Many nurses are finding their places as change-makers specifically in the field of healthcare informatics.
Nurses have long been known as trusted members of integrated care teams. Concordia University now offers a Master of Science in Nursing – Healthcare Informatics to equip you with the skills you need to use data to elevate your ability to care for patients.
Nurses are leading the way in digital healthcare innovation. Really, they’re changing the whole healthcare delivery system. In a world that is continually more driven by data, the healthcare field needs its nurses to analyze this data and apply it to patient care.
What is Healthcare Informatics?
Healthcare Informatics is the scientific study of data, information, and knowledge, as they apply to the healthcare industry.
Why Should I Study Healthcare Informatics?
This program teaches nurses to analyze information and use it to make decisions that result in the highest level of patient care. Not only are nurses using data to improve health outcomes for larger populations, but individual patients benefit from data-driven innovations.
What can I do with a Master of Science in Nursing – Healthcare Informatics degree?
Program Director Jana Pownell, DNP-NI, states: “NIs (Nurse Informaticists) advocate at the local, state, and federal levels for data privacy. They also advocate to hold vendors accountable for their intentions when consumers use mobile health apps on their digital devices. Do you know what is done with your health data?”
In addition to advocacy, Pownell shared an example of NIs improving the healthcare experience at the Veteran’s Health Administration (VA). NIs led the way with the standardization of the admission assessment and screening. This means all 170 VA hospitals nationwide will use the same template for documentation. While the significance of this innovation might seem underwhelming, the outcome is something everyone can appreciate. This template cut patient wait times from about 35 minutes down to about 14 minutes! This is just one example that shows how the NI’s work impacts the patient experience while the hospital system gets better data. Better data means that NIs can perform their work with more confidence because the information they have is accurate.
Patient care is still the #1 focus.
Obviously, competency means better patient care. This program is built intentionally with both of these concepts in mind. There’s a 200-hour informatics residency requirement, which provides students with lots of hands-on experience. The curriculum set-up is exactly what students need to gain proficiency.
Isn’t Healthcare Informatics just working with patient record systems?
Not at all! Pownell states: “There is a common misconception among nurses. It’s that informatics is just working with patient record systems like Epic. That’s not true. It truly is using data to make better decisions to improve healthcare. We use the term ‘evidence-based’ a lot, which means looking at data from what has worked or not worked in the past to determine how to treat in the future.”
“NIs thoughtfully and purposefully analyze situations by thinking in systems. They manage and improve the collection, use, storage, and sharing of health information. Naturally, NIs advocate for consumer health by guiding policy related to information technologies – all while keeping patients, health consumers, and members of the healthcare team at the forefront.”
Today, nurses are further emboldened to advance the use of technology within the healthcare delivery system and accelerate the future of the digital healthcare environment, especially considering the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Healthcare Informatics is one way they can help innovate patient care.
Make Your Move.
Nurses formally trained in healthcare informatics are uniquely situated to affect change and lead within the healthcare industry. While on the job, NIs draw from their clinical nursing experience, evidence-based practices, and management of technologies and systems. They create, implement, and promote health and wellness within the healthcare ecosystem.
If you like advocacy, data, and have a passion for excellence in patient care, it might be time to make your move into Nursing-Healthcare Informatics.
Want to read more about how informatics can enhance your career? Click here for information on an Informatics Certificate.
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