The use of informatics has become an essential component of providing quality healthcare. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has elected the use of informatics as its fifth and final core competency for healthcare providers. The utilization of informatics has become the main stream approach for nursing care today.
This fifth core competency is directly intertwined with the four previous competencies that have been outlined by the IOM. Patient centered care is the first of the core competencies. Utilizing informatics can assist nurses in providing patient centered care by decreasing the amount of time spent on documentation and searching for data. For example, by having an electronic medical record (EMR) available, less time is spent on searching for lab results and information needed to provide care for the patient. Results are more readily available and communication between nursing, ancillary staff and providers is more fluid. This time saver can allow the nurse to spend more time at the bedside.
The second core competency is to work in inter professional teams. The use of informatics plays a large part in the effectiveness of this competency. By focusing on electronic communication in which progress notes are available for everyone to see, it helps to ensure that everyone is up to date on the patient’s progress. This can be extremely beneficial when determining a safe discharge plan for the patient. By having progress notes readily available from the therapists, nursing, pharmacy and so forth, one can feel confident that the patient will be discharged safely. The patient may feel that they are able to handle being at home alone, when in fact the therapists are recommending an interim stay at rehab. By having informatics available it helps the interdisciplinary team approach work more effectively.
Evidence based practice (EBP) is the third competency outlined by the IOM. “Utilizing evidence might impact
References: American Association for Justice. (2012). Preventable medical errors, the sixth biggest killer in america. Retrieved from http://www.justice.org/cps/rde/justice/hs.xsl/8677.htm Finkelman, A., & Kenner, C. (2013). Professional nursing concepts: Competencies for quality leadership (2nd ed., pp. 3-51). Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett Learning.