Nursing Informatics, according to American Nurses Association (ANA), is a specialty in nursing that combines nursing science, information science and computer science to distribute and manage data, knowledge and information regarding nursing practice. This is to provide information and knowledge to patients, nurses and other health care providers to be of help in the development of health. This is attained with the use of the current trends in information technology that distributes knowledge and information, mainly by social media like the internet and the television.
On 1998, the International Medical Informatics Association Workgroup adopted an international viewpoint on Nursing Informatics in Seoul, Korea which states that Nursing Informatics is the synthesis of nursing, information regarding nursing, and information management with communication technology and information processing, to support health development worldwide.
Informatics came from the fench word informatique which means computing and was first used as medical informatics during the late 1970s, followed by nursing informatics during the 1980s. The ANA assgned nursing informatics to be a specialty among nurses in 1992, although nurses had already incorporated concepts of informatics in an earlier time. Following this trend, a scope and standards for the practice of nursing informatics have been developed by volunteer members of ANA which serves as guides for the specialty. The standards that were created by ANA in 1995 imitate the professional performance that is already common to nurses who practice informatics.
What kind of work is the Informatics Nurse exposed to?
Almost every nurse can utilize information technology to help in improving their nursing care. Regardless of which area the nurse is working on (clinical, administration, research or education), technology can be of a great addition in improving the nursing care done to the clients.
A nurse should be computer literate for a lot of activities that are being done by nurses can be further enhanced using computer technology.
In the clinical area, an informatics nurse can work at a hospital and be recognized as a clinical nurse analyst or a clinical informatics specialist. The nurses responsibilities include the following:
- data collection
- creating quality surveys
- designing and managing clinical databases
- outcome reporting
- creating communications using desktop publishing
- designing forms
- Education of clinicians in information system concepts
- educating technical people about health care
- The nurse can be hired to assist in implementing a nurse documentation system in a specific organization.
- The nurse can also be hired by the owner of the product to install the application to other organizations or health care centers in the region, or even in the country.
- With enough experience at multiple sites, the specialist in installation of a specific application may then be able to work for a consulting firm that advises clients on how to implement the application or the system that was installed to different organizations.
Where can I take a course on Nursing Informatics?
There are programs available for the nurses in the field of nursing informatics. Internationally, the University of Maryland in Baltimore offered the first masters degree in nursing informatics which started on 1989. The doctorate program, on the other hand, followed in 1992. Other schools also offer a master’s degree in informatics, and also a master’s degree in nursing administration that focuses on nursing informatics. Here in the Philippines, programs by the National Telehealth Center are available to enhance our knowledge regarding health informatics. The Philippine Nurses Association (PNA) and the Philippine Nursing Informatics Association are currently developing programs and plans to have Nursing Informatics here in the country.
Nursing informatics can be a great career choice for nurses with a great clinical background and a great familiarity and love of utilizing technology to improve the current state of health.
For further reading and for seminars and information regarding Health Informatics and Nursing Informatics itself, just visit these links for more details:
- Philippine Nursing Informatics Association
- National Telehealth Center
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