Now, with the federal government’s push towards electronic health records, nursing informatics increases in importance and pertinence. Initially information technology professionals handled the designing and development of software for clinical utilization. While technology staff are highly skilled at developing software, they are limited in understanding the work processes because they are not clinicians. The system design and development processes continue to be beneficial, but there are increasing benefits from incorporating nursing informaticists to help bridge the gap between the IT staff and clinicians.
The more nursing informatics is involved in the clinician process redesign and software design, the easier it is for nurses to adopt the use of the software. This is related to the software design being more closely modeled to the clinician’s workflows as well as the partnering with the clinicians at the bedside early in the design process. Nursing informatics professionals bridge the gap between the clinical staff and information technology departments because they understand the processes and workflow and the system design process.
Learn more about how to become an informatics nurse.
What are the specific job responsibilities of a nursing informatics professional?
Nursing informatics professionals do not generally come in contact with patients, at least not on a daily basis. Rather their job responsibilities are directed toward optimizing the nursing process flow through the use of technology, developing software for nurses, and implementing and improving electronic documentation.
Additional responsibilities of nursing informatics professionals may include:
- Educating patients on how to use certain types of equipment or technology. For example, if a patient needs to use a talking pillbox the nursing informatics professional may need to educate them on how this technology works.
- Training nurses and other healthcare professionals on how to use certain software and other technology. This is especially important during implementations or upgrades.
- Working in a project management capacity for implementation of clinical product processes. This involves an analysis of the process at the current state, working with the clinician or nurse to identify an appropriate future state, and developing and implementing a design with the electronic system.
- Ensuring that proper patient documentation systems are utilized which improves accuracy and diminishes the chance for error.
- Conducting consistent, regular data analysis to determine how to cut costs so the hospital facility has a more optimized bottom line.
- Cost Saving Analysis of surgical or hospital billing to identify items or areas of lost charges and develop processes to help eliminate revenue loss.
- Analysis of quality and safety initiatives in a facility or system.