Archive for January 29th, 2010

Health care Informatics: data, information, knowledge, and wisdom

January 29, 2010

Health care informatics, as defined by Englebardt and Nelson, 2002, is the study of how health care data, information, knowledge, and wisdom are collected, stored, processed, communicated, and used to support the process of health care delivery to clients, providers, administrators, and organizations involved in health care delivery. There are many variations of this definition, all with ultimately the same meaning. The statement that effectively explains the importance of this field is by Hannah, Ball, and Edwards, 1999, that stated, health care informatics, is truly interdisciplinary. In its truest form it focuses on the care of the patient, not a specific discipline. Therefore, even though there are specific bodies of knowledge for each health care profession, they all interface at the patient. The increasing awareness health care organizations are developing towards the informatics discipline is proving its value. I realize it is an evolving discipline and will continue to progress and grow in correlation with technology and the electronic medical record. Information systems, information technology, information literacy, information management-information is all around us every day. Understanding how to evaluate the information available is critical to deciphering the true unbiased detail of the data. Although there is no control of the validity of data available on the Internet and the fact that there is an abundance of information, doesn’t necessarily mean the information on the subject is valid. Following criteria designed to evaluate information, will help an individual find and use quality information. Some criteria to use: is the source or authority reliable; is the data current; is it organized logically and easy to navigate; is it objective and free of bias; and is the data accurate and error-free. Developing a checklist and a form to assist with data collecting and decision making will serve as tools to enhance the evaluation of on-line material. In this age, information is plentiful. Understanding how to collect and process information is vitally important. One simply must be information literate.

Online Education Health Care Informatics Certificate Program

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Information Technology: A Mandatory Part of Nursing Curriculum

January 29, 2010

I feel that most nursing programs do focus on the bedside care of the patients. As a clinical nursing instructor teaching disease process, nursing assessment, medications, clinical skills and patient education are a priority in our program. Our program has integrated technology however. The students that we have are very techno savvy. They have the ability to text page, while taking notes during lecture and respond to IM. These students will have no problem with the new computer charting that many of us “mature” nurses have. Our program gives the students PDA’s with dictionaries, drug books, and lab manuals loaded on them to use as references. Lectures are placed on Blackboard for students to download and study from. We have the ability to interact with our students online for preclinical assignments. This allows the students and instructors to be at home with family and friends rather than back out in the classroom. Nursing schools don’t necessarily have to teach computer skills as part of the curriculum, but can have the students take a class as a prerequisite. Each hospital has their own system and the types of equipment changes as newer and better one arrive. The new nurses will get the training on the equipment and system that is used by that hospital as part of the orientation process. I believe that we are doing a good job of using some of this technology in my program to help better prepare our students.

Online Education Health Care Informatics Certificate Program

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Information Literacy and Information Systems

January 29, 2010

Information Literacy There is a phenomenal amount of information available to us every day, which is generally not difficult to acquire: although time-consuming in some instances. We now live in an era where information is all around us, available in various forms and from various sources and relatively inexpensive, and, often at no cost. When an issue requires researching one can gain the knowledge from resources such as: text books, journals, local and national newspapers, television, radio, and the never-ending World Wide Web. To be most effective in utilizing these areas of information gathering, it is important to know how to locate, search, obtain, access, and evaluate the information. This allows for an efficient use of resources. I am pleased to learn of the Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education, which provides a framework for assessing the information by a literate individual. Developing information literacy within an individual is critical to their journey throughout their life. I find it extremely beneficial these standards extend the opportunity to articulate its information literacy competencies within K-12 grades, in order for a continuum of expectations to develop for students at all levels. How fabulous it is to see that information literacy is becoming more of a requirement than a nice-to-know subject in many areas. Additionally, I applaud the regulatory agencies for identifying the need for information literacy to be part of their criteria, this proves how valuable information literacy truly is in the world we live in today. Information Systems is yet another fascinating topic to understand the depths of its function. Basically, this is the “heart beat” of many organizations today. Information systems provide information to the users, which will facilitate the work of the organization. Many times it seems as though Information Systems departments drive an organization and until they say “yes,” to a particular project affecting the company’s infrastructure, it doesn’t happen. This tends to be frustrating for most individuals within an organization. However, understanding the needs, analysis, infrastructure, and resources involved is a critical factor in determining the necessity of implementation of a project request. Unfortunately, moving an organization to another level of automation can be very time-consuming and expensive; however, many times the outcomes can improve workflow processes, increase productivity, and improve data integrity. As I learned, the basic information system consists of 4 elements: people, procedures, communication, and data. As I reflected on these elements, I realized it is an awesome way to identify any “information system” whether manual or automated. For an organization to be successful each element plays a vital role in handling information.

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