Informatics by definition refers to the use of information technology in specialized areas of science and arts. Informatics steers innovation that defines approaches to information and management of knowledge in nursing, clinical health, public health, education among other integrated levels of specialization (Nelson, 2013). It creates the need to develop new solutions to enhance more competencies in various domains. In this research, the informatics groups chosen are nursing, clinical and public health and informatics in education.
Informatics in nursing aims at integrating nursing science with various information management to identify and communicate data in cognitive nursing disciplines. This is useful to both nurses and people who want to gain knowledge in this field. Nursing informatics (NI) also include data mining that leads to desired outcomes. The use of information structures, processes and information techniques accomplish what nurses and consumers in healthcare desire.
Informatics in education is the use computer applications to support the delivery of learning in different institutions. Systems and networks that are primarily used in educational research and teaching of computer sciences and technology. It simplifies education, clinical and public health informatics creates an avenue to provide quality and accountability in the healthcare industry. Clinical officers and consumers use informatics to acquire relevant information needed to produce desired output.
In group1, quality care and safety of patients are the core reasons why computer-assisted decision-making techniques have drastically transformed nursing and health care systems positively. Patients can use these methods to learn about their health with the assistance of nurses (Kudyba, 2010). Nursing informatics also provide knowledge on clinical business techniques and analysis that in return improves nursing and healthcare systems.
For Group 2, education in informatics has been impacted positively. Due to systems and structures that information technology has provided a lot of students have been able to enroll in classes especially in higher institutions in developing world. It also increases access to learning materials, eases information acquiring and enhancement of literacy development. On the other hand, Group 3 Informatics in clinical health has provided a better ground for research into health. Clinical counting provides information about the use of general informatics to analyze data and generate desired output.
Ranking refers to the order in which items in these case groups are itemized or arranged in order of their strength or weakness. Group 1 which is nursing informatics is ranked higher due to the impact it has on health care. It has provided quality and best service to healthcare. Group 2 which is education informatics has transformed the way education is taken therefore improving access to education. Group3 is clinical and public informatics that have provided accountability and quality service in healthcare.
Nursing informatics dated about 30 years ago. The reason for the introduction of informatics in nursing was to provide high quality care to patients, share information, knowledge and data and lastly compare practice and theory in the advancement of nursing knowledge. To date, nursing informatics have taken significant strides in transforming and impacting knowledge to nurses and patients (Nelson, 2013). Education informatics dates way back with the introduction of computers and advancement of technology. It was meant to provide easy access to education and encourage learning. Currently, education informatics is highly successful with many institutions promoting e-learning. Clinical informatics have also succeeded in many ways with introduction clinical software and support systems.
Health care informatics is the process used by health care providers to acquire, store and retrieve information on a patient to foster collaboration by the stakeholders in the health sector. The areas of health care informatics include; clinical care, public health, physical therapy, dentistry, nursing, occupational therapy, alternative medicine and biomedical research. All these are areas that need information regarding a patient (Nelson, 2013). It is important therefore that information about patients is collected, stored and retrieved when need arises, and this helps in creating an efficient, low cost health care sector subsequently improving the overall health care.
The area in health care informatics that this paper seeks to analyze is nursing. Nursing refers to the promotion, protection and optimization of health, prevention of injuries and illnesses and alleviating of suffering through treatment and diagnosis.
Current state of nursing informatics
The continuing development in this field has enabled nurses use computers by the use of computerized provider order entry. This has made intervention by nurses to be more efficient and timely manner, by freeing nurses from order transcription and order clarifying phone calls. The use of electronic medical records (EMR) has initiated a collaborative culture between nurses and other health care practitioners (Kudyba, 2010). The integration of the whole health care process has improved efficiency. There is minimal documentation process, hence reduces time spent and also guarantees proper storage of patient record.
The future trends in nursing informatics is the introduction of more sophisticated systems and nurses that are more trained to handle this system. There is an introduction of a system that integrates all healthcare practitioners. It will also be more expensive in the future to purchase the new sophisticated systems. Nurses will require additional knowledge that to operate the electronic medical records system, hence they will need more skills, hence the curriculum for the development of nurses will require to be changed (Nelson, 2013). Another emerging trend is the difference in technological know how of previous nurses and those that are graduating from colleges presently. The present nurses are more equipped to deal with the emerging technology in the nursing field thereby filling the skill gap.
There are challenges found in nursing informatics include lack of systems that can share data. The current system in nursing informatics does not provide interface with other departments therefore this hinders sharing of information among the various health care practitioners. Another challenge is that it is expensive for a new health care facility to buy the new technology that supports nursing informatics (Kudyba, 2010). There is also no use of interfacing systems currently, which hinders quality control efforts because different practitioners cannot enter the same data.
Kudyba, S. (2010). Healthcare Informatics: Improving Efficiency and Productivity. Nevada: Taylor & Francis.
Nelson, R. (2013). Health Informatics: An Interprofessional Approach. London: Elsevier Health Sciences.