Informatics and technology in my nursing practice is very important because it allows me to able to access my patient’s electronic health record. Accessing a patient’s electronic health record allows me to see their lab values, vital signs, nursing orders, pass medications using the MAR, and document accordingly. We still use paper methods for certain situations; However, I think that in the future we will continue to steer away from paper methods and have complete electronic access. As electronic access continues to improve within all the different systems used between hospitals, it may ultimately expand globally. Thus, improving the continuity of care.
As stated in our lesson this week, nursing informatics is designed to “improve the health population, communities, families and individuals by optimizing information management and communication” (Massachusetts Action Coalition Future of Nursing, 2016, p. 12). However, ethical issues might arise from the use of technology and informatics. Examples include, but are not limited to a breach in confidentiality, wrongfully accessing information, and losing data that is pertinent to patient care (Hood, 2018, p. 374-375).
Research by Jelec, Sukalic, & Friganovic (2016), states that the greatest challenge that nurses face with modern technology is finding a balance between technology and human interaction (p. 26). I find this statement to be particularly interesting because it something I know I have a hard time balancing. How many times have I been guilty of being caught up with trying to complete my charting, especially on a busy day that I forget to take the time to sit down and have a conversation with my patients? As technology continues to improve, I can see this balance continue to be an issue between patients and healthcare professionals.
One of my greatest challenge when I started nursing was getting use to our data system. I remember it taking my a while to get familiar with the data system and knowing where I could access certain resources, such as our online drug information and policies within the network. I now believe on of my greatest challenges in the use of informatics and technology within my practice is the “unknown”. I want to know how my patient, who may have been transferred to higher level of care, is doing. However, once the patient is no longer in my care I am not allowed to access their medical record because it would violate HIPAA.
To add on to Professor Zeisler’s statement, I too have had the same concerns. I have across charting on a patient and have noted certain things, that are quite noticeable when assessing a patient, but no one has documented accordingly. It makes me wonder, are nurses truly assessing the patient or are you just in a hurry to finish your charting and mistakenly select WDL? In response to all the concerns that nurses have had in regards to our electronic system, we have frequent updates to make our charting more “user friendly”.
Hood, L. J. (2018). Leddy & Pepper’s professional nursing (9th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Jelec, K., Sukalic, S., & Friganovic, A. (2016) Nursing and Implementation of Modern Technology. Signa Vitae, 12(1), 23-27.
Massachusetts Action Coalition Future of Nursing (2016). The Massachusetts Nursing Core Competencies: A toolkit for implementation in education and practice settings. (2nd ed.). Retrieved from http://www.mass.edu/nahi/documents/NursingCoreCompetenciesToolkit-March2016.pdf (Links to an external site.)