NURS 5051 – Transforming Nursing and Healthcare Through Technology Essay Paper
Nurses are key leaders in developing the infrastructure for effective and efficient health information technology that transforms the delivery of care. Recognizing this vital leadership role of nurses in providing quality patient care, the HIMSS Board of Directors approved a position statement describing how to transform nursing practice through technology and informatics. Leaders from the HIMSS Nursing Informatics Community, representing over 2,900 members who not only serve the nursing profession, but also, the broader healthcare industry and HIMSS membership at large, developed the position statement.NURS 5051 – Transforming Nursing and Healthcare Through Technology Essay Paper
The position statement supports the landmark report from the Institute of Medicine and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health Report. The report provides criteria to transform the nursing profession, leading to new roles and leadership positions for nurses in the redesign of the healthcare system.
As stated in the report, “The United States has the opportunity to transform its healthcare system, and nurses can and should play a fundamental role in this transformation. However, the power to improve the current regulatory, business, and organizational conditions does not rest solely with nurses; academia, government, businesses, healthcare organizations, professional associations, consumers and the insurance industry all must play a role.”
HIMSS concurs with this statement and has outlined specific actions in its position statement for each of these constituencies. In addition, as noted in the position statement, a new type of nurse leader role is emerging: “the Nursing Informatics Executive.”NURS 5051 – Transforming Nursing and Healthcare Through Technology Essay Paper
…HIMSS expects a growing demand for this strategic and operational role to permeate the majority of healthcare organizations to support not only nursing practice, but the entire care delivery team in anticipating and adapting to changes in the healthcare environment. Emerging nursing informatics leadership roles are critical to engage in the necessary transformational activities and bridge the new care delivery models into clinical practice with the right technology solutions…(from the position statement)
“Nurses are an integral part of successfully achieving improved outcomes, optimal wellness and overall population health management,’” says Joyce Sensmeier RN-BC, MS, CPHIMS, FHIMSS, FAAN, Vice President, Informatics, HIMSS. “Involved in all aspects of healthcare, nurses play a role that truly puts them in a pivotal and important position where they can both influence healthcare reform and manage patient care needs across the continuum of care.”
The landmark Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health,”i emphasizes the importance of recognizing the vital role of nurses in transforming healthcare in our country and presents recommendations for how to promote that role in the future. The report highlights that “The United States (U.S.) has the opportunity to transform its healthcare system, and nurses can and should play a fundamental role in this transformation. However, the power to improve the current regulatory, business, and organizational conditions does not rest solely with nurses; academia, government, businesses, healthcare organizations, professional associations, consumers and the insurance industry all must play a role.” HIMSS concurs with this statement. We identify below specific actions that should be taken by each of these entities.NURS 5051 – Transforming Nursing and Healthcare Through Technology Essay Paper
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Affordable Care Act)ii also provides an opportunity for transforming U.S. healthcare in the 21st Century. As noted by the IOM in The Future of Nursing report, working on the front lines of patient care, nurses play a vital role in helping realize the objectives set forth in the 2010 Affordable Care Act, a law representing the broadest healthcare overhaul since the 1965 creation of the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Nurses will also have the critical role of ensuring expected quality and financial metrics in Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). However, a number of barriers prevent nurses from being able to respond effectively to rapidly-changing healthcare settings and an evolving healthcare system. These barriers need to be overcome to ensure that nurses are well positioned to lead change and advance healthcare. Along with the Affordable Care Act, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA),iii includes Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments to eligible providers and hospitals for the meaningful use of certified health information technology (IT) products. As meaningful use criteria evolve, it is essential that nurses be involved as key stakeholders in the implementation of electronic health records (EHRs), especially in leading the planning, design, evaluation and optimization of health IT.
In alignment with the America Nurses Association (ANA) and the Alliance for Nursing Informatics (ANI), this HIMSS Position Statement provides background on key related issues and identifies specific recommendations for eliminating barriers and addressing nursing’s role in transforming healthcare through the use of IT, particularly in regard to the role of nursing informatics. This statement was developed by the HIMSS Nursing Informatics Committee, representing more than 2,900 nurse informatics, and is supported by HIMSS multidisciplinary stakeholder membership. NURS 5051 – Transforming Nursing and Healthcare Through Technology Essay Paper
The Value of Nursing Informatics:
At the crossroads of technology and patient care stand the nurses who have chosen nursing informatics (NI) as their specialty. Nursing Informatics is a well established specialty within nursing, which today has evolved to be an integral part of healthcare delivery and a differentiating factor in the selection, implementation, and evaluation of health IT that supports safe, high quality, patient-eccentric care. ANA has published three expanding editions of NI Scope and Standards of Nursing Informatics Practice (1994, 2001, 2008), with the most recent edition defining nursing informatics as “a specialty that integrates nursing science, computer science, and information science to manage and communicate data, information, knowledge, and wisdom in nursing practice.”iv
The IOM report on The Future of Nursing asserts the U.S. healthcare system has the opportunity to transform itself. Nurses are active leaders in this transformation. Nurses have already taken a leadership role in embracing technology as a necessary tool to innovate the delivery of healthcare. Nurses must take on this leadership role to improve safety and efficiency, bring evidence for decision making to the point of care, and empower patients to be involved partners.NURS 5051 – Transforming Nursing and Healthcare Through Technology Essay Paper
Data collected in the 2011 HIMSS Nursing Informatics Workforce Surveyv show that nurses who serve in informatics roles are experienced clinical experts, with half of the respondents indicating they have at least 16 years of clinical experience. Nurse informaticists use their depth of knowledge and understanding of the patient care process, combined with the power of technology, to contribute to the care of the individual and to the transformation of healthcare.
Connecting the Consumer:
Care teams are no longer bound by physical space, encouraging use of electronic connectivity and virtual strategies to support the care delivery of the future. According to the e Health Initiative’s “Top Trends for 2011,” the combining of the national dialogue on healthcare, the Meaningful Use criteria that incest providers toward patient engagement, and the number of digital patient engagement tools now available – from smart devices, to patient portals – “should mark 2011 as a tipping point year for patient engagement.”vi Patients and their families are increasingly taking their rightful place at the center of the healthcare delivery model. According to statistics compiled during a Pew Research Center survey (February 1, 2011), 59% of adults, including older adults, use technology to access healthcare information. Internet-savvy patients can access extensive details about their health problems, treatment options, and the history of others who have similar diagnoses.vii In turn, these consumers have high expectations about their decision-making rights and are becoming vocal about their rights.viii NURS 5051 – Transforming Nursing and Healthcare Through Technology Essay Paper
When patient-eccentric processes encourage patient engagement, nurses and other healthcare team members across care settings can work in partnership to enhance the well-being of consumers. Nurses working in community settings have typically used this approach because they provide care in consumers’ homes, work places, community clinics and schools. Now it is possible for others to make similar visits virtually and use technology to engage with patients in a completely different way. Using a patient-eccentric approach, nurses and other providers in acute and residential care facilities can help drive the industry toward a seamless approach across the care continuum that stays focused on the patient. It is expected that consumer demands for accurate, timely, and complete health-related information and partnership with healthcare professionals will only increase.
Personal health information is a valuable resource to individuals, their families, and the doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals who provide treatment and care. In its Quality Chasm report, the IOMix outlined several dimensions of patient-centered care, including respect for patient’s values, preferences and needs; coordination of care; physical comfort and emotional support; involvement of family and friends; and information, communication, and education. The goal is to “customize care to the specific needs and circumstances of each individual,” making care respond to the person, not the person to the care.x And who better than nurses to work with patients to help patients see the value of their contribution to their care and participate using electronic tools? NURS 5051 – Transforming Nursing and Healthcare Through Technology Essay Paper
Implications for Time & Place of Care:
Technology is revolutionizing the way that healthcare is delivered with a steady infusion of new solutions into clinical environments. At the same time, outside of healthcare, both clinicians and consumers are learning to incorporate technological solutions into their daily lives with tools like high-speed data networks, smart phones, handheld devices, and various forms of patient engagement in social media exchanges. Bringing these types of technologies into the healthcare marketplace will transform the time and place for how care is provided. Having individuals who understand the unique complexities of healthcare practices along with how to best develop technological tools that positively affect safe patient care is essential. Nurses integrating informatics solutions into clinical encounters are critical for the transition to an automated healthcare environment that promotes the continuum of care across time and place, in addition to wellness and health maintenance activities.
The physical location for the delivery of care is changing. Healthcare environments have begun incorporating an abundance of technology such as wireless solutions, mobile computers, and automated exchanges between clinicians and patients. Adapting to these new environments requires a shift in expectations for how care is delivered and communicated. This shift also necessitates a greater understanding of the constant evolution of new solutions being introduced into care settings as technology evolves. Nurses are at the core of this evolution as the care providers with the greatest amount of direct patient contact. These changes provide both opportunities and barriers to moving beyond the four walls of a clinician’s office, outpatient department or hospital room to provide care. NURS 5051 – Transforming Nursing and Healthcare Through Technology Essay Paper
Healthcare has become a global environment, offering care solutions that are delivered remotely. The technology of today allows the healthcare team to connect with patients absent the barriers of time or physical proximity. Virtual office visits, online appointment scheduling, mobile laboratories, electronic medication prescribing, and patient portals connected with electronic medical records are changing the way in which care is provided. Nurses also play a critical role by helping patients set up their own personal health records (PHRs), or explaining to patients how to use a patient portal. The initial work can be formidable, especially for those patients with healthcare literacy barriers. Health exchanges are increasing in number, especially in under served rural populations. New technologies offer opportunities to provide quality care to patients in remote settings, improving the access to specialized resources. The challenge for this type of care is ensuring that the automated solutions fully interact with one another, as well as with the clinicians using them.
The need for system integration and interoperability is now the most important factor for the success of technology in healthcare. As noted in the responses of 660 nurse informatics participating in the 2011 HIMSS Nursing Informatics Workforce survey,xi almost one-third of the respondents rated lack of integration/interoperability as a top barrier to their success. A standalone solution cannot survive without consideration for the upstream and downstream impact on other technologies in place. Being able to share and compare data between healthcare organizations and across time is the right thing to do for patients – both for the individual patient’s quality of care and for the secondary use of analyzing the data across patients to study the efficacy of our practice, and how we contribute to patient outcomes. Systems must be able to exchange data with one another to achieve these objectives. Having skilled individuals in place to help drive the direction of these electronic interchanges is as important as the technology itself. NURS 5051 – Transforming Nursing and Healthcare Through Technology Essay Paper
Nurses are key leaders in developing the infrastructure for effective and efficient health information technology that transforms the delivery of care. Nurse informatics play a crucial role in advocating both for patients and fellow nurses who are often the key stakeholders and recipients of these evolving solutions. Nursing informatics professionals are the liaisons to successful interactions with technology in healthcare. As clinicians who focus on transforming information into knowledge, nurse informatics cultivate a new time and place of care through their facilitation efforts to integrate technology with patient care. Technology will continue to be a fundamental enabler of future care delivery models and nursing informatics leaders will be essential to transforming nursing practice through technology.
The Future of Nursing report includes eight key recommendations organized around three broad categories of Leadership, Education and Practice. Nursing informatics professionals support all nurses regardless of practice setting. As such, the implications of the IOM report for healthcare are far reaching. The table below describes HIMSS’ recommendations, prepared in collaboration with ANA and ANI.
The transformation of nursing practice that results from the IOM’s Future of Nursing report recommendations will have a profound, long-term effect on the profession of nursing. Nursing informatics professionals are uniquely positioned to aide in this transformation, as the management of individual and organizational change is core to its practice.
Recent technological breakthroughs, ranging from electronic health records to real-time location systems, have helped positively transform patient care throughout the world. These advanced innovations in the healthcare industry have saved countless lives and revolutionized quality of treatment as it pertains to pharmaceuticals, information retention and processing, bio medicine and more. Nurses — especially those who are seeking or have already earned an advanced degree — must keep pace with these new technologies in order to best serve patients and train new generations of nurses. While there are myriad emerging technologies that can help leaders in the nursing field with their daily tasks and routines, this article will focus on six specific areas that have impacted care delivery.NURS 5051 – Transforming Nursing and Healthcare Through Technology Essay Paper
Electronic Health Records
One of the most useful advancements in the healthcare industry is the widespread use of electronic health records (EHRs), which have curbed the endless paperwork, negated the tedium of filling out patient charts and eliminated the need to wait for hard copies of medical records. This technology allows easy and immediate sharing of records between facilities and providers, thereby improving communication and quality of care for patients and increasing the scope of patient information available to nurses and other health care workers. EHRs provide nurses and other health care workers with access to a patient’s complete health information at the point of care, allowing earlier diagnosis and treatment.
According to a study conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), EHRs “can automate manual tasks, streamline documentation, and enhance communication among caregivers.” EHRs can also improve quality of care and boost safety by reducing the risk of medication errors and allowing automated alerts to prevent potential errors or allergic reactions when a new medication is prescribed. In a paper-based system, identifying problems such as these is much more time-consuming.
Mobile Communication Systems
Better quality of care depends on staff communication and coordination, and facilities that integrate mobile communication systems report significant improvements in those areas. According to Andrea Elmquist, spokesperson for Craig Hospital, a rehabilitation center in Inglewood, Colorado that specializes in spinal cord and traumatic brain injury, installing a mobile communication system—which allows staff to communicate in real time on a two-way, in-house system—decreased untimely interruptions for clinicians and improved patients’ experience and overall level of care.NURS 5051 – Transforming Nursing and Healthcare Through Technology Essay Paper
“The biggest benefit from the nursing perspective is that we now have one device for communicating about care, medication administration, and receiving alert messages,” Elmquist said. “The nurses often had a type of tool belt that held multiple devices—such as cell phones and pagers—and were used for various clinical purposes.”
Elmquist said that by streamlining communication for the company’s clinical staff, nurses were able to locate other nurses around the hospital, send secure direct messages to other clinicians, assign tasks to themselves or others, and receive patient alerts—all on one device.
Patient-Generated Health Data Systems
Getting patients involved in their own healthcare is an overarching goal of nurses, and tapping into patient-generated data is one very effective way to do that. Patients can gather and record data via smart phones or wearable technology (such as smart watches) to encourage self-care and promote a greater understanding of their own health. The types of data that can be collected include blood pressure, exercise habits, blood sugar levels, and food intake.
Health care professionals reported to NIH that having access to patient-generated health data offered a deeper understanding about a patient’s condition; more accurate, clinically relevant patient information; and insight into a patient’s home health and clinical care needs. Adding patient-generated lifestyle and self-care data to nurses’ diagnostic toolkit can result in more accurate treatment plans and shorter recovery times.
Patient-generated information also helps reduce incidents of readmission by offering current patients tools for better self-care; addressing patients with chronic conditions to help them manage ongoing care at home; and engaging healthy patients by promoting fitness and preventive behaviors. Improving these areas increases nurses’ productivity, allowing them to provide better-quality care for more patients.
Real-Time Location Systems
Global positioning systems can pinpoint one’s whereabouts outside, but not indoors. Real-time location systems (RTLSs) solve indoor tracking issues, allowing hospitals and other health care facilities to immediately locate patients and medical equipment anywhere on campus.
Being able to locate equipment, patients and staff members in real time can increase the efficiency of all nurses. These location systems use specialized receivers mounted within the building that receive signals from ID badges worn by patients and caregivers—as well as tags mounted on equipment—to monitor and report locations. For example, a real-time location system allows a nurse to locate the nearest blood pressure machine by using a radio frequency and the corresponding tag.
RTLSs reduce the lag in a chain of communication and streamline the patient care delivery process by organizing a complex workflow environment based on real-time data. The types of data collected include staff and equipment availability, patient location, and information about which provider saw a patient last.NURS 5051 – Transforming Nursing and Healthcare Through Technology Essay Paper
Smart Alarm Technology
Alarm hazards are one of the Emergency Care Research Institute’s top technology hazards, as the overwhelming number, frequency and variety of machine alarm sounds in hospital rooms can cause clinicians to ignore them, or shut them off. Even the most vigilant nurse can experience “alarm fatigue,” becoming desensitized to the ever-present sound of medical device alarms and therefore, having a delayed reaction to them or even missing them. These alarms play an essential role in patient care and safety, but the overwhelming number of them can become problematic, especially when a percentage of those alarms turn out to be false.
Smart alarms use available technologies to reduce the number of false alarms by taking into account a range of parameters. Rather than using just raw data, these smart alarms use filters and algorithms to analyze the rates of change and signal quality before sounding an alarm. There’s also a push to standardize alarm sounds to reduce the overall number of alerts and further allow nurses to focus their senses and attention. Some industry groups are also suggesting that standardized alarms could be implemented using simple protocols, like a range of melodic sounds to signal between one and eight different alarm sources, with urgency distinguished using low, medium, and high levels of sound intensity. These modernized and efficient alarms let a nurse know if there’s really a cause for concern.NURS 5051 – Transforming Nursing and Healthcare Through Technology Essay Paper
Nursing Education Software Advancements
Nurse education, like nursing itself, is dynamic in nature, and current technology now allows for online classes and patient simulators. Additionally, nursing students must become familiar with EHR and charting systems. According to the National League of Nursing’s (NLN) 2015 “Vision Series” report, “teaching with and about emerging technology is the future of nursing education. Providing nursing care in a highly technological, connected work environment is the future of nursing practice.”
The NLN’s report addressed a “compelling need for technological fluency and competency” in nurses, ultimately recommending that they be able to understand cloud computing and data storage platforms; navigate the emerging virtual health care industry, where patients are treated remotely; and operate mobile health devices. As health care professionals continue to encourage patients to take charge of their own care, nursing education grants nurses the ability to translate patient-gathered data into viable treatment options.
Today’s leaders in nursing must be experts in the latest advancement, as well as knowledgeable about emerging innovations. By utilizing these technologies, nurses and healthcare professionals can improve patients’ experiences and help provide the best care possible. An advanced degree and hands-on training in systems and informatics can prepare nurses for leadership positions in nursing administration.NURS 5051 – Transforming Nursing and Healthcare Through Technology Essay Paper
Our healthcare systems are undergoing sweeping digital transformations that many of us could not have even imagined as recently as 10 years ago. Meaningful Use initiatives with incentives funded by the HiTech Act have driven an increase in electronic health records (EHRs) in the acute care hospitals, as well as outpatient settings. In addition, the number of hospitals with EHRs has quadrupled from 2010 to 2013 and physician adoption of the EHR has doubled from 2009 to 2013. As a result of this boom in information technology, consumers have not only become more involved in monitoring their own health, but are well-positioned to directly engage with those who provide their healthcare (HHS.gov, 2014).
Devices available to consumers include activity trackers, smart scales, multi-measure wellness tools and diet/weight loss/nutrition tools, to name a few (HealthIT.gov, 2015). We are in the midst of an explosion in healthcare information technology, and the possibilities seem endless for healthcare professionals and consumers alike. The question then becomes: How will this massive increase in digital technology affect patient outcomes?NURS 5051 – Transforming Nursing and Healthcare Through Technology Essay Paper
In research funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR), Dr. Marilyn Rantz from the University of Missouri, has created a system that monitors older adults for signs of possible illness in their own living quarters (NIH.gov, 2015). If any symptoms are detected, the individual’s healthcare provider is notified. The purpose of this work is to utilize technology to promote the independence of older adults, yet provide a safety net for early detection of the onset of illness. This cutting-edge technology has the potential to optimize the quality of life for older adults.
Additionally, digital technology has created a whole new realm of possibility for the consumer, specifically with the advent of smartphones and their applications (apps). According to Singh, Wilkinson and Braganza, 84% of their subjects owned smartphones; the survey studied teenagers and caregivers that were largely underserved in urban New York (2014). Smartphone apps are now considered helpful tools in enhancing patient education, facilitating communication and patient engagement. However, the study states that smartphone apps are not a panacea, citing potential issues including limited resources for data plans, reliability and ease of use. The researchers pointed to a need for further investigation about how apps should be developed and how to narrow the focus in order to reach the intended audience. NURS 5051 – Transforming Nursing and Healthcare Through Technology Essay Paper
Because the field of information technology is relatively new and growing at a rapid pace, we’ve just explored the tip of the iceberg. There are still worlds of possibilities yet to be explored. Ultimately, we should all be asking ourselves, “How will we be transformed by healthcare information technology?”
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