Informatics: Strategy Before Technology

By: Denise Hammel

Within the Standards and Scope of Informatics Practice, the authors cite Benner, Hooper-Kyriadkidis, and Stannard (2011) concept of “Thinking-in-action” as a key approach to the administration of care. This is an important concept in light of the technology used in clinical practice today and how that technology might avow or disavowal itself to this ideal. Several time studies of EMR use among nurses suggest that approximately 90 minutes of nursing shift time is spent documenting. How much of that time is spent using the information that is available within the EMR for decision-making? Or said otherwise, supporting this concept of “Thinking-in-Action?” How is the information within the EMR translated into knowledge that a nurse might use as part of their clinical practice to perhaps alter their judgment about a patient or situation?

We still have a long journey in the maturation of technology to support the transformation of care delivery but this can be achieved with the advancement of the Informatics discipline.

What is a critical take-away from the Scope and Standards document but has perhaps been suppressed in how Informatics has been expressed in many organizations, is that Nursing Informatics is in essence the synesthesia of data and information into knowledge and wisdom. Information Technology is a means to accomplish this but Informaticists are not defined by the technology itself.

As Scope and Standards suggests, and to expand upon it, the Informatics expert must be prepared to see beyond the Technological tools themselves and understand the larger, more complex objectives they are trying to solve. Perhaps thinking of the connectedness of systems will create a technology impetus that creates improved working solutions.

Let us help you structure your Informatics program so you too can realize Thinking-in-Action. Talk to the experts at XcellenceFirst.

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