In these times of major health care reform and the use of federal incentives to encourage the use of technology in doctors’ offices, hospitals and clinics, advancing nursing information systems has become a critical goal.
The fact of the matter is that not only can these systems provide medical staff with a smoother day at work, but they are also promising to enable nurses with the ability to deliver better care to their patients.
Regardless of whether they are enrolled in an advanced nursing program or working on getting their associate degree in nursing, those who are currently on the path to becoming a nurse will no doubt be introduced to the idea of an integrated information system while they are still in training.
The nurses who have already been a part of the workforce for many years are the ones who will need to adjust to a new way of doing things, from records going from paper to electronic files to how different members of a medical team will be able to communicate and work together.
New nursing information systems offer a wide range of benefits to both the healthcare professional and the patient, not the least of which is that it puts everyone one the same page.
Because electronic files can be shared much more readily between team members, there’s a substantial reduction in the risk of a patient receiving conflicting treatments or missing a needed test or treatment due to confusion on anyone’s part.
Through clinical data integration, nurses can see the information that any member of the team has produced on the patient and that data can then be analyzed right away in order to determine their next course of treatment.
In that same vein, an electronic health record (EHR) enables care providers with the ability to see the patient’s history from well-before the time when the patient came to be in their care.
In an example, say a person from Montana is involved in a car accident while on vacation in Florida and they are unconscious when they arrive at the hospital.
With an EHR available, the nurse in the Florida hospital would be privy to the fact that the patient was on medication for high-blood pressure and they could then plan their treatment with this information in mind.
Up until recently, unless there was a member of the person’s family present and able to provide this data to the medical team, it was often simply not available to them.
Another advantage to updated nursing information systems lies in the fact that it takes nurses less time to input a patient’s data, thereby leaving more time for the actual care of patients.
In the past, since a good part of a nursing professional’s shift might be spent transcribing the details of a person’s medical progress with pen and paper, there was an unavoidable reduction in the amount of time that could be dedicated to patient care.
With electronic health records, however, patient information can often be recorded in just a matter of minutes, freeing up the nursing staff to perform tasks that are more immediately necessary to patient care and comfort.
A higher level of accuracy can also be attributed to the use of more modern information systems, a benefit that can only lead to better patient care in the end.
Vital statistics are automatically integrated into the record of the patient, eliminating the risk of error that is always present when it comes to handwritten or manually keyed data.
Aside from that, EHRs also solve an age-old problem that has been at the heart of a number of cases of misdiagnoses and inappropriate testing or treatment over the years.
Medicine is finally seeing an end to the days of staff having to try to decipher the handwriting of another person in order to administer treatment. Electronic records are clear to anyone, so the next step of the patient’s treatment also becomes clearer.
With the development of systems that provide nurses with decision support, a feature that uses reminders and prompts to help the user come to an appropriate treatment plan, nurses can now feel more secure in their decisions.
More importantly, they are much less likely to make an error if the system questions them about their choice. Decision support functions also offer guides that show disease linkages based on symptoms that the patient may be displaying.
These systems have the capability of providing the user with access to online medical resources as well, empowering them with more information in the moment and the opportunity to make a more informed decision about their patient’s care.
Anymore, someone who looks up the term “nurse career information” or “registered nursing information” will find that there are a lot of nursing programs out there and that all of them are putting a heavy emphasis on nursing information systems.
After all, with this technology’s ability to increase accuracy, productivity and communication among medical personnel, it has a huge amount of potential to improve the standards of care for patients as well.