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Why Is Healthcare Informatics Important for Nurses?

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, patient care has adapted to the online world. Nurses must find a balance between in-person and remote consultations. Some patients cannot meet with a nurse in person but still need care. Telehealth nursing and informatics allow the healthcare industry to fulfill these patients' needs.

According to the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA), "the application of nursing informatics knowledge is empowering all healthcare practitioners in achieving patient centered care." In other words, nurses must understand technological advancements that compile patient data into one device.

For nurses to better serve patients, they first need to comprehend the definition of nursing informatics. AMIA states, "Nursing Informatics is the 'science and practice (that) integrates nursing, its information and knowledge, with information and communication technologies to promote the health of people, families and communities worldwide.'" Nurses can learn these informatics foundations in programs like the online Registered Nurse (RN) to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from The University of Texas at Arlington (UTA).

Healthcare informatics allows nurses to access data and knowledge using technological tools. In this way, nurses can more quickly and easily learn the history and evolution of the healthcare industry. Additionally, healthcare informatics allows nurses to share patient health history and symptoms with other healthcare facilities worldwide, fostering a collaborative effort to find answers regarding treatments and other health concerns.

Proper Handling of Electronic Health Records

"Working with data and technology now needs to become 'business as usual' for nurses in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic," states Nursing Times contributor Gemma Mitchell. Now more than ever, nurses must be diligent with the patient information they receive via technology.

Nurses must accurately update health information to reflect the patient's status. Health records contain highly sensitive information, and nurses must ensure this information does not get transferred to other patients or external parties. Therefore, nurses need to handle all health records with care and respect.

Next Step: Specializing in Informatics

To specialize in informatics, healthcare professionals must strive to reimagine long-held concepts. As the world shifts to a technology-based society, the healthcare industry must shape its foundations around innovation and interconnection. According to Health Tech Magazine, these are the top three goals the field must strive for:

  1. Improving interoperability. Healthcare providers should implement adaptable formats that allow them to anticipate issues and provide assurance in these situations.
  2. Considering patient experiences. Healthcare professionals must acknowledge patient experiences from the past to improve the future.
  3. Streamlining provider workflow. While telehealth is part of the future, nurses should emphasize in-person interactions with patients rather than online.

These steps ensure a balance between the in-person and digital spaces and create a bond between nurses and patients. Embracing technology in healthcare allows more time for patients and completing handwritten paperwork, notes Nursing Times. In addition, patient information becomes more accessible. Overall, a digital approach makes the life of a nurse easier.

Equipping Nurses With Baseline Knowledge

The Health Policy, Legal Aspects, and Informatics in Nursing course in UTA's online RN to BSN program equips nurses with baseline knowledge about informatics in healthcare. It also provides professional nurses with enhanced abilities to meet the needs of diverse patient populations. The program's approach considers the various aspects of patient care throughout the digital world and takes the meaning of nursing to a new level.

Nurses who want to specialize in informatics and enjoy analyzing data will find this program a perfect fit. It's also an excellent option for pursuing a healthcare career outside direct patient care.

Graduates of UTA's program can incorporate the skills and knowledge learned into their patient interactions. With an informatics foundation, nurses can ensure no patient gets left behind. The Health Policy, Legal Aspects, and Informatics in Nursing course combines the passion for innovation and technology with the practice of high-quality healthcare. The online RN to BSN program cultivates a new generation of nurses who strive to better the future of nursing.

Learn more about The University of Texas at Arlington's RN to BSN online program.


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