What is nursing informatics and what does it mean for me as a manager of RNs?
Informatics is the study of information. According to the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, nursing informatics is a specialty that integrates nursing science, computer science and information science to manage and communicate data, information, knowledge and wisdom in registered nursing practice.
Simply stated, it is a way that nursing information technologies are used for the purpose of improving human health. Data from electronic sources such as medical records or other health information devices and technology can be gathered, analyzed and interpreted by RNs to determine the impacts of registered nursing care on specific populations of people.
An RN that works in nursing informatics focuses on patient data and computer systems, and acts as a point of communication between direct care RNs, administrators and educators and hospital or facility IT staff. They provide valuable input into quality of care decision-making and use data to guide when changes or adjustments to nursing care should be made. Nursing quality improvement initiatives are generally focused on the use of nursing informatics to achieve improved patient outcomes along with reduced errors, reduced costs, improved coordination of care, etc.
As a manager, you may be responsible for seeking out and/or working closely with an RN informaticist to make evidence-informed decisions and to support nursing staff to pursue quality improvement through nursing informatics. It is necessary for managers of RNs to understand the accountabilities and responsibilities of RNs in relation to nursing informatics and the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs).
- RNs utilize nursing informatics and other information and communications technology in practicing safe registered nursing care (1).
- RNs contribute to the development and integration of quality improvement principles and activities into nursing practice (2).
- RNs proactively seek new information and knowledge, employ a critical inquiry process and utilize best practice in the provision of registered nursing care (3).
- The RN provides safe, ethical, competent, compassionate, client-centred and evidence-informed registered nursing care across the lifespan in response to client needs (4).
- RNs use knowledge of the impact of evidence-informed registered nursing practice on client health outcomes (5).
- RNs use best evidence to make informed decisions (6).
- RNs engage in activities to strengthen competence in nursing informatics (7).
- RNs identify and analyze emerging evidence and technologies that may change, enhance or support health care (8).
- RNs advocate for evidence-informed decision-making in their practice including, for example, evidence for best practices in staffing and assignment, best care for health conditions and best approaches to health promotion (9).
|1||Registered Nurse Practice Standards (2019)||Indicator 22, page 5|
|2||Registered Nurse Practice Standards (2019)||Indicator 10, page 4|
|3||Registered Nurse Practice Standards (2019)||Indicator 18, page 5|
|4||Registered Nurse Entry-Level Competencies (2019)||Competency 1.1, page 6|
|5||Registered Nurse Entry-Level Competencies (2019)||Competency 1.23, page 7|
|6||Registered Nurse Entry-Level Competencies (2019)||Competency 9.1, page 13|
|7||Registered Nurse Entry-Level Competencies (2019)||Competency 9.4, page 13|
|8||Registered Nurse Entry-Level Competencies (2019)||Competency 9.5, page 13|
|9||Canadian Nurses Association Code of Ethics (2017)||F7, page 16|