Question to all NIs

by bryan_del bryan_del, ADN, MSN Member

Specializes in Psych/OR. Has 5 years experience.

OK so I know this may sound silly but what exactly do NI’s do? Do you guys teach the EHR system to new hires? Troubleshoot EHR issues that may arise? Do you guys give presentations to upper leaders about changes that are needed to the EHR system? Or do you guys just sit in front of a computer like a desk job? I’m not sure what NI’s do and a lot of the research I’ve come across isn’t straight forward, which is quite annoying to be honest. If anybody can answer these questions it will be much appreciated, thanks. 

DataJack BSN-RN

DataJack BSN-RN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Informatics, Critical Care, Case Management. Has 11 years experience. 19 Posts

Yes to all your questions. I think you might be confused because you might be thinking "either this or that," but the answer is all of the above. The biggest difference for me was going from a front-line and critical role to a supportive one. My role as a nurse informaticist will always be support - for nurses, for physicians, for leaders. 

I teach EHR, I audit medical records, I troubleshoot technical and workflow issues, I investigate significant events (and what role the EHR played), I assess the need for improvement (of the EHR), I brainstorm user engagement (of the EHR), I present my findings to leaders, I sometimes coordinate EHR-related projects, I build reports (extracted from EHR data), and I learn new content in a growing technological environment. 

On my informatics team, there are people with different backgrounds (not necessarily clinical) and we all have different roles, but some may bleed over. I am not a leader by personality, but I have a knack for technology and I have a good grasp of nursing and patient care. However, I find myself always being thrust into leadership roles, or at least engaging other leaders (managers, directors, and chief execs) because no one else in the hospital knows the EHR better than I do.