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Learn to Leverage Health Information Technology With a Doctor of Nursing Practice

Technology provides room for progression and expansion within the healthcare sector. Electronic health records (EHRs), in particular, have simplified the collection, recording and transmission of patient data.

However, as any consumer knows, data breaches happen all the time. Therefore, it’s important for healthcare organizations and patients alike to know that patient information will be protected with the highest security. This is a primary goal within health information technology.

According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), health information technology (health IT) involves the “processing, storage and exchange of health information in an electronic environment.”

How Does Health IT Help With Patient Outcomes?

The forward-thinking evolution of electronic documentation throughout healthcare organizations is a primary benefit of health IT. When all patient data is compiled on an electronic platform, information is easily accessible and accurate. Before technology took over the healthcare world, a risk existed that patient medical records would get “mixed up.”

In addition to compromising the patient’s well-being, medical errors also have the potential to rack up debilitating costs for the healthcare organization. A small practice might go out of business if faced with legal fees and compensatory payments to patients or their family members.

However, electronic recording isn’t only about risk aversion. It actually helps nurses better care for their patients. Nursing CE Central states that “with electronic documentation, nurses can make better decisions about how to provide care and when changes or adjustments need to be made by examining the documentation of a patient’s condition over a period of time.”

In this way, nurses can effectively care for patients in a timely manner — they can access information about current and previous conditions quickly. This is especially helpful when a patient’s condition worsens unexpectedly or intervention needs to occur immediately.

Nurses can collaborate with other healthcare team members in real time, assuring everyone has the insight they need to proceed with care. Before the transformation of health IT, many nurses could only help with the patient they were assigned to and could not assist fellow nurses with their patients.

Ultimately, “widespread use of health IT within the healthcare industry will improve the quality of healthcare, prevent medical errors, reduce healthcare costs, increase administrative efficiencies, decrease paperwork and expand access to affordable healthcare,” elaborates the HHS.

Impact on the Nurse

Health IT impacts more than patient care. It also lessens the burden placed on nurses. They spend less time recording and inputting patient information so that they can spend more quality time with their patients. This often leads to more fulfilling careers because it validates why nurses went into the field in the first place.

There are still nurses who prefer to write down all patient information. Change can be daunting for nurses, especially when they are unsure of the technology being used — or why.

Nurses do need to adjust to today’s technology, but change is slow since many nurses have been in the field for much longer than health IT became a priority. However, adopting the technology will eventually help them recognize the impact it has on patient relationships.

Learn to Leverage Health Information Technology With a Doctor of Nursing Practice

One way to leverage health information technology to its greatest degree as a nursing professional is to further your career and earn your Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree. Those who enroll in the DNP online program at The University of Texas at Arlington will adapt to the ever-changing landscape of healthcare and apply this technology in order to overcome challenges in their nursing practice.

Students will research and synthesize the complex challenges of the healthcare environment to provide innovative practice solutions for the workplace. This program ensures students will learn about information systems and technology to effectively evaluate and implement data to improve healthcare outcomes.

For example, the Clinical Information Systems course focuses on the selection, assessment and use of information systems, technology and data to evaluate and monitor outcomes of care, care systems and quality improvement. In the Leadership in Healthcare Systems course, students work towards ways to influence systems-level change.

Each future graduate will obtain the knowledge and skills necessary to enter influential roles such as healthcare executive, nursing faculty member, advanced practice registered nurse or clinical researcher. Even better, the program’s accelerated nature means students can complete the program in as few as 27 months (depending on one’s preferred schedule).

Learn more about The University of Texas Arlington’s DNP online program.

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