Professional Portfolio and Self-Marketing Plan
- Kelsey Hopkins
“Nursing is a dynamic, evolving profession that presents limitless career opportunities for nurses with graduate degrees” (American National College of Nursing). Today, more than ever, that is evident in nursing informatics (NI). Nursing informatics involves the use computer software systems to enhance and improve patient care documentation tools, indirectly improving the quality of care patients receive worldwide. Nursing informatics is an expanding, fast-paced, ever changing nursing career that continues to grow worldwide.
Key words: Nursing informatics, computer software systems, quality, patient care
Professional Portfolio Self-Marketing Plan
Nursing Informatics is the “integration of nursing science, computer and information science, and cognitive science to manage communication and expand the data, information, knowledge, and wisdom of nursing practice” (American Nurses Association Nursing Informatics Scope and Standards, 2008). Nursing informatics utilizes health information technology to improve the health of patients and their families worldwide. A nurse informatics specialist streamlines the management and communication in nursing, vastly enhancing productivity, minimizing healthcare services costs and improving patient care quality. The field of nursing informatics is one of the fastest growing specializations in healthcare today. The American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) estimates that within the next few years 70,000 nursing informatics specialists will be needed to fulfill jobs (AMIA, 2013).
Purpose of Nurse Informatics Specialist
With the implementation of the Electronic Healthcare Record (EHR), documentation has become an essential communication tool among healthcare providers in providing quality care to patients. The purpose of a nurse informatics specialist is to outline and apply computerized documentation systems that enhance accuracy, reduce workload, and facilitate the analysis of clinical data between healthcare providers. A nurse informatics specialist determines ways to improve the rate, usability, readiness and precision of healthcare provider’s documentation, thus simplifying and enhancing documentation.
Required competencies and scope of practice standards for Nursing Informatics
The Technology Informatics Guiding Education Reform (TIGER) Initiative was formed to develop competencies for the field of nursing informatics. The TIGER initiative identified a list of competencies grouped into three basic categories: computer competencies, informatics skills and informatics knowledge (TIGER Sumit). A nurse informatics specialist must have working knowledge of basic software applications (Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) and knowledge of software design and project management. Specific nursing informatics skills include experience with template editing and the capability to develop methods to test for validity. Overall the nursing informatics specialist must be highly self-motivated and have excellent people skills.
Nursing Informatics scopes and standards of practice are outlined in the 2008 ANA Nursing Informatics: Scopes and Standards of Practice. The book highlights nursing informatics characteristics, development and trends, educations and training, and ethical and conceptual roots (ANA, 2008).
Type of Facility and Department
The nurse informatics specialist can work at a variety of healthcare facilities; anywhere clinical nurses are found, a nurse informatics specialist can be found. From companies like Cerner, a public company focused on health information technology, which employs mainly traveling nurse specialists, to a community hospital, a nurse informatics specialist can be employed. The nurse informatics specialist generally works within the information technology department.
Primary Responsibilities and Knowledge required of the Nurse Informatics Specialist
The nurse informatics specialist is responsible for all aspects of planning, design, development, implementation, maintenance and evaluation of clinical information systems (Nursing informatics). The nurse informatics specialist assists with the development and implementation of quality tracking and reporting systems and utilizes knowledge and skills of nursing practice to determine clinical functions. The nurse informatics specialist utilizes computer software systems to enhance and improve patient care documentation tools, indirectly improving the quality of care patients receive worldwide.
Educational and Professional Requirements
The nurse informatics specialist should be a registered nurse with three-five years of clinical experience. Possess at least a BSN, although a MSN is preferred. The job applicant must also demonstrate the ability to plan and implement clinical information systems. A Nursing Informatics Certification is necessary, and Certified Professional in Healthcare Information & Management Systems (CAHIMS), and Certified Professional in Healthcare Information & Management Systems (CPHIMS) are highly recommended.
Rationale for Nurse Informatics Specialists
According to ANA Nursing Informatics: Scopes and Standards of Practice, “Nurses trained in NI support improved patient outcomes through their expertise in information processes, structures, and technologies, thus helping nurses and other care providers to create and record the evidence of their practice” (American Nurses Association, 2008, Pg.2). Through the use of technology and computerized documentation, the nurse informatics specialist indirectly improves the lives of patients and their families worldwide. The nurse informatics specialist improves the efficiency of healthcare provides thus enhancing patient care through the implementation of accurate, simple to use patient documentation tools.
Services of Nurse Informatics Specialist
Electronic documentation is the primary responsibility of the nurse informatics specialist. After all, documentation is how healthcare providers communicate with one another. A nurse informatics specialist, through the use of computer software and information technologies, finds ways to enhance and simplify documentation thus improving the quality of patient care. The goal is to develop a clinical system that is user-friendly, effective, and enhances patient care.
Benefit to the Organization and Customers
The ultimate go of healthcare is better health for all. Employed and utilized properly, a nurse informatics specialist is able to help healthcare organizations and patients achieve their ultimate goal. Nursing informatics utilizes health information technology to improve the health of patients and their families worldwide. A nurse informatics specialist improves information management and communication in nursing, thus improving efficiency, reducing costs and enhancing the quality of patient care (American Nurses Association, 2008). A nurse informatics specialist gives back valuable time to healthcare providers by enhancing the efficiency of the healthcare organizations documentation system allowing them to spend more time on direct patient care activities.
Characteristics of a Master’s Prepared Nurse
A master’s prepared nurse is a well-rounded nurse with diverse experiences, knowledge, and insight. A master’s prepared nurse is determined, highly motivated, well-educated employee. A master’s prepared nurse is a critical thinker with invaluable leadership skills; eager for new challenges and professional growth. It’s this skill set that allows the master’s prepared nurse to flourish in the quick paced, ever changing field of nursing informatics.
Anywhere a clinical nurse is employed, a nurse informatics specialist is employed. Nurse informatics specialists can work in virtually all healthcare settings; from a public health agency to a public health information technology company, nurse informatics specialists are employable in every healthcare setting in the world.
To be successful as a nurse informatics specialist, one must possess certain competencies. The nurse informatics specialist must have excellent computer skills with an understanding of how to effectively use computer software programs (Microsoft Word, Excel), knowledge flow of clinical workflow in hospitals and outpatient care settings, and knowledge of Federally Qualified Healthcare standards (JCAHO).
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The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 mandated that by January 1, 2014, all public and private healthcare providers and other eligible professionals (EP) must have adopted and demonstrated meaningful use of electronic medical records (EMR) in order to maintain their existing Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement levels” (Centers of Medicare and Medicaid, ). This act also provides healthcare providers with financial incentives if they are able to demonstrate “meaningful use” of EHR.
The field of nursing informatics is unlike any other nursing field today. Nursing informatics utilizes the technology advances of the 21st century to influence and improve the quality of patient care in an indirect patient care role. Unlike the specialties of clinical systems management or nurse educator, a nurse informatics specialist works side by side with healthcare providers to outline and apply computerized documentation systems that enhance accuracy, reduce workload, and facilitate the analysis of clinical data between healthcare providers. A nurse informatics specialist determines ways to improve the rate, usability, readiness and precision of healthcare provider’s documentation, thus simplifying and enhancing documentation
The field of nursing informatics is one of the fastest growing specializations in healthcare today. Nursing informatics utilizes health information technology to improve the health of patients and their families worldwide. A nurse informatics specialist streamlines the management and communication in nursing, vastly enhancing the productivity, reducing healthcare services costs and improving patient care quality. The nurse informatics specialist must have excellent computer skills with an understanding of how to effectively use computer software programs (Microsoft Word, Excel), knowledge flow of clinical workflow in hospitals and outpatient care settings, and knowledge of Federally Qualified Healthcare standards.
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