Archive for July 27th, 2009

Health Care Informatics Education

July 27, 2009

Health Care informatics is a complicated and growing field. The education for the informatics field is evolving as well as the technology that drives it. Education for the informatics specialist is varied; classroom, computer-based technology, distance learning, etc. There are also different levels of education. Informatics curricula are being incorporated into BSN programs, MSN, PhD, post degree certificates, etc.

Training the end user has changed also. Part of the implementation process includes education. This education differs depending on the product and whether it is vendor taught or Informatics Specialist instructed. Complexity, continuity, and degree of practice change add another dimension to the educational process.

Standards exist for accreditation, HIPAA, CMS, OSHA, etc. Additionally, there are standards for health care informatics that address documentation, user authentication, training of individuals, etc. Many of these standards are not incorporated into attaining, maintaining or utilizing the technologies. This deficit makes integration of applications and usability complicated. Ongoing support and maintenance is difficult and the end user feels the effects when the applications do not run as smoothly as anticipated.

Reading the books in Dr. Johnson’s program has helped cement certain thoughts in my mind. Currently I struggle with these issues. Finding the right path to define and add to my knowledge base in informatics, training the end users and maintaining or adding to their knowledge base in a timely fashion, and having the tools working consistently. Each section has its own complexity. The role of the Informatics Nurse is vital to pull all the diverse pieces of procuring, training, evaluating, and supporting the technologies together and facilitate a smooth transition into a new phase for the institution. Understanding all the processes, the downfalls, the positive results, the needs of the end users is so very important but taking the appropriate steps to intervene and improve the implementation of new technology is critical to the ongoing success of health care informatics.

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