In healthcare, informatics is “the use of information technology to acquire, store, and use health and biomedicine information, all of which play an important role in the delivery of effective patient care,” according to KNB Communications.
While nursing informaticists focus on using technology in healthcare specifically, other nursing professionals should also be proficient in informatics and specific technological tools.
Symplr elaborates, “Nursing informatics is a specialty that combines technology and patient care. The nurse informaticist acts as the bridge between a healthcare organization’s systems and its providers and clinical staff.”
This helps not only nurses who work in hospitals but the physicians and staff that run the healthcare facility. Every employee needs to have a good handle on nursing informatics in case of an emergency or if asked to assist with the workload of a family nurse practitioner (FNP).
The Need for Health Informatics
Research published by Abdullah Talha Kabakus and Resul Kara states, “It is evident that the healthcare industry is in need of IT solutions more than any other industries due to three major reasons.” These include:
- It is necessary to store and process large amounts of patient data.
- Physicians need to use intelligent systems to optimize diagnoses and design treatments for similar patients and through their courses of disease.
- Physicians must communicate with patients located in remote/rural areas.
Nurses improve the quality of care and outcomes by spending more time with their patients. Health informatics makes it easier for nurses to locate and record relevant information in order to improve the patient experience and reduce inefficiencies.
The Symplr article notes, “The less time providers have to spend navigating clunky or inefficient technology, the more time they can spend focusing on getting and sharing the right information about their patients.”
Additionally, health informatics optimizes various forms of telemedicine, many of which went online at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Telemedicine relies on technology and informatics to operate efficiently, allowing a scalable patient support model.
The Impact of Informatics on Healthcare
“The field of nursing informatics has helped drive healthcare’s application of technologies such as EMRs and computerized provider order entry,” explains HIMSS.
Health informatics technology lessens the need for nurses and other healthcare professionals to handwrite patient paperwork, ensuring that employees are not overworked. With the implementation of informatics, many nurses have noticed a reduction in levels of burnout and depression.
There are now nurses who specialize solely in healthcare informatics, meaning they do not work directly with patients. Instead, their job is to compile all paperwork within the office, which allows nurses who work with patients to spend more time interacting with them instead of carrying out inefficient and burdensome administrative tasks.
As technology continues to advance and expand into different forms, the healthcare industry will adapt to these changes, transforming how informatics operates in the field.
Strengthen Your Informatics Skills With a Master’s Degree
One way to strengthen your informatics skills is to further your career and earn your Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. Those who enroll in the online MSN – FNP program at St. Thomas University will deepen their advanced nursing knowledge, enjoy more autonomy and flexibility in their career and make a difference in the lives of patients and families.
Students will train to apply patient-care technology, including informatics, to enhance patient care using a collaborative approach. Depending on the student’s schedule and experience level, they can learn these concepts and graduate in as few as 18 months.
The intensive program allows all students to instill compassionate care, cultural sensitivity and evidence-based protocols into their professional practice. For example, the Advanced Health Assessment course covers the basics of data interpretation and collection to assess patients effectively. In the Health Promotion & Disease Prevention course, students delve into strategies to promote various preventative measures in the healthcare setting.
Each graduate will obtain the knowledge and skills required to enter influential roles such as nurse practitioner, nurse practitioner supervisor, occupational medicine nurse practitioner, associate professor or family nurse practitioner.
Learn more about St. Thomas University’s online MSN – FNP program.