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NSG 3039 Week 4 Project-Informatics in the Clinical Setting

NSG 3039 Week 4 Project-Informatics in the Clinical Setting

Clinical informatics is “the study of information technology and how it can be applied to the healthcare field,” and it is a vital part of the healthcare industry (What is, n.d.). There are numerous tasks a person in this position can do to help improve patient care, and they can work in just as many settings. Since there are various roles with this career choice, there is no one clear-cut definition for a person in clinical informatics. Medical professionals heavily rely on Individuals in this position since they make and regulate the programs used for data and treatment plans. This paper will look deeper into the role of a clinical informatics role description, education level, how they improve patient safety and patient care, and human factors that this role faces.

An individual who chooses this career path has many options of which field they would like to work in, such as medical informatics, nursing informatics, pharmacy informatics, and nutritional informatics (What is, n.d.). One of the greatest things about this job is that it gives people the flexibility to find the field that works for them and grow their careers. The person interviewed for this paper chose to pursue a career in the medical informatics area.

Medical informatics is “the study of the design, development, and adaptation of IT-based innovations in healthcare services delivery, management, and planning” (What is, n.d.). The role of a person in this line of work is to create programs that hold patient information for medical professionals while also keeping it secure and confidential. For example, electronic health records fall under the list of programs a medical informatics specialist creates. As well as medical information for patients, electronic health records (EHR) can be used for payment systems and transactions through insurance companies and government agencies (What is, n.d.). The EHR is an integral part of the healthcare field, and without the people in these positions, it is just one of the ways clinical informatics plays a vital role in the healthcare industry.

Like all professional jobs, a clinical informatics specialist must go to school and gain a degree to pursue a career in this field. Most individuals who follow this line of work have a passion for technology and healthcare. Typically, all people in this line of work begin with at least a Bachelor’s degree in technology and transition into a graduate program to gain their Master’s degree (What is, n.d.). A good portion of the people in this field were nurses. Through their clinical experience, they found a passion for clinical informatics and pursued a degree in a different part of the healthcare industry. “Employers look for applicants with a Master’s degree in Health Management, Healthcare Management, or Quality Management” (What is, n.d.). The upside of needing a Master’s degree is that many graduate programs offer online classes, making it much easier for working students to pursue their dream of working in clinical informatics.

Patient safety and quality patient care are at the forefront of the healthcare industry, as people are always looking for ways to improve these areas daily. Joe, the person interviewed for this paper, feels they play a vital role in patient safety and the quality of patient care. They work on the team that created the electronic charting system (Meditech) used at Oak Hill Hospital and help solve the glitches and errors that medical professionals encounter. For example, when a nurse is locked onto a patient’s account, it deters them and any other person from being able to chart new information on the patient. When a nurse comes across this problem, they call the IT help desk for Meditech and speak with Joe or someone from his team. They work to solve the problem and make it possible for the nurses to chart important information on their patients, thus improving patient safety and the quality of their care. If a nurse could not chart a medication that was given or an assessment that was performed, then essential information would not be in the system for the next nurse to know. This could create medication errors and information that would let the oncoming nurse know there has been a change in the patient’s status. For instance, if the nurse performs an assessment and finds the patient has clear lung sounds and unlabored breathing but cannot chart this in the system due to a user being locked on the account, the next nurse would have no idea. If their findings showed fine crackles as the bases bilaterally and slightly labored breathing, they could think this is the patient’s normal and not act immediately. Patient charting is critical in ensuring patient information is stored in their chart to prevent medical errors or delays of care. People like Jim make it possible for medical professionals to have an electronic charting system while keeping it working as smoothly as possible for the users by fixing their problems in the system. Everything they do works to improve the safety of patients and the quality of care patients receive daily.

Human factors play a role in just about everything in life, and working in clinical informatics is no exception. According to studies, there are twelve human factors that people face in their workplaces: lack of communication, complacency, lack of knowledge, distraction, lack of teamwork, fatigue, lack of resources, pressure, lack of assertiveness, stress, lack of awareness, and norms (Nzelu, Chandraharan, & Pereira, 2018). These are all things people face at work, and there is no way to get around it. Every team has a coworker who works less hard than the rest, gets distracted easily from the task, feels pressured to meet a deadline, or lacks communication between all teammates. Unfortunately, these shortcomings will never change, and people must work through these challenges and find a way to succeed as a team. In addition to these human factors, individuals in Joe’s line of work also face challenges with their customers, such as when a user comes across an IT issue, they call the help desk and release all of their frustrations out on the people who work in IT. Challenges will be present in any workplace; the goal is to discover how everyone can come together and work past them to be as efficient as possible.

After interviewing Joe, I have a new respect for the people who work in this field and realize just how big of a role they play in patient care. Since they work in the background and you do not see them face-to-face, dismissing their role in patient safety and quality care was easy. Now I understand how much they do for the medical professionals using Meditech for patient charting. I used to get frustrated when there was an issue with Meditech, and in turn, I brought that frustration out to whomever I was speaking with on the help desk line. In the future, I will have the patience to work with the IT crew because I now fully understand how hard they work to solve these little issues.

NSG 3039 Week 4 Project-Informatics in the Clinical Setting

Many government agencies work to improve patient safety and the quality of care given by all medical professionals. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and The Joint Commission are two organizations that work towards this goal. Both agencies have banded together to develop an initiative to improve patient safety by setting goals to be reached by 2020. “The National Patient Safety Goals (NPSGs) are one of the major methods by which The Joint Commission establishes standards for ensuring patient safety in all health care settings” (National Patient, n.d.). Because of these agencies, patient care must be given at a standard, and if any company or person falls short of these standards, repercussions will be faced. For example, The Joint Commission will do random evaluations at hospitals to inspect the facility’s quality and safety of patient care. If they come across something that falls short of their standard, they will give the hospital thirty days to improve it and then come back to inspect, and if it is still not up to par, they will mark it on their record, which affects the hospital’s funding in the future. These agencies not only ensure proper patient care is given, but they work to improve patient care daily.

The Technology Informatics Guiding Education Reform (TIGER) is defined as “an interprofessional grassroots initiative focused on education reform, fostering community development and global workforce development” (The TIGER, 2019). While interviewing Joe, he had a lot to say about this program, all of which were good things. Our hospital uses a website called HealthStream, where all of the education material can be found on this program and additional programs. Joe believes that because of this program, people in this field are advancing their knowledge base and improving how they deliver informatics into medical practice. The goal of TIGER “is to maximize the integration of technology and informatics into seamless practice, education, research, and resource development” (The TIGER, 2019). The TIGER program has done just this at our hospital, and Joe says he is excited to see what the future holds for his field.

As anyone can see, clinical informatics plays an essential role in the healthcare industry, and without it, the field would fall short in many aspects. The people who work in this field are just as important as the industry itself, as they are the ones who create the programs and make sure they run properly. Just like the medical field, there are various areas an individual can choose to work in regarding clinical informatics. All medical professionals should be grateful for the individuals who chose to work in informatics because the healthcare industry would not be where it is today without them.

References

National Patient Safety Goals. (2008). Retrieved from https://psnet.ahrq.gov/issue/national-patient-safety-goals

Nzelu, O., Chandraharan, E., & Pereira, S. (2018). Human Factors: The Dirty Dozen in CTG misinterpretation. Retrieved from https://juniperpublishers.com/gjorm/pdf/GJORM.MS.ID.555683.pdf

The TIGER Initiative (Technology Informatics Guiding Education Reform). (2019). Retrieved from https://www.himss.org/professionaldevelopment/tiger-initiative

What is Clinical Informatics? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.usfhealthonline.com/resources/key-concepts/what-is-clinical-informatics/

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Question 


NSG 3039 Week 4 Project-Informatics in the Clinical Setting

Interview with someone in an informatics role in a clinical setting. Then, compose a 4-5 page paper discussing the following components:

  1. Role description and education level required for the role.
  2. Describe their views on how their role impacts patient safety and improves the quality of patient care.
  3. Describe the Human Factors faced in the role and other challenges.
  4. Express insights gained from the interview.

Research and discuss the impact of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Patient Safety Indicators and The Joint Commission Patient Safety Goals in your clinical setting. Describe how these governing agencies impact the delivery of direct patient care.

Research, discuss, and identify the Technology Informatics Guiding Education Reform (TIGER) utilized in your clinical setting. Be sure to get the perspective of your selected informatics professional during your interview.

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