) Shelia, was interviewed and the following components on the subject were discussed.Role Description and Education Level Required for a Nursing Informatics Role On the question what the role of an INS is, Shelia answered that as a registered nurse (RN) who has acquired formal training at the graduate level informatics or a related field. She further explained that an informatics nurse (IN) is a generalist with enough experience in informatics but does not have a degree on informatics. The role of informatics nurses regardless of their qualifications is to offer healthcare practice services, thus, technology meets clinical practice. The role continues to widen the nursing scope of practice from the initial duties where the informatics nurses are IT experts, who design electronic medical/health/ patient records screens to the current assignments which include selection, implementation and evaluation of healthcare IT. This is meant to support safe, high quality, patient care. Other responsibilities expected of INS may involve determination of end-user requirements besides customizing functionality or designing and delivering training on the same. Education-wise, the INS must be an RN with a clinical background which is fundamental in the understanding of clinical nurses’ workflow. In addition to this they are required to have completed a minimum of 2,000 hours of practice as INS. So the INS must have a bachelor degree in nursing, a graduate degree in nursing informatics and be a licensed registered nurse (Darvish et al, 2014).The INS (Respondent) View on How Their Role Impacts Patient Safety and Improves the Quality of Patient CareAfter exploring the role description and education requirements for one to become an INS, Shelia also voiced her take on how their role affects patient safety and improves the quality of patient care. Shelia noted that application of IT technology in the role of nursing impacts on healthcare in a very positive way. As Darvish et al (2014) state, the subject of information systems in clinical nursing, decision support systems and medical diagnostic systems, all have a common denominator in that patient information is collected. Needless to say, this technology leads to better quality care. As more nursing training and research institutions integrate nursing informatics, education courses and programs patient safety are enhanced. Considering that nursing is a service industry whose end product is patient care, and safety. IT application is bound to enhance nursing management outcomes (Sensmeier, 2017). As Shelia summed up in her views on the INS role influence in patient safety and quality care improvement, she remarked that implementation of information systems in clinical settings offers better access to current best practice evidence which in turn positively influences the quality of patient and highlight use of evidence-based nursing..The Human Factors Faced In the Role of Nursing Informatics Other ChallengesAs the interview progressed, the interviewer wanted to know of the human factors faced in the role of nursing informatics specialist. The respondent’s reply was that cognitive demands of clinical work settings drain the attentional abilities of clinicians, impacting the persons’ ability to make patient care decisions which are not only safe but also effective. Shelia views also mirrored the findings of Patel & Kannampallil (2014), who in their study established that there has been a lack of human factors and ergonomics better known as human factors engineering. While mentioning some of these human factors we cannot fail to recognize the difficulties of interfaces as well as medical devices. In addition to these are clinical workflow and processes together with the absence of tools needed for cognitive decision support. Similar sentiments have been echoed by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) which has advocated for the effective integration of HFE perspectives in designing, implementing and evaluating health and in this context nursing informatics within the clinical setup. This served as an eye-opener to me on human factors model of which the SEIPS model (an acronym meaning Systems Engineering Initiative Foe Patient Safety was the most interesting). This is because the model is based on a structure-process-outcome, where three core components interact. These are namely; system orientation, individual-centric and design-driven patient safety improvements.Insights Gained From the InterviewInterviewing Shelia, allowed me to gain knowledge on the role of an INS in any clinical setting. Honestly, I had no clue on what an INS was until this class and my interview with Shelia. By the time we were ending the interview, I had realized that the nurses with competencies in nursing informatics are presently not just found in hospitals, but in all healthcare settings. Wherever one can find clinical nurses, there also informatics nurses. They include non-traditional roles like software application vendors, manufacturers of healthcare devices and insurance companies. Through nursing informatics a new era in healthcare has been brought about where there is coordinated care at the hospital, home and in the community resulting in increased access and better population health. This is achieved in a cost-effective manner but improved quality is also guaranteed. It was also worth noting that INS and their peers in nursing informatics are versed in two industries; nursing and also IT. As such, their success may come across several barriers which include but are not limited to; lack of administrative support, staff shortages and inadequate organization strategic plan as well as very limited financial resources. Although there were other useful insights from the interview conducted, the scope of this paper notes everyone can participate to advance the national agenda to lead change and promote the creation of value-based innovation to secure quality healthcare within our national borders and for the future.Impact of Various Healthcare Agencies in My Clinical SettingAs the leading federal agency tasked with improving the quality and safety of the US health care system, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) impacts my healthcare organization clinical setting in several ways. This is because the hospital which I work for was among those that had been selected and funded research on how to decrease central-line-related bloodstream infections. As Kronick(2016) established, the AHRQ funded research determined that central line infections could be prevented resulting in improved patient safety within hospitals. At the same time Patient Safety Indicators defined as measures of assessing healthcare outcomes or processes influence the organization that I work for by assisting the staff in this hospital to document the facility’s quality of care. The indicators have also been on top of things in supporting quality improvement programs besides assisting in making comparisons and benchmarking within different units of the hospital and also with other hospitals within the region. However, the use of these patient safety indicators have enabled the hospital to monitor and evaluate the patients and customize the care offered specifically to meet the needs of individual patients. In the third position, is the Joint Commission goals on patient safety. Permatasari & Uzer (2019) post that the Joint Commission establishes the highest priority safety issues concerning patients. Its influence can be felt in the way direct patient care is offered in our facility. For example, the patients are identified by their names and full birth date in order to ensure every patient gets the correct medicine and prescription. Along similar lines, caregivers have to communicate using the full names and birthdate when reporting all tests results and diagnostic procedures in “real-time”or as humanly possible. This results in patients getting timely treatment which reduces death rates complications and length of hospital stay. The Technology Informatics Guiding Education Reform (TIGER) Utilized In My Clinical SettingHubner et al (2018), that TIGER as a healthcare agency endeavors to assist clinicians with a particular bias to nurses to better exploit the utilization of informatics tools, their principles and theories they are premised to enhance patient care. This has been its principal goal since its official launch in 2006. In the hospital where I work for, the TIGER approach nursing informatics tool utilized within this clinical setting is known as Runtime Detection of Network Loops invented by O’Neil and McGuire both of CA, USA. This invention addresses computer networks and focusses on runtime detection of network loops. As the name suggests, once a runtime detection of networks is performed, it is detected when a network segment ratio of duplicated packets is more than the initial predetermined threshold. Shelia states the clinical scenario of ICU patients involves large numbers of medical devices some which are meant to provide crucial information on the state of the patient while others like infusion pumps are meant to provide treatment. Considered together with the caregivers, the medical devices and the patient constitute a cyber-physical system. In the ICU, a clinical scenario would involve a patient connected to three devices (D1, D2 and D3) which are in turn connected to a network controller which is then linked to an external network. The supervisor who is the data logger then links up with the caregiver. When a loop is detected by the runtime detection of network loop, appropriate measures are taken immediately since every second in the patient’s life support system counts and has to stay closed or else the consequences are fatal. ConclusionIn conclusion, this essay has established the role description and education requirements of an INS. The paper has also shown that the role of nursing informatics improves patient safety as well as quality care. It has also cited some human factors to nursing informatics like interface challenges and use of medical devices amongst other challenges. The paper has also determined how AHRQ, Patient Safety Indicators and the Joint Commission patient safety goals impact patient care administered in the author’s place of work. The paper has also examined how the runtime network detection loop as the TIGER approach informatics tool being using in the author’s place of work.ReferencesDarvish, A., Bahramnezhad, F., Keyhanian, S., & Navidhamidi, M. (2014). The role of nursing informatics on promoting quality of health care and the need for appropriate education. Global journal of health science, 6(6), 11.Hübner, U., Shaw, T., Thye, J., Egbert, N., de Fatima Marin, H., Chang, P., … & Hovenga, E. (2018). Technology Informatics Guiding Education Reform–TIGER. Methods of information in medicine, 57(S 01), e30-e42.Kronick, R. (2016). AHRQ’s role in improving quality, safety, and health system performance. Public Health Reports, 131(2), 229-232.Patel, V. L., & Kannampallil, T. G. (2014). Human factors and health information technology: current challenges and future directions. Yearbook of medical informatics, 23(01), 58-66.Permatasari, P., & Uzer, A. (2019). Patient Safety Leadership Walkround terhadap Budaya Keselamatan Pasien di Instalasi Farmasi Rumah Sakit Tugu Ibu, Depok. JURNAL ILMIAH KESEHATAN MASYARAKAT: Media Komunikasi Komunitas Kesehatan Masyarakat, 11(2), 187-193.Sensmeier, J. E. (2017). Advancing Nursing Informatics to Improve Healthcare Quality and Outcomes.
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