Archive for July, 2010

Healthcare Informatics and Nutrition

July 28, 2010

With computerized technology, an individual’s nutritional status can be assessed and analyzed with thoroughness. This technology can be utilized in many different aspects to complete a nutritional assessment. One aspect is a measurement of oral intake and urinary output over a 24 hour period or for several days. This inputted data can be utilized to make dietary recommendations by the healthcare provider including the dietitian. BMI or Body Mass Index can also be assessed by completing a nutritional assessment. This computerized data can also be used to make dietary recommendations by the healthcare provider. Management of chronic conditions can also by assessed to assist in promoting optimal health status. This can be accomplished by evaluating computed lab data to monitor lab results such as blood glucoses for an diabetic individual. With this analysis, dietary modifications can be recommended to promote optimal health status if needed for this individual. Nutritional assessments and recommendations by the healthcare provider can assist in wound healing, weight gain or loss, and achieving an optimal health status. Computerized nutritional assessments are one of many healthcare assessments that can be utilized in patient care.

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Health Assessment for Nursing Practice

July 28, 2010

Many healthcare facilities currently utilize an EMR or an electronic medical record for patient healthcare documentation. This is also a tool to utilize and document health care assessments. The advantages on an EMR are numerous, and some of these advantages are communication of patient care data that can be accessed by many different healthcare professionals. This is an important factor especially concerning patient safety as healthcare data can be accessed to provide seamless patient care. This also provides access to healthcare information when the patient is unable to provide healthcare information as in an emergency situation. Another important factor is communication among healthcare professionals such as acute care professionals and primary care professionals or between the lab personnel and a physician. With the disadvantages, there are some, but the advantages of an EMR outweigh the disadvantages. Some of the disadvantages include continual updates of computer equipment and continual requirements of staff education which is a cost factor for healthcare facilities that utilize an EMR. Informatics and healthcare assessments can and are blended which is an asset to patient care especially with patient safety and enhancing communication among healthcare professionals.

Healthcare Informatics and Health Assessment

July 26, 2010

Healthcare informatics is utilized by most healthcare facilities and professionals in the United States. In the daily care of patients, some form of computerized technology is used. In studying skin, hair and nails, head, eyes, ears, nose and throat, and the respiratory system, different forms of technology are utilized to complete assessment of these body systems. In terms of an electronic medical record, the assessment of these body systems are imputed into a computerized program. This allows this assessment to be accessed by all healthcare providers caring for a particular patient. Vital sign assessment is completed by computerized technology such as an automatic blood pressure and temperature assessment. Computerized radiological equipment such as CT scanner is used to assess body systems including the head, nose, throat, lungs, etc. Also, computerized laboratory equipment is utilized to assess body systems such as blood gases for the respiratory system. With this explanation, it is apparent the overlap of healthcare informatics and health assessment.

Healthcare Informatics and Health Assessment

July 26, 2010

According to Cowen and Moorhead (2006), healthcare informatics is defined as “the processes of science, computer science, and information science to manage and communicate data, information, and knowledge in practice and facilitates the integration of data, information, and knowledge to support patients, nurses, and other providers in their decision-making in all roles and settings” (p. 126). An electronic medical record (EMR) is defined as a set of databases that contains the health information for patients within a given institution or organization (Health IT, 2007). The creation of electronic patient records will allow patient medical histories and health assessments to be shared from provider to provider which will allow important patient information to be communicated to provide safe patient care by all providers. The electronic medical record will also assist in eliminating redundant paper charting by making nurses’ job easier and more effective (Simpson, 2003). It will also eliminate separate, individual charts to be maintained for each patient by healthcare providers (Simpson, 2003). With information technology (IT), the Internet is being used to integrate healthcare organizations and their systems to share patient records, a tool for staff education as well as a resource for patient education on disease processes, and a tool for research (Simpson, 2003). According to Simpson (2003), the Internet is the most empowering technology for patients. Even though technology is expensive, the benefits of improved efficiency, productivity, and the creation of a professional environment maximize the benefits over the cost (Simpson, 2003). With up-to-the-minute computerized patient data, this allows the healthcare professional to make the right decisions at the right time to ensure the right patient outcomes and safety (Simpson, 2003).

References:
Cowen, P. S., & Moorhead, S. (2006). Current Issues in Nursing (7th ed.). St Louis, Missouri: Mosby, Inc.
Health IT (2007). Overview: Health IT. Retrieved June 28, 2007, from http://www.healthitnow.org
Simpson, R. L. (2003, April). Back to Basics with IT and Patient-Centered Care. Nursing Management, 14-16.

Informatics In Improving the Outcome of Joint Replacement Surgery

July 26, 2010

Osteoarthritis, or degenerative joint disease, effects many people worldwide. It is characterized by degeneration of the articular cartilage, which no longer functions as a shock absorber in the joint. Generally, obesity, aging and wear and tear on the joint are the chief factors in developing this potentially crippling disease, which usually involves weight-bearing joints first. Arthroscopy and MRI are diagnostic, highly technological procedures often used for diagnosis of joint deterioration. What used to be classified as a crippling joint disease, osteoarthritis of a joint can often be relieved by joint replacement surgery, the hip and knee being the most frequently replaced. Prior to surgery, the nurse has the responsibility of educating the patient on both the procedure and recovery, including maintenance of the prosthetic joint. A vast array of information is available through in-hospital computer based programs and websites. Some hospitals have joint replacement “schools,” which provide up-to-date information to perspective patients. Labs will be drawn prior to surgery and nurses may have computerized access to them before the surgeon; the nurse must alert the physician to concerning values such as decreased hgb/hct or increased bleeding times. After surgery, the nurse is again concerned with the informatics available in the immediate post-op period and during the entire recovery process; which would again involve timely reporting to the physician abnormal lab values in CBC, CMP and bleeding times. Because information is readily available through computer access following most lab draws, the physician is able to act rapidly to correct potential or actual problems (i.e. blood transfusion, antibiotics, hold or increase anticoagulants, etc), therefore, improving patient outcome. As technology develops, surgical techniques improve in that many joint replacements are able to be performed with much smaller incisions than in the past. The desired patient outcome in joint replacement surgery is restoration of function without surgical complication. Through the use of technology in the pre-op, intra-op and post-op periods, including the many patient education materials available, nurses most definitely play a critical role in this process.


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