Archive for the ‘Definitions’ Category

Giving and Withholding Our “Gifts”

October 15, 2015

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by Susan Gurney
5/04/2013 / Stewardship


Luke 6:38 “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.” NIV

How many times have you heard this part of Luke 6:38 used to encourage Christians to give generous tithes and offerings to the Lord? Once? Twice? A dozen times?! I know I’ve heard it many times, and I have even printed it in a Sunday worship folder as an offering thought. Indeed, many who practice generous giving to the Lord have testified to the truth of this verse.

As I recently re-read verse 38 within the context of Luke 6:27-38, I suddenly realized something. This verse is not just saying that if we give generously to God we are going to receive His blessings in return. And this verse is certainly not saying that if we give generously to God we will become materially rich, even though there are those out there that teach that misleading thought in their “theology of prosperity”. I would hazard a guess that Jesus may not have been talking about giving material wealth at all when He said the words in Luke 6:38. In fact, Jesus may well be talking here about “doing unto others, as we would have them do unto us” rather than about giving generous tithes and offerings. Given the even broader context of the references listed at the end of this article, I believe that Jesus is talking about “giving” love, blessings, prayer, generosity, goodness, forgiveness, and mercy in abundance to all–even to one’s enemies! Jesus is also talking about “withholding” violence, evil, judgment, and condemnation from all. In Micah 6:8, we are reminded that the only things God really requires of us is justice, mercy, and humbleness–not sacrificial offerings!

Josh Billings once said, “There is no revenge so complete as forgiveness.” Romans 12:20 talks about doing good to our enemy, and “in doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Although in our eyes this may seem a cruel thing to do to someone, I once heard it explained that in Bible times this was a very generous and loving act. In a time when there was no electricity and no matches, you were really hurting if your fire went out. This was your only source of warmth and cooking. A person in this plight could only go to his neighbor and hope the neighbor would take pity on him by heaping a share of his live coals into the container carried on the needy one’s head!

We already know how to give good gifts to our friends and family members on Christmas, birthdays and other special occasions. However, the year around we don’t want to forget to give to all the gifts that really count–the gifts that God gives so freely to us (and that He wants back from us!)–love, blessing, generosity, goodness, forgiveness, kindness, mercy, justice, and so on. And we certainly don’t want to forget to withhold from all the negative “gifts” of judgment, condemnation, revenge, wrath, evil, and cursing! For, as the rest of Luke 6:38 says, “…with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (NIV)

What does God’s Word, the Bible, say about this?

Proverbs 3:27 “Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act.” NIV

Micah 6:8 “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord
require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

Luke 6:36-38a “‘Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you.'” NIV

Acts 20:35b “…we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'” NIV

Romans 12:19a20-21 “Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath. On the contrary: ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” NIV

Now read the following Bible passages in your favorite version of the Bible:

Proverbs 3:27-28
Micah 6:6-8
Matthew 7:9-12
Luke 6:27-38
Acts 20:33-35
Romans 12:14-21
James 3:134:12

Susan Gurney writes devotionals, poetry, short stories, memoirs, and nonfiction on family history, faith and nature. She has experience writing/editing church and family newsletters. Find Susan athttp://ssimonsgurney.christianblogsites.com/blog/ Copyright 2013 Susan Simons Gurney

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.comCHRISTIAN WRITERS

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The Role of the Health Care Informatics Professional

May 1, 2013

The future of the health care informatics arena is unfolding every day with the implementation of electronic health record systems and other technologies designed to assist with the delivery of patient care. The need will be clearly identified for health care professionals and providers to obtain the knowledge to use information technology effectively. Health care informatics is a rapidly developing scientific field utilizing computer technology. Determining how health data is collected, stored, and communicated and how that data is processed to assist in clinical decisions and how automated technology can be used in process improvements, will be a major focus for health care informatists. Some health care organizations are slow to understand the benefits of creating health care informatics positions within their environments. However, I believe the health care organizations will continue to discover the value in creating such positions. As these organizations move towards electronic health records, the need for these skilled individuals will become evident. I see the role of the health care informatics professional bridging the gap between IT personnel, administrators, and communication to end-users, and somewhat taking on the role similar to that of a business analyst. They will become the knowledgeable individual to make sense of all the business requirements, stakeholder needs, end-user perspectives, and areas of improving efficiencies; then being able to deliver this message. They must work in partnership with all those who support the endeavors of creating a user friendly, financially efficient, clinical decision support, health care system, and assisting with resolving issues. The health care informatists must be proficient in information literature, with researching technology and methods to incorporate into the health care environment. Health care informatics applications can be used to improve the quality of patient care, to increase productivity, and to provide access to knowledge. In summary, my analogy is that health care is synonymous with people; thereby, continuing to identify the needs of the health care consumer and providing all measures of keeping them safe, informed, and educated must be an ongoing priority. I believe the future of the health care informatist is going to exponentially grow and develop into an exciting area for those who delve into the middle of the technology pool, to decipher the best means of providing health care information, quality patient care, improving best practices of care, and improving operational efficiencies. It is difficult to summarize such an exciting field of study; however, I especially appreciate the following quote and perhaps this sums it up very well: “If physiology literally means ‘the logic of life’, and pathology is ‘the logic of disease’, then health informatics is the logic of healthcare. It is the rational study of the way we think about patients, and the way that treatments are defined, selected, and evolved. It is the study of how clinical knowledge is created, shaped, shared, and applied. Ultimately, it is the study of how we organize ourselves to create and run healthcare organizations.” – Coiera E. Guide to Health Informatics. London:Hodder, 2003.

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Data—Information

March 3, 2011

As defined, data are plain facts. When data are processed, organized, structured or presented in a given context so as to make them useful, this becomes information. Data themselves are fairly useless. But when these data are interpreted and processed to determine its true meaning, they become useful and can be called information. A database is a structured collection of individual data elements. A good database must contain the information needed to assist with solving an identified area of need. A database can be a powerful tool of information collection and allows discernment of that information. A well-structured database that allows for easy input by the end-user will enhance its use and increase the productivity of that end-user. Using a database provides an effective method to review and analyze data. This data can support decisions, provide solutions, and help with predicting outcomes. When identifying the requirements for a database, careful consideration should be given to the intended use of the data. Recognizing the current need and use of the data is important; however, recognizing the ongoing future need and use of the collection of data is ultimately what determines the worth and strength of the database. Databases capturing quality data can provide a foundation for future needs of an organization. Organizations have information everywhere. For example, sources of information are located in documents, spreadsheets, e-mails, presentations, and multiple databases. Proper management and integration of its data sources, will allow an organization to maximize the effective use of its information and truly harness the power of information.

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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.

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.

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What is Health Informatics?

June 4, 2009

With the course Health Promotion/Disease Prevention, I have an opportunity to enhance my knowledge base. This is to explore, as a concept, Health Informatics and how it coincides with health promotion. I have heard the term Health Informatics and have awareness that it is an evolving field. However, since I am unsure I fully understand the term Health Informatics, some research is indicated. It is no surprise to learn that the definition and models of Health Informatics vary widely and have multiple applications. Many Health Informatics models address the processing of data in the healthcare environment in order to analyze healthcare systems. Since much of healthcare is process and systems oriented this is useful. This is especially true for those working in areas where a defined process is helpful in reducing harm to patients. An example would be following a systems process for the administration of medications to decrease the chance of error and potential harm. The text for this course, Health Promotion Throughout the Life Span, discusses the fact that most medical errors are process rather than people oriented. Also Health Informatics address the need to develop algorithms so that vital information needed for the provision of healthcare is available at the time and place healthcare needs to be provided. This makes perfect sense. We find that algorithms based on historical data and evidenced based sciences are very useful for effective patient care. An example of such an algorithm would be those provided by the American Heart Association for the provision of emergency basic or advanced life support. In the broadest sense, Health Informatics could be translated as understanding the skills and tools that enable the sharing and use of information to deliver and promote health. This, for all of us in healthcare, is our goal.

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Data, Information and Knowledge

May 26, 2009

Data, Information and Knowledge Data is a collection of facts from which conclusions can be drawn. Data is discrete entities objectively described, without interpretation or context. Raw data by itself means nothing. Information is data processed into a structured form. Data that are interpreted, organized, structured, and given meaning are referred to as information. To be useful, information must be the right information. It must be accurate, free from error, and meaningful. Information must be given to the right person – the person that will respond to it. Information must be given in a timely manner, at the correct time, not so late that it will be useless or detrimental to a treatment plan. Information must be delivered to the to the right place, a consult with a social worker is of no use if filed in the patients notes. Information must be given in the right amount. No one, (especially me), wants to wade through tons of paper for one piece if information. Knowledge is synthesized information derived from the interpretation of data, and it provides a logical basis for decision-making. Knowledge creates new questions and areas of research. To answer the questions, data are required that must be processes into information to create more knowledge. The purpose of this process is to provide the most up-to-date information to make decisions that guide practice.

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