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Study Health Information Systems With an MSN

Not so long ago, nurses relied on written documents or verbal communication to share medical information about patients. Now many healthcare facilities use digital documentation so nurses can quickly access data regarding patient care. Nursing students may learn about health information systems and how they can improve healthcare in a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree program.

How Is Technology Used in Nursing?

Technology is changing the scope of nursing. By using technology, nurses are able to communicate with each other, staff, patients and administration from anywhere with an internet connection. This allows for telehealth and telemedicine, which can free patients from trips to the physician’s office or hospital and may increase the possibility that they can stay in their homes as they age.

In May 2013, The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing published the article, The Impact of Emerging Technology on Nursing Care: Warp Speed Ahead. The article addresses the seven emerging technologies that will impact nursing:

  • Genetics and genomics.
  • Less invasive diagnostics and treatment with cutting-edge tools.
  • 3-D printing.
  • Robotics.
  • Biometrics
  • Electronic health records (EHR).
  • Computerized Physician/Provider Order Entry (CPOE) and clinical decision support.

Electronic health records help nurses create treatment plans. They can monitor patients and deliver care while remaining in contact with physicians and other healthcare professionals.

What Are Health Information Systems?

Health information systems digitally record, store and deliver patient information, evidence-based research, facility policies and procedures, and any other pertinent data related to healthcare. For example, nurses can access a patient’s health history, medication doses or instructions regarding patient care. Organizations can also use health information systems to manage their facilities and pinpoint ways to ensure quality patient care.

What Is the Role of Nursing Informatics?

The field of nursing informatics integrates the use of IT with the practice of nursing. Informatics is the process of collecting, classifying, storing and disseminating knowledge. While informatics is used for nurse education, research, management and enhancing patient outcomes, it is also useful for clinical applications in radiology, pharmacies and laboratories. The field of nursing informatics may include the following:

  • Data recovery.
  • Decision support systems.
  • E-Learning.
  • Electronic patient records.
  • Ethics.
  • Imaging informatics.
  • Information systems.

Informatics specialists perform two different roles. The first type creates, tests and streamlines data systems. The second type of informatics specialist uses health information technology to provide safe and optimal patient care.

What Is the Job of an Informatics Nurse?

Nursing informatics has been a specialty in nursing since 1984. Informatics nurses gather various kinds of information that pertain to healthcare. Their computer skills include searching and retrieving data and electronic documentation of patient care. In addition, they must interpret information and prepare it for use in clinical care, education and research.

Where Can You Learn More About Health Information Systems?

Lamar University offers an online MSN in Nursing Administration program. The Lamar online MSN program is for nurses who want to pursue a leadership position in which they can institute and promote quality, cost-efficient patient care. Students will gain valuable insight into strategic decision-making and resource management while learning how to form a cohesive and positive practice environment.

The Lamar MSN online program includes the course Health Information Systems, which explores the relationship between technology and the nurse administrator. Courses cover current trends and issues about nursing informatics and healthcare technology.

Technology and health information systems will continue to push healthcare forward in innovative ways. Nurses may use information systems to facilitate admittance, chart patients’ vital signs, develop assessments and formulate care plans. They might view clinical data from all fields of medicine to analyze, diagnose and determine the best treatment options. With theses advancements in healthcare, the challenge will be balancing the application of technology and information systems with maintaining human contact as the main aspect of the nursing practice.

Learn more about the Lamar University online MSN in Nursing Administration program.


NCBI: The Role of Nursing Informatics on Promoting Quality of Health Care and the Need for Appropriate Education

Discover Nursing: How Nurses Are Using Technology

The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing: The Impact of Emerging Technology on Nursing Care: Warp Speed Ahead

HIMSS: The Right Balance: Technology and Patient Care

HIMSS: What Is Nursing Informatics?

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