Nursing informatics plays a crucial role in improving patient-centered care and promoting health and communication. It is a specialized field of nursing that integrates nursing, computer, and information sciences to maintain and develop medical data and systems that support the practice of nursing and enhance patient care outcomes (Registerednursing.org, 2018). In my facility, we utilize the Cerner medical software, which is known for its powerful and intelligent Electronic Medical Record (EMR) capabilities (Cerner.com, 2018).
One of the key benefits of using Cerner is its user-friendly interface, which allows us to scan patients’ armbands prior to administering medications. This reduces the risk of medication administration errors and enhances patient safety. Additionally, Cerner has built-in alerts for various conditions such as sepsis, fall risk, wound care, and specific protocols for chest pain, hypo/hyperglycemia, and electrolyte imbalances. These built-in features enable healthcare providers to easily access vital signs, medical records, laboratory results, imaging reports, medication lists, allergies, and progress notes. This integration of information enhances the ability of healthcare providers to deliver high-quality care by reducing the occurrence of medical errors.
Furthermore, the accessibility of the Cerner system is not limited to the healthcare facility. Physicians can access patient information from the privacy of their homes, optimizing patient safety and improving the quality of care provided. This remote access capability ensures that physicians can quickly review and update patient records as needed, leading to more efficient and effective decision-making processes.
However, to further enhance patient care, it would be beneficial if the Cerner system had the capability to roll over information from previous admissions. This would include medical history, medication lists, allergies, primary care physician information, pharmacy details, and other relevant data. Currently, inputting this information again during re-admissions consumes valuable time that could be better utilized for direct patient care. By eliminating the need for redundant data entry, nurses would have more time to focus on providing optimal care to their patients.
In addition to the benefits mentioned above, nursing informatics can support patient-centered care through various other means. Electronic health records (EHRs) allow for centralized and comprehensive documentation of a patient’s health information, enabling healthcare providers to have a holistic view of the patient’s health status and treatment journey. This comprehensive view facilitates interdisciplinary collaboration between healthcare professionals, leading to improved care coordination and ultimately better patient outcomes. Furthermore, by integrating various health information technologies, nursing informatics can enhance communication among the healthcare team. Real-time data sharing, messaging systems, and secure communication platforms enable prompt and effective communication, fostering collaboration and reducing communication errors.
Moreover, nursing informatics can contribute to patient-centered care by supporting evidence-based practice. By providing access to current and relevant research, clinical guidelines, and best practices, nursing informatics empowers nurses to make informed and evidence-based decisions in their daily practice. This integration of evidence-based practice into the electronic systems helps ensure that patients receive the most appropriate and effective care, based on the latest research and knowledge.
In conclusion, nursing informatics plays a vital role in improving patient-centered care, promoting health, and enhancing communication in healthcare settings. The use of medical software like Cerner enables healthcare providers to access and utilize comprehensive patient information, leading to reduced medical errors and improved patient outcomes. However, further advancements in the capabilities of these systems, such as the integration of previous admission information, can further enhance care delivery. Nursing informatics also supports interdisciplinary collaboration, evidence-based practice, and efficient communication among healthcare professionals. With continued advancements in technology and the implementation of nursing informatics principles, patient-centered care will continue to evolve and improve.