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Over the years, nursing informatics (NI) has become a growing professional specialty. What was once a nurse interested in computers has now advanced to a formally taught vocation focused on data, knowledge, and information. “NI has become a viable and essential nursing specialty with the introduction of computers and the electronic health record (EHR) to health care” (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2018, p. 129).
An experience where I vividly remember interacting with NI was when Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE) was initiated at my place of employment. CPOE is a process that allows health care providers to input medical orders electronically in a hospital setting, thereby eliminating the use of written paper or verbal orders. Many of the physicians were accustomed to the “traditional” way of inputting orders (paper, telephone, or fax), so nursing informaticists were utilized around the clock to assist them with their issues and questions as needed.
NI worked to improve our healthcare system by decreasing medication errors and increasing safe use (Randhawa et al., 2019). NI remained solely responsible for the systems accuracy, maintenance, and proper design; they were the leaders of generating a securer, more effective EHR.
One strategy on how interactions with NI could improve would be the accessibility of contact regarding CPOE and the overall EHR. We use Meditech, and our version is prehistoric. Although we rarely have updates, it can be frustrating for the nursing staff and physicians. Suppose an in-house, on-call nursing informaticist was easily accessible to take immediate concerns or questions at any hour. In that case, we could remedy the problem and build a cohesive, synergistic relationship that would benefit the organization and the relationship between NI and bedside staff.
NI and health information technology (HIT) will continue to grow and eventually be an essential part of every domain in the nursing practice (Jouparinejad et al., 2020). Because NI supports evidence-based practice (EBP), it should have an encouraging effect on professional interactions, particularly nursing practice, as we strive to reduce healthcare costs, promote patient safety, and enhance healthcare quality. As new technologies are developed and utilized, the relationship between the NI department and bedside nurses must remain transparent as feedback is necessary for growth, competency, and overall success.
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