I'm taking a NI course and hoping a practicing informatics nurse or informatics nurse specialist could answer a couple of questions for me.
1. What department (nursing, IT, etc.) do you report to?
2. What advantages and disadvantages do you have with your reporting relationship?
Jan 29, '13
I began Informatics in 2001 with a new HIS at our hospital. At that time I reported to my unit manager/VP of nursing along with the IT project manager.
After our go live I stayed on and at that time directly reported to the VP of nursing.
After a few years I was changed to report to the Director of Education who reported to the VP of nursing. Shortly thereafter the director I reported to was moved to HR. So for a while we were there. Then a Department of Clinical Informatics was formed with my former nursing school mate as the director. It was basically the 2 of us and she had several other areas that were reporting to her. She of course reported to another school mate the above mentioned VP of nursing! Then the CI director moved away, and I was transitioned to report to a manager in the IT department. So, when I retired from that facility after 37 years before moving to this one, I was an IT employee!
Having written all that it sounds like a lot of moves and I guess it was. I retired from there in 2010 and moved from NW Ohio to NE Vermont. For the first 1.5 years I reported to IT director who hired me. Then our hospital decided that a department of Clinical Informatics was needed. So my co-worker who has worked there for many years and been in the Informatics realm for 20 years now and I moved the CI department with our former co=worker who is now our director. We also have 2.5 other nurses working with us, 2 in the ambulatory arena and one who was on the clinical team building our latest HIS and likes the work working with us for 16 hours per week.
After all of that, I firmly believe we ARE still nurses even if we are not at the bedside. Our work impacts clinical areas AND ancillary areas all over the facility. When I was in the Nursing department I was penciled into IT. When I was in IT I was penciled into Nursing. A solid communication line has to be maintained no matter where you are. I love the clinical informatics department I am in now. We are all wonderful supportive people. each of us has our own strengths and weaknesses and we help each other. This is the best of all possible situations is to have a Clinical Informatics department. If that isn't possible, either IT or Nursing with excellent communication between with you as the interface is mandatory!
I am done with my spiel now! Sorry for the length!