Importance of Informatics

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Importance of Informatics
Erica Sears
Walden University
NURS 6015, Section 3, Information and Healthcare Technologies Applied in Nursing January 29, 2012

Introduction
Informatics is useful throughout everyday life. When someone is doing research on the internet, checking their personal email, or using a car’s navigation system they are using informatics. Informatics has become possible through the advancement of computer technology. The American Nurses Association (ANA) describes nursing informatics as the combination of nursing and computer science to help manage data and information within the nursing field (Newbold, n.d.). The purpose of this paper is to explore the benefits of informatics in the nursing field. Paperwork vs. Informatics

Informatics has led to the decrease for paperwork that is necessary in the nursing world. There are several benefits to using computers instead of paper. For instance, from the eco-friendly perspective, computers lead to less paper thus saving trees. Using fewer trees benefits everything on Earth. Another important way that computers have benefited society is the improvement of organization. The use of computers helps obtain organization with ease. Most states enforce a law stating to keep medical records for seven years after the patient’s last services at the facility or the patient’s death (Kasprak, n.d.). Prior to the use of electronic medical records, these records could be often located in large storage rooms that could possibly lead to the difficulty in locating the file. Locating files electronically is more efficient and easier. Past Medical History

Hospitals are using informatics to switch over to electronic records. This provides quick access to the patients past medical history. For example, if a patient comes in through the emergency room with nothing but their driver’s licenses, doctors and nurses would be able quickly access the medical records. This swiftness can potentially save lives. Most computerized charting has all lab and radiology results, dictated health and physical and recent medications, allowing doctors to view results of the most recent test. The information that can be located through past charting could provide swift live saving potential.

When admitting patients to a unit, the nurses are responsible for updating the electronic history. Any history obtained from an admission is automatically stored. Medications that were started and continued at the last discharge are readily available, providing doctors an easy continue or discontinue list.

Some immunizations are given annually while others are not administers but once in a live time. Charting systems allow immunizations to be entered upon administration. This process ensures that a patient is not administered the same immunizations more than necessary. Easy Lab Results

Lab results are updated in a computer when the results are released. With one click of a button, the last five results of the same test will appear, allowing comparable measures. These comparable results permit the doctors to see if their orders or medications are helping the patient. Utilizing paper would cause the doctor to compare results by flipping through paperwork. Using informatics in the medical profession has allowed better organization throughout the nursing field. Support Tools

The uses of computers allow easy access to numerous applications that will provide useful information to the patients and nurses alike. The lay people can look up information related to their health, medications, and / or diagnosis with the use of today’s technology. Nurses can utilize the internet to obtain information about something they do not fully understand.

Some healthcare facilities have access to different programs that the nurses use. For example, Micromedex is utilized in some hospitals to not only teach nurse, but to help teach the patients information as well. Micromedex when used to its full potential is...
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