The informatics that is available to nurses is amazing.  Although there is always going to be something that someone thinks of that will improve the quality and speed of how we do our jobs,  we as nurses have to be willing to have intellectual integrity that moves us beyond our own needs (Rubenfeld & Schaeffer, 2014).  I used to work remotely from home as a manager for field case managers.  Our case managers would go out in the field and see the members on our health plan. They carried a laptop so that they could document anywhere and pull up their member’s information.  Of course the security to get into the laptop was only via an ever-changing token so that they could access it. With protected health information, the nurses had to be extremely aware of technology.

nurse-wah

Years ago, many nurses had to document on paper when they would visit a patient in their home and they carried a paper chart in their car.  Informatics has improved in leaps and bounds.

laptop-in-car

When the case manager is at the member’s home, they are able to do their assessments right in the member’s home and share the outcome from the assessments with the member.  Meetings were held via WebEx when we had them because everyone worked from home. This made training on a new process easier giving everyone the ability to receive new information at the same time.

Female doctor visits elderly woman patient in nursing home. Laptop.

We also had a patient interface after the member was enrolled in our program.  The member would get in the patient status screen and would be able to add goals to their plan of care that they wanted to work on.  When the member filled this out, the nurse on the file would receive an alert that someone updated their file.

Close-up of happy female doctor talking with senior patient at clinic.

I see many opportunities for transforming knowledge from the use of informatics.  For instance if we were able to send doctors an email right from the member’s file, and get the reply from them instantly, it would cut back on the time and phone calls to doctors to get certain forms filled out for the teams throughout.   Some nurses that did not grow up with computers may have a challenge adapting, but with some education that can be done right from WebEx, they can learn.  Computers and their programs are not going anywhere; they are the wave of the future.

1273412_doctor_computer_2-1

References

Rubenfeld, M. G., & Scheffer, B. (2014). Critical Thinking Tactics for Nursing Achieving the IOM Competencies (3rd ed.). [P2BS-11]. Retrieved from http://online.vitalsource.com/books/9781284059571

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