Nurses' Involvement With IT Systems Increasing
April 30, 2007
As hospitals continue to develop and adopt electronic health record systems, the demand for nurse informaticists, who can serve as a link between IT and clinical care, has increased, the Dallas Morning News reports.
At least 75% of nurse informaticists are developing or helping their health care
facilities adopt clinical information or documentation systems, according to an
industry survey. However, so few nurses have doctoral degrees in informatics
that nursing schools are having difficulty finding qualified faculty to help
train new nurses for the role.
"Many nurses working in nursing informatics roles learn on the job, building on
their nursing experience with information management," Poldi Tschirch, director of nursing informatics at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, said.
Patricia Dykes, head of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems
Society's nursing informatics committee, said, "I see a wider recognition of the
value that nurses with advanced education in informatics bring to system design, implementation and evaluation."
Though beneficial, some nurses and other health care providers can get an IT
position without formal certification, Valerie Anderson, a registered nurse and
a patient care manager at Baylor Health System in Dallas, said.
"It is not enough to have programmers and engineers designing and implementing these systems," Mary Beth Mitchell, director of clinical informatics at Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, said (Kreimer, Dallas Morning News, 4/29).
Quote from rninformatics
NO you do not have to be a nurse to get "into" informatics. You can have a clinical background in Laboratory sciences, hold a Pharm degree or have experience in any of the other sciences. . If you are investigating how to enter the field of Clinical Informatics or Healthcare Informatics it would be beneficial to have a background or experience in one of the sciences/clinical disciplines within healthcare.
If you are looking at getting into a pure IS/IT (Information Systems/Information Technology) role (programmer, network engineer, etc) then of course you don't need a biological sciences or clinical background.
Historically information systems vendors and IT depts once hired primarily non-clinical IT professionals (such as programmers) to build systems for clinicians (physicians, nurses, etc). The major problem with those systems were that the programmers and non-clinical IT people rarely understood the complexities of healthcare, medical and nursing practice. The non-clinical IT professionals tended to underestimate the value of a clinical background combined with healthcare informatics expertise. Thereby producing systems wholly inadequate and insufficient for real world clinical practice and for how medicine and nursing are truly practiced. Many of us within healthcare today are still struggling with these poorly designed systems.
Think of it like this. How effective would a wrench be that I a nurse built for my mechanic? How effective would that same wrench be if I then also told my mechanic how to use it? Hey I did watch him working on the car and I did read the owner's manual, right?