What is Nursing Informatics?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Nurses fulfill a diverse range of critical responsibilities in the front line of patient care. Providing physical and emotional support to patients and their families, administering medications, assisting with routine care and medical procedures and updating patient medical records are just some of the tasks that nurses are accountable for in the healthcare setting.

Nursing Informatics is considered a distinct specialty within the nursing profession which combines the care provision and healthcare aspects of nursing with the data and information management aspects associated with healthcare informatics. Nursing Informatics encompasses all usage of healthcare information technologies (HIT) to satisfy functions that are under the purview of nurses and to enable or streamline tasks that nurses carry out as part of their normal duties.

Over the past three decades, the proliferation of HIT in combination has allowed healthcare facilities to collect increasing quantities of patient data. In addition, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 required healthcare facilities to show meaningful use of electronic medical records, which resulted in the mass digitization of patient data that was previously stored on paper. Together, these changes mean that nurses can now enjoy streamlined access to patient data that can be used to support clinical decision making and drive better healthcare outcomes for patients.

Why is Nursing Informatics Important?

Nursing Informatics integrates nursing, computer and information sciences to support the identification, collection, processing, and management of data and information that nurses use to develop knowledge, educate patients and their families and administer effective patient care.

As professions in healthcare become increasingly specialized, individual patients engage with teams of healthcare providers, all of whom provide different services and separately update the patient’s electronic medical records. To provide safe and consistent patient care, nurses require timely access to patient information that includes recently undergone procedures, medical background, lists of prescribed medications, records of medication administration, laboratory and imaging results and more.

With timely access to information, nurses can enhance patient safety by reducing medical errors, eliminating duplicate procedures and reducing delays in the patient care process through more streamlined clinical communications. In the past, nurses who developed expertise in informatics were known as nurse informaticians. Today, there is an increasing demand for all nurses to develop the basic competencies of nursing informatics and incorporate them into daily practice.

Applications of Nursing Informatics

Advances in information technology and data processing, along with the widespread availability of EHR, are supporting an increasing number of applications for nursing informatics. Here are just a few applications that are enjoying widespread use today:

Clinical Practice – Nurses can record the results of their patient assessments in an electronic health record. Applications that support this practice can capture data that describes the workload of nurses and the clinical interventions that they perform on each patient. Electronically charted information is immediately available for other authorized individuals in the patient’s care team.

Education – Distance learning courses are a common example of nursing informatics.

AdministrationNursing managers involved in hospital or healthcare administration can review software-generated Management Information System (MIS) reports and analyze them using specialized healthcare informatics applications to assess day-to-day operations and discover possible sources of error or opportunities to increase efficiency.

Research – The proliferation of patient data into the digital domain has led to the development of online knowledge bases where nurses can conduct research. These data can also be used as a “standard” data set against which nurse-sensitive patient care outcomes can be measured.

How Does Nursing Informatics Improve Patient Care?

Applications of Nursing Informatics are diverse, but the common thread is ensuring that nurses have the data, information and knowledge they need available to support effective clinical decision-making. Nurses with the right education and technological tools are well-equipped to make data-driven decisions that positively impact patient care outcomes.

TigerConnect Nursing Informatics Tool Helps Nurses Provide Better Care

The TigerConnect Platform helps healthcare organizations streamline collaboration and communications between healthcare providers while enhancing workflow for nurses in the clinical setting. With functions that include a dynamic calendar and scheduling system, integration with third-party EHR software, paging system and voice activation, nurses can easily access the information they need to deliver high-quality patient care with better patient engagement and a lower risk of medical errors.

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About TigerConnect

TigerConnect is healthcare’s most widely adopted communication platform – uniquely modernizing care collaboration among doctors, nurses, patients, and care teams. TigerConnect is the only solution that combines a consumer-like user experience for text, video, and voice communication with serious security, privacy, and clinical workflow requirements that today’s healthcare organizations demand. TigerConnect accelerates productivity, reduces costs, and improves patient outcomes.

Trusted by more than 6,000 healthcare organizations, TigerConnect maintains 99.99% verifiable uptime and processes more than 10 million messages each day. To learn more about TigerConnect visit www.tigerconnect.com.