Information Technology in Health Care Practice

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Introduction Nursing informatics can be defined as the use of information and computer technologies to support nursing practice in area of administration, education and research (Hebda, Czar & Mascara, 2005). This paper will be used to discuss the use if informatics in my clinical area of home health and discuss ways, if applicable, in which it could possibly be improved as well.
Streamlining Paperwork/Communication Informatics can both streamline and hinder the paperwork that goes into home health and the communication amongst clinicians with regard to the care patients receive. The positive of informatics in my clinical area of home health is that clinicians can easily follow what is going on with patients by looking up the documentation made by the clinician who previously saw the patient in question. This makes life convenient because the clinician would not have to call the previous clinician to inquire what is going on with the patient. There are times that clinicians take a day off and would not be available to be asked about particular patients; so in the event of this occurrence, patients can be safely and accurately cared for. According to Hebda, Czar and Mascara (2005), one of the examples of how nursing informatics support the area of nursing practice is in the quick access to computer-archived patient data from previous encounters. Another positive in the use of technology in communication is the use of email. By being able to email clinicians information or in asking questions needed to proceed with different processes, it eliminates the dreaded “phone tag.” Also the use of digital cameras enable clinicians to take pictures of patient wounds that can be forwarded to physicians or certified wound care nurses who can aid in formulating a wound care plan to heal wounds. The negative of this is that clinicians are not always so thorough or timely in their documentation of their visits, so therefore the following clinician has no idea what



References: Abrahamsen, C. (2003, April). Tech update. Patient safety: take the informatics challenge. Nursing Management, 34(4), 48-51. Hebda, T., Czar, P., & Mascara, C. (2005). Handbook of informatics for nurses & health care professionals. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. Hood, L.J., & Leddy, S.K. (2006). Leddy & Pepper’s Conceptual Bases of Professional Nursing. New York: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Simpson, R. (2004, October). Nursing informatics. The softer side of technology: how IT helps nursing care. Nursing Administration Quarterly, 28(4), 302-305. Smith, C. (2004, April). New technology continues to invade healthcare: what are the strategic implications/outcomes? Nursing Administration Quarterly, 28(2), 92-98.

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