NURS 6401 Week 2: The Dual Nature of Informatics Systems

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NURS 6401 Week 2: The Dual Nature of Informatics Systems essay assignment

NURS 6401: Informatics in Nursing and Healthcare | Week 2 essay assignment

The field of health informatics has experienced exponential growth. Today, many health care organizations use electronic health records to gather and store patient information. For example, Kaiser Permanente—a health care organization based in California—uses a system called My Health Manager. This system stores patient information and also provides patients access to their lab test results, medication information, summaries of their health conditions, appointment scheduling, and more (Doherty, Poorsina, & Kahn, 2010, p. 4). Consider the advantages of having all that health information at your fingertips!

NURS 6401 Week 2: The Dual Nature of Informatics Systems essay assignment

This week, you examine how informatics can improve the quality of patient care. You consider the use of informatics at the point of care as well as how informatics can be used to aggregate data and inform care for future patients and whole populations.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Analyze the dual nature of informatics systems
  • Appraise roles and responsibilities of the nurse informaticist
  • Evaluate personal attributes and skills needed for future roles in nursing informatics

Informatics can be used for improving health outcomes not only for individual patients, but also for whole groups of patients with similar conditions. This is often referred to as the dual nature of informatics. Technologies, such as electronic health records (EHRs) and clinical decision support (CDS) systems, can provide insights and guidance for health care professionals at the point of care. In addition, data warehousing and mining allow health care organizations to use the vast amount of information stored in EHRs to make predictions and diagnoses for other patients with similar conditions.

In this Discussion, you examine the dual nature of informatics. First, you review a scenario and consider the patient information to be collected and recorded at the point of care. Then, you decide how this information could be aggregated for population health and future use.

Consider the following scenario:

Mrs. Jones has come into your office stating that she has been experiencing frequent dizzy spells. She also reports that she has been unable to eat anything substantial over the last few days due to extreme nausea. The last time Mrs. Jones was in your office, the physician had suggested she start walking around the block or bicycling around the neighborhood to get her activity level up. Mrs. Jones admits that she did very little of that after a “flip-flop” feeling of her heart scared her. You know that her symptoms could be a result of many conditions. Following the prompts on your informatics system, you begin to gather more specific information about Mrs. Jones’ symptoms and health history.

To prepare:

  • Based on the scenario, what information would you want to immediately gather about Mrs. Jones?
  • With that in mind, compile a list of patient questions you would like an EHR documentation screen to have.
  • How might the information derived from these questions help you provide high-quality care to Mrs. Jones?
  • Once this information is collected, what alerts might be critical to the evaluation of Mrs. Jones?
  • Review this week’s media presentation, Dual Nature of Informatics Systems, and reflect on the movement towards more transparent data and meaningful use. How might the data entered about an individual patient help to build preventative care and treatment for whole populations?
  • Refer back to your list of patient questions. Of these questions, which would generate data that could be aggregated for use with a larger group of patients? (Note: When developing your questions, consider the whole patient.)

By Day 3

Post a description of the ideal EHR documentation screen that you would like to have at the point of care for all patients and why. Explain how information gathered at the point of care with an individual patient can be aggregated to help provide high quality care to a larger population of patients.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses.

By Day 6

Respond to at least two of your colleagues on two different days using one or more of the following approaches:

  • Ask a probing question, substantiated with additional background information, evidence or research.
  • Share an insight from having read your colleagues’ postings, synthesizing the information to provide new perspectives.
  • Validate an idea with your own experience and additional research.
  • Make a suggestion based on additional evidence drawn from readings or after synthesizing multiple postings.

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