Nursing informatics integrates nursing science with information and analytical sciences to define, manage, communicate information, and knowledge in nursing practice. It enhances meaningful, user-friendly, and innovation while driving improved outcomes for patients and enhanced clinical workflows for health providers (HIMSS, 2019). The work of nursing informatics professionals is to keep patients safe and at the center of efficient services. Health information contributes to enhanced quality care and timely provision of services to the patients. In the 21st century, health organizations that are still using traditional management methods experiences problems in trying to harmonize functions in their departments. This is the case with the Iowa Rural Health Association (IRHA) – an organization dedicated to ensuring optimal health for all Iowans, particularly those in rural areas. This paper proposes nursing informatics to IRHA leadership that will involve the implementation of a computerized hospital management system.
Review of the Concepts of Technology Application in Nursing
Technology can solve existing problems and challenges in the healthcare sector. Many health organizations and their systems face challenges such as a shortage of skilled workers and, increasing demand for healthcare due to demographic differences among patients (Krick et al., 2019). Research on nursing informatics is thriving because there is an expectation that information technology could help to improve the quality of patients’ lives and maintain their independence. Technology has a positive impact on nursing care, including improvement in the care process (Krick et al., 2019). Nursing informatics is equally important in enhancing nurses’ formal and informal work of providing health services to the patients. There are innovations and technologies that potentially could change the way nurses provide treatment and interact with patients.
Several healthcare organizations have started using barcoding, telemedicine, radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags, and electronic health records (EHRs) as part of their health provision and management system. Currently, over 80.5% of hospitals in the United States have EHRs (Milstein et al., 2017). Additionally, barcoding has been effective in reducing the adverse errors in blood transfusion in many hospitals. Studies indicate that hospitals which are using barcode verification methods reduces medication administration errors by 50% (Bainbridge & Askew, 2017). In addition, barcoding enhances the quality, safety and efficiency of patient care, and reduce operation costs to the health facilities. Further, studies have shown that nurses are impressed with the use of RFID tags in various hospitals for patient tracking and medication traceability (Seckman, 2022). RFID was found to improve patient safety, asset tracking, efficiencies in patient care, and provider satisfaction (Seckman, 2022). However, some patients are still skeptical over the benefits of EHRs, RFID, mobile apps, patient portals, and other health information technologies, and a lot of sensitization is needed to enlighten them.
Medical facilities in rural areas of Iowa face major issues in providing quality and effective care to the patients. The Iowa Rural Health Association is trying to enhance optimal healthcare for Iowans in rural parts of the state (IRHA, n.d.). IRHA does this by educating, facilitating data sharing, and advocacy activities to the locals. Some of the challenges IRHA faces include lack of proper records for patients, poor medics’ schedules, lack of financial management system, and uncoordinated communication to the patient. Thus, IRHA needs an integrated health management system to enable its staff to manage the process of communication with patients and to enhance the management of its functions.
The system will help IRHA to synchronize the operations of all its departments and financial management. The system would improve patients’ data collection through electronic health records (EHRs), which is key in helping health providers to analyze, document, and communicate patients’ information to all its departments (Rithika, 2021). Integrated health management would incorporate the financial software that improves billing, inventory controls, and policy management. The system will automatically generate reports that IRHA managers could use to assess their expenditure and track patients’ occupancy in hospitals, especially during emergency times. The computerized system should include drones for effective delivery of medicine, medical equipment, and emergence responses to various health facilities across rural areas of Iowa. Additionally, the health system must have an electronic ledger to improve IRHA’s record security through fraud prevention and protection of patients’ identity and personal health data (“The future of nursing,” n.d.). When implemented successfully, the health management system could positively improve the quality of healthcare and operations of IRHA across rural parts of Iowa.
Stakeholders Impacted by this Project
This health management system is an effort to improve the quality of health provision to the general public in rural areas of Iowa by IRHA. The project will have a direct effect on patients, health providers, managers of hospitals and health clinics in rural parts of Iowa, and managers of hospitals. Firstly, patients will directly engage with different medics through the patient portal and get access to information about various diseases and their symptoms’ (Rithika, 2021). Those who are unable to visit clinics due to lack of money, transport, or enough healthcare providers in rural areas will be able to get help from medics from any part of the state. The EHRs will help health providers to collect accurate data from the patients for analysis, thus, reducing recording errors that arise when nurses input the patients’ information manually. Through the system, the management of IRHA will increase services to many clients which will enhance its revenue generation.
The Patients Outcomes
The IRHA team will have to incorporate all health providers in the implementation of this system. The management will have to train the nurses, doctors, and all the health providers within the organization’s structure on the computerized health system functions to improve their competency when implementing the system. This will help improve analysis and keeping records patients’ records, such that there will be no missing, duplication, or delay when preparing bills for services rendered to clients (Rithika, 2021). It will improve data management, hence, helping managers, medics, and other staff with the right patient information when delivering care services. In addition, patients will be able to access health services in the comfort of their homes without spending time and money on the road to visit clinics through the use of health mobile apps.
Technology Required for the Project
The IRHA management will have to hire a software developer to create an integrated health management software for the rural Iowa population. This software will improve enhance the performance of medics in all the clinics, and increase patients’ access to nurses, doctors, and all medical services including checking diseases symptoms through the use of mobile apps (Rithika, 2021). The incorporation of collaborative interfaces in the software will ensure that the IRHA team has a coordinated activity among its team of staff. Thereby improving its diagnostic support because the physicians, administrators, nurses, and researcher department will be working as one unit.
The Team and their Roles
To implement this, IRHA leadership will designate or hire the project manager who will coordinate and supervise the execution of the software in all the hospitals and clinics in rural parts of Iowa. Additionally, the Chief Executive Officer of the organization will take charge of ensuring that there is enough computer infrastructure and financial support to support the implementation of the system (Rithika, 2021). IRHA management will have to hire one or two network administrators in each hospital or health clinic to ensure that networks are well maintained and upgraded regularly (Rithika, 2021). There will be one database manager in each clinic or hospital who shall help with the functionality of databases in every hospital or clinic in rural areas of Iowa. Lastly, the organization will employ one nurse informaticist in every hospital or clinic who will monitor, evaluate, and give reports of the efficiency of the project implementation to the IRHA management team.
The successful integration of this health management system could make IRHA the best in providing safe, quality, and timely care to rural Iowans. It will increase the number of patients who can remotely access health services within health facilities across the state. The patients will not be restricted to services or consultations only with the medics in clinics next to their homes but across the whole state. The organization will benefit by increasing its revenue collection and gaining a reputation among the general public within Iowa and beyond.
Bainbridge, M., & Askew, D. (2017). Barcoding and other scanning technologies to improve medication safety in hospitals. Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care. Web.
Health Information and Management System Society. (2019). What is Nursing Informatics? HIMSS. Web.
Iowa Rural Health Association. (n.d.). Optimal health for all Iowans – with a focus on rural population. Web.
Krick, T., Huter, K., Domhoff, D., Schmidt, A., Rothgang, H., & Ostermann, K. W. (2019). Digital technology and nursing care: A scoping review on acceptance, effectiveness and efficiency studies of informal and formal care technologies. BMC Health Services Research. Web.
Milstein, J. A., Holmgren, A. J., Kralovec, P., Worzala, C., Searcy, T., & Patel, V. (2017). Electronic health record adoption in US hospitals: the emergence of a digital “advanced use” divide. National Library of Medicine, 24 (6). Web.
Rithika, S. (2021). What is an integrated hospital management system? How could it help the hospitals? MocDoc. Web.
Seckman, C. (2022). The benefits and barriers to RFID technology in Healthcare. Health Information and Management System (HIMSS). Web.
The future of nursing. (n.d.). The future of nursing analytics and big data. Bradly University. Web.