Nursing profession, like any other professional undertaking, faces dynamic challenges in its entirety. One area that has been impacted and transformed with the technological development in the last two decades is the use of technological tools to solve problems in nursing. Among the problems is the preservation and storage of records related to the patients in a nursing environment. With the pressure to incorporate technological tools in the preservation and storage of information material both in physical and digital formats. The general development of nursing informatics within the nursing profession comes with a number of challenges including resistance not only from the patients but also from some nurses and professionals working in the nursing industry. The nursing information departments in many health care centers have undergone tremendous changes in the way information is stored and accessed for the purposes of practicing nursing as a community undertaking. With modern information tools and software, the issues of confidentiality in the preservation and storage of information related to the health of a client have come under scrutiny. To this end, there is need to have a practice theory to help nurses and physicians working in health industry to utilize information and records preservation tools in a way that will satisfy all stakeholders in the health care industry.
Involving Adaptation Theory
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In inculcating nursing informatics in their work, nurses must therefore utilize Callista Roy’s theory of adaptation which emphasizes that humans are biopsychosocials that continually interact with a dynamic work environment through biopsychosocial adaptation mechanisms (Harmeet & Rajinder, 2013). With development in technology and increase in the production of information resources in health care industry, nurses must focus on their ability to adapt to change as a means of integrating new development in their work. This will enable them to ensure that new developments in the management of information do not become an impediment to their work. It will rather act as a facilitative tool to make their work easier, faster, and efficient.
The inclusion of electronic tools in the delivery of services by nurses has come both with the advantages and disadvantages. Most important is that nursing informatics has given nurses a greater control in the management and evaluation of data and processes that take place in the health centers. This was initially not possible. Similarly, the use of technology has also reduced on the time required to access and available information on patient history. With the manual system, the nurses spent much time looking for patients’ related information some of which could easily get lost (Eun-Ok & Chang, 2012). It has also enhanced the safety and confidentiality of information which has traditionally been stored in cabinets and other unsafe places. The benefits accruing from the use of technology in the management and analysis of patient records is also evident in the reduction in the cost of managing the records because it gives the nurses and physicians to update files rather than opening new ones as has been the norm in the past.
However, Gee, Greenwood & Kim (2012) noted that nursing informatics has increased the cost of running a health center especially where the administration has to acquire electronic tools such as computers to help in the storage of information and manage them. Some of the services are outsourced to the professionals and this can escalate the overall cost of managing a hospital. The costs are normally passed down to the patient as the final consumer of the services and this is reflected in the increasing costs of treatment in hospitals and other health center. Similarly, nurses are forced to retrain in order to be able to use the health information management systems that are put in place. The institution may also incur expenses in organizing for trains and providing the employees with knowledge and skills on how to use the systems put in place (Harmeet & Rajinder, 2013). Additionally, there is a perception that nursing informatics and electronic systems can lead to collapse of the emergency services especially where the institution entirely depends on the electronic system like in the management and analysis of patient records. There is also the issue of confidentiality where a person may hack thesystem and access the information about the management and running of the hospital (Harmeet & Rajinder, 2013).
The field of nursing informatics has grown partly out of the need to keep up with the expectations of industry stakeholders on the delivery and partly as a result of the general revolution happening in the entire health industry facilitated with changing policies and the availability of technology tools. Regardless of the reason for the development of nursing informatics as an important branch in nursing, the impact of this practice on the health industry cannot be overstated. As a result of the need to provide high quality and efficient services to clients in the health sector, nurses have had to include the use of electronic toolsand software in the management and administration of data. As outlined by Harmeet & Rajinder (2013), the adoption of electronic tools in the management of records in health centers alongside the policy and procedural changes happening in health provision and insurance services highlights the epitome of the efforts that governments and other stakeholders in the health sector have put in place to ensure that people not only access affordable health care services but also the services are of good quality. The nursing profession has taken lead alongside other related professionals like physicians to inculcate the use of information management systems in the delivery of services in the health industry (Eun-Ok & Chang, S2012).
Application to the Informatics Department
According to Bonnie & Abbie (2009), the nursing profession has undergone positive changes since the introduction of technology tools in the management and evaluation of data in health care institutions. In particular, nursing informatics as a nursing specialty has continued to be an integral part in the health care sector through its provision of effective delivery of services and differentiation of roles in terms of selection, evaluation, and implementation of information technology tools in health care and overall support of safe, cost efficient, and high quality services to the patients. Moreover, with nursing informatics a health center is able to introduce a culture in health care where physicians and nurses are using current and accurate information from various sources and are able to easily share this information with their colleagues (Gee, Greenwood & Kim, 2012).
Additionally, it is also through nursing informatics that nurses can be able to participate in professional organizations and conferences with their like-minded colleagues and share interests on how to provide better services to their clients. This will greatly improve the level of professionalism and service delivery among nurses especially in the wake of a proliferation of patients who seek for medical attention in the health centers(Harmeet & Rajinder, 2013). Through nursing informatics systems, the government and the regulatory bodies in the health sector can also track and analyze the performance of a nurse and recommend changes where the nurse might not be adhering to the rules. The field will also enabled the nurses to track medical records of their patients using data analysis tools and be able to provide necessary changes in medical prescriptions where patients do not show improvement in their health status even after medications have been administered (Gee, Greenwood & Kim, 2012).
With the advent of different electronic tools for nurses, the role of nurses in health care will continue to expand. For instance, many nurses are now working as specialists in various capacities and this is meant to achieve efficiency and better service delivery. It is on this premise that nursing informatics, as a crucial branch in the management and analysis of health data, will continue to provide nurses with a more enhanced opportunity to control and manage their information during delivery of services to the patients (Garrett & Callear, 2011). A typical nursing informatics specialist will play key a role in developing implementing and evaluating health information systems and technology applications together with the processes used in the health centre. This will assist nurses and health care providers with management of their data. This therefore means that as a professional health care providers, nurses will no longer be confined in dealing with patients in wards but will also play a role in evaluating the systems through which information flows from the physician to the patient and vice versa (Eun-Ok & Chang, 2012).
This is significant given that the delivery of health information is basic to the realization of the duties of a physician. Thus, nurses are strategically placed to use informatics as a tool in assisting in this realization. As I have always seen, the nurses are also supposed to participate in identifying and analyzing relevant data that will be used in the care of patients. On many occasions, nursing informatics specialists are and will continuously be called upon to use their informatics science skills to design and implement health information technology systems and apply it in resolving clinical and health care problems associated with administration. The dynamic work environment also means that nursing informatics specialist must be able to develop and implement policies and practices which will ensure that the privacy, security, and confidentiality of information related to the patient is enhanced in their work environment (Bonnie & Abbie, 2009).
Application of the concepts and Principles
The theory of adaptation will be applied by training the nurses on the use of new systems of records management in their place of work and also the skills to adapt to change to ensure that the dynamic nature of the work environment in nursing does not cause a breakdown in the delivery of services. All stakeholders in the health care industry including the patients and physicians will have to be involved in the introduction and implementation of nursing informatics in the management of information to avoid confusion in the service delivery. The management of the institution will also be involved because the implementation of the new system of managing information will require financial as well as professional assistance from other stakeholders.
The use of an information management system will therefore be useful at all times in the delivery of services with physicians and nurses both benefiting from the efficiency in service delivery to their patients. It will also help in reducing cases of missing documents as movement of important documents from one department to the other will be monitored through the system. In many cases the resources will be digital so that their getting lost will become difficult. One of the ethical or legal issues which are likely to face the nursing profession in the use of information systems in management of information resources is the issue of confidentiality and the permission that different people will need to have particular information. This is because with digital information distribution of such information by an individual with permission may be easy. It will just be involving copying steps unlike in the manual system where the files are to be moved from one individual to the other.
In conclusion, the nursing profession stands a great chance of benefiting in the information department from the incorporation of the use of adaption theory in using new tools for management of information and thereby increases the efficiency of service delivery to patients of a health institution. Records are an important element in the delivery of services to patients and nurses have a responsibility not just to ensure that patients are attended to in hospitals but also that their records can be easily accessed whenever they are needed. Such records must also be kept confidential from unauthorized access.
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