Module 7 Healthcare Informatics Applications Part II

Module 7 Healthcare Informatics Applications Part II

The Future of Healthcare Informatics

With today’s global advancements in technology, nearly every sector has been impacted in one way or the other through integration of services using information technology systems. The most notable sector that has been transformed in a big way is the healthcare industry, which has seen a rise of healthcare services being integrated with information technology. This has contributed to the rise in demand for the nurse informaticists, with a great role in the analyzation of the information requirements, design, implementation as well as evaluation of information systems within a clinical setting (Vernic, 2019). The informatics nurse has been an integral part in the care dissemination by providing a wider technological support and data structures that assists the daily nursing operations. All these efforts are geared towards the improvement of the patient healthcare outcomes. This paper will focus on the current and future roles of informatics nurse, provide an overview on connected health and as highlight on ways that informatics has impacted the public health.

The Current and The Future Role of The Informatics Nurse

Informatics nurse position has been a recent emerging support role within the clinical setting, where nurses and other health professionals have found solace when it comes to the matters concerning the technological integration and usability of the information systems during the care dissemination. The informatics is becoming increasingly important in the healthcare settings, where the informatics nurse plays an important role in the care coordination by managing and communicating health data, availing information, sharing knowledge and performing system diagnosis within the nursing practice ((Vernic, 2019). Moreover, by performing the routine system checks and interacting with the rest of the healthcare professions, the informatics nurse can establish the status of the current processes for identification of areas that may require improvements. 

What’s more, informatics nurses also play a role in the areas of leadership, management, as well as administration of functional areas within the healthcare setting, more so those that touch on the information and data management (Kassam et al., 2017). The real time provision of crucial patient data including their medical histories provides a fast diagnosis through informed clinical decisions that suits the current patient’s health status. On the other hand, this also saves time and costs associated with unnecessary delays, thus leading to the quality improvement in the service delivery. Furthermore, informatics nurses enhance the interprofessional collaboration, thus improving service delivery through combination of skills, sharing of knowledge and exchange of ideas that are geared towards resolving clinical cases and improving the healthcare outcomes for the patients (Vernic, 2019). 

With the smooth running of the information systems through the support provided by the informatics nurses, there is a notable increased accuracy and efficiency of the clinical processes which strengthens the nurse practice care management and leadership (Strudwick et al., 2017). On the other hand, the availability and application of information technology through the support of the informatics nurses has also provided an improved access to clinical evidence, thus creating a room for the evidence-based practice and improved research methodologies that results in improved care. Areas of data collection, tracking and analysis have been improved drastically hence leading to improved care dissemination. 

Nevertheless, there are crucial projected future roles for the informatics nurses as the healthcare sector continues to be transformed by the aspects of information technology. The future roles of the informatics nurses will center on the automation of patient data and related records, where they will form an integral resource within the care dissemination through offering technical support in the overall operation of the systems, as well as development of system aspects that are geared towards the improvement of the records and the patient data (Kassam et al., 2017). 

Module 7 Healthcare Informatics Applications Part II

Furthermore, informatics nurses heading into the future will also play an important role in simplifying the data collection processes, especially when it comes to the clinical research. On the other hand, the informatics nurses will play an integral part in ensuring that there are enhanced system improvements through the integration of the emerging technologies to provide a real-time access to patient information anytime, anywhere. The future of nursing informatics is promising considering that this is one area which has been projected to grow over the coming five years, with an average growth of more than any other health profession (Vernic, 2019). 

Connected Health and Examples

Connected health refers to the model of the healthcare management that encompasses the use of technology to provide the healthcare services remotely. With the emergence of the informatics in healthcare, connected health has become a fast-growing area of care dissemination, with preference being associated with the numerous benefits that the model provides. The connected health model utilizes electronic devices that are modeled to suit the patient needs as well as comply with the data communication protocols to enable remote care dissemination in the best way possible. Through the communication platforms established by the connected health, there is a possibility of sharing data and information in regard to the involved patient status through the smart use of data as well as the support devices (Loiselle & Ahmed, 2017). Therefore, connected health models have in a big way reduced the health care costs and translated to the improvement of quality of life as well as increase in the convenience of patients through improved satisfaction and healthcare outcomes. 

Module 7 Healthcare Informatics Applications Part II

In todays connected health application, there are numerous types of connected models that the healthcare settings utilize, depending on the nature of the clinical activities that requires to be executed. These integrates the digital health with the sociotechnical models that ensures topnotch care service delivery and active and efficient interventions for the overall benefit of the patient. Some of the widely applied connected health models include the remote patient monitoring (RPM), mobile personal emergency response systems (mPERS) and the decentralized clinical trials (DCTs). All these connected health models have revolutionized the remote care dissemination, therefore enhancing the care services within such settings. Monitoring of the patients, conduct of the clinical trials, as well as emergency response have been improved with an easy access and improved communication between the medical professionals and the patients within the remote settings. 

For the Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) model, it creates the room for patients remote monitoring outside their usual clinical settings. This leads to increased access to the care and as well, cuts on costs associated with one-on-one care settings. Moreover, the model also provides a good platform to attend many more patients without the risk of burnout, especially with the nurses (Loiselle & Ahmed, 2017). Nevertheless, concerning the drawbacks for this model is that, there is need for frequent patient engagement to sensitize them on how to operate or wear devices. Furthermore, when performing a complex checkup, the patients require to avail themselves in person for the required procedures. For example, taking an X-ray or a lab test. On the other hand, the data transmission and security are also a big concern for both ends. 

Module 7 Healthcare Informatics Applications Part II

Concerning the decentralized clinical trials (DCTs), these are clinical trials that are brought right at the doorstep of the patient rather than what traditionally takes place at a trial site. This has seen improvements in the ways that trials have been conducted by addressing the challenges that the traditional methodologies fall short, especially on the patient-centric approaches (Loiselle & Ahmed, 2017). Moreover, DCTs offers an increased trial representation as many patients can participate in the trials, thus providing in-depth evidence than what the traditional trial methodology does. On the side of drawbacks for this model, it becomes impossible to get the right participants for the trial at one point. Furthermore, the DCTs are costly to manage, thereby creating unnecessary costs which the traditional ones might not incur.

What’s more, the Mobile Personal Emergency Response System (mPERS) involves a wearable portable device with a pushbutton connected with the patient’s phone and the call center. It is largely used for monitoring emergency cases, especially with the elderly patients at their homes. Once there is an emergency, one can push the button, and it will alert the call center for the appropriate response action. Equipped with a tracking GPRS system, the devices can be remotely located as one can tell the exact location of the patient from the call center. The greatest advantage on this system model is that it reduces the hospital visits and as well, contributes to the improvement of home-based care (Loiselle & Ahmed, 2017). However, its disadvantages are that poor network and limited battery life may cause inconveniences and sometimes place the lives of the patients at risk due to communication failure. 

The Ways That Informatics Has Impacted Public Health

Informatics within the healthcare has contributed immensely to the public health with recognizable positives that can be noted in the areas of disease prevention, as well as the health promotion efforts. The information technology innovations and solutions have been a great support towards the public health programs, making it possible for the achievement of the public health goals. The informatics has not only led to the fast execution of the public health matters, but as well, it has resulted into efficiency and cost reduction, thereby giving a chance for more care reach within the public sphere (Brewer et al., 2020). Through the integrated science and technology, the health professionals have been able to extend the informatics knowledge in the quest to supporting the population health and the public well-being, by empowering interventions for the diseases as well as their prevention. 

Module 7 Healthcare Informatics Applications Part II

In the recent past, this was evident through what has transpired in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Information technology has come in handy as healthcare workers employed all manner of healthcare technology in dealing with the pandemic. The evidence -based research enabled by the technological tools have even led to discovery of the vaccines, which has been a big milestone in combatting the pandemic (Brewer et al., 2020). Thanks to the informatics, the rapid response was supported by the massive advancements in the integration of healthcare technology in the world of public health. This will contribute a lot in bettering the health of the individuals and communities, as well as strengthening the future technological approaches to the global pandemics that greatly affects the public health. 

Another contribution for informatics has been on the tracking and disease surveillance where technology has been applied to control major diseases such as malaria and polio. With the help of the informatics, disease control has been achieved, thereby leading to predictive modeling that assists in controlling outbreaks for certain diseases within the public domain (Brewer et al., 2020).

The third example of the impact brought along by the informatics is the promotion of health through patient participation. Medical research, self-monitoring and home-based care, has been positively impacted by the informatics where the health professionals can disseminate the services remotely, patients can monitor conditions using technological gadgets and as well, one can make consultation online in regard to a clinical issue. These has all contributed to the improvement of healthcare leading to elevation of the public health as individuals and communities gets transformed through immense benefits brought along by the informatics.

Module 7 Healthcare Informatics Applications Part II

Conclusion

In a recap, the health informatics has been a great support in the care dissemination which has contributed to positive health outcomes for the patients. Furthermore, informatics has brought along the ease of executing clinical processes, especially when it comes to data capturing, storage, retrieval and sharing. The informatics nurses have been providing the required technical support to the rest of the healthcare professionals, working as a link between the employees and the system interactions. These professionals have also contributed a lot in the design, implementation and upgrading of the healthcare systems to better the service delivery. There is no doubt that the future healthcare service delivery will largely depend with the healthcare informatics advancements. 

References

Brewer, L., Fortuna, K., Jones, C., Walker, R., Hayes, S., Patten, C., Cooper, L.

(2020). Back to the future: Achieving health equity through health informatics and digital health. JMIR mHealth and uHealth, Article  8(1) doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.2196/14512 

Kassam, I., Nagle, L., Strudwick, G. (2017). Informatics competencies for nurse leaders: 

Protocol for a scoping review. BMJ Open, Article 7(12) doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2017-018855

Loiselle, C. G., & Ahmed, S. (2017). Is connected health contributing to a healthier population? 

Journal of Medical Internet Research, Article 19(11) doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.2196/jmir.8309 

Strudwick, G., Booth, R., Bjarnadottir, R., Collins, S., Srivastava, R. (2017). Exploring 

the role of the nurse manager in supporting point-of-care nurses’ adoption of electronic health records: Protocol for a qualitative research study. BMJ Open, Article  7(10) doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2017-018129

Vernic, C. (2019). Informatics in nursing. current and future trends. Applied Medical 

Informatics, Article 41, 35.

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