Posts Tagged ‘Healthcare Informatics Employment’

Gaining confidence

June 12, 2013

Well I completed all of the reading and exercises for the first section of my Healthcare Informatics program and was ready to take the test. Now, having not taken a college exam for over 26 years I must say I was quite anxious about this. It was not like taking a CEU course and then taking the post test 3-4 times until you get the answers all correct. This was an actual college exam that was going to grade the knowledge you had gained over the last few weeks of reading.

I must say I was surprised once I accessed the exam to see how much I had retained from what I read. As an older learner I was prepared for some struggle. Did I use the book as I was permitted? Yes, but I found that I used it to confirm my answers not find them and that was a good feeling. I know that there will be struggles in this course and concepts that I will need to dissect and rebuild in my mind to be able to grasp them. However, I now know that I am able to grasp new ideas and content and use this knowledge, which will help me to apply it in the practical use of my job.

This was a day of firsts for me. It was the kick off of my first solo project as a “new” project coordinator and clinical informaticist. It was my first college exam on my quest to obtain my BSN and Healthcare Informatics Certificate. The first is often the hardest and sometimes the most rewarding and … it feels good.

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Healthcare Informatics

April 30, 2013

Sometimes at work I feel like such a nerd. I have actually been called one due to the knowledge base that I possess at this time. At meetings, I will explain in detail some of the technologies, barriers, processes, etc. I watch nurse administrators eyes glaze over as I speak. It is very interesting to consider the scope of Informatics. By definition, informatics is the science of information. This in turn is defined by Webster’s as the collection, classification, storage, retrieval, and dissemination of recorded knowledge treated both as a pure and as an applied science; quite a mouthful.

Needless to say, the scope of informatics is very broad. The fields include nursing informatics, pharmacy informatics, medical informatics, lab informatics, radiology informatics, etc. It can range from the tools utilized to the Project Design and Management. It is an ever growing field with much diversity, challenge and opportunity for professionals.

Back to my nerdness; approximately one year ago, my CNO called me a nerd because I was able to download an application and run a DVD off of a laptop. Not that complicated but leads to the understanding that there are differing levels of competency in regards to informatics and technology.

This led me to volunteering for a Technology Informatics Guiding Education Reform (TIGER) workgroup to develop informatics competencies for entry into the acute care hospital setting. This has been a very exciting and collaborative process and will support the institutions in providing entry level orientation to the technologies used on a day to day basis.

My current job description has informatics incorporated into it and I hope to become the Project Manager on the upcoming Pharmacy Pyxis MedStation project. However, reviewing the job postings at the different sites has inspired me to evaluate what I am currently doing and determine what I want to do with my informatics knowledge.

A few years ago, I came to the decision to change my focus from providing for the patients and their families to providing for the nurses. The assessment of my institution clearly has defined the need for a Clinical Informaticists to support the nursing staff in their move forward with EHR, eMAR, clinical documentation, Smart Pumps, Medication Stations, etc. The support would include implementation, initial education, ongoing education, and updates. It is all very exciting.

As I learn and grow within this field, I have determined that being a nerd is not so bad. Actually, I take it as a compliment; it means that I have been recognized as having a body of knowledge and I have been called upon frequently to use this knowledge base. I wonder if that could be a certification – NN, Nerd Nurse.

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Progress, Change, Future

January 22, 2012

The future of healthcare information systems and a career in healthcare informatics holds exciting opportunities for healthcare organizations. Many improvements will be made in current technologies available. Although the concept of the electronic medical record (EMR) has been around for quite some time, we are just starting to see some advances in the actual implementation of automating portions of the patient medical record. To get to a fully automated health record, where all aspects of the legal medical record communicate to all systems, seems like a daunting task and yet so exciting to be a part of during these times. A career as a healthcare informatics professional will continue to be a desired profession and will gain momentum in the value these professionals will bring to an organization. Identifying their roles and responsibilities will become unique to each organization’s needs. Because of the many abilities and knowledge of healthcare informatics professionals, one healthcare facility may utilize these professionals in a different way and environment than another facility. Perhaps if there is not a developed informatics department, these professionals may even have different reporting structures based on where the organization sees them contributing and fitting into the organizational chart for that particular facility. The healthcare informatics field of study will be fundamental to bridging the gap between Information Technology Departments, Administration, clinical staff, physicians, vendors, and end-users. These positions are knowledgeable in a vast amount of areas, such as: information literacy, human computer interaction, human factors, usability testing, project management, working as change agents, standardizing language, evidence-based healthcare, numerous types of computer software such as database systems and spreadsheets. One cannot argue the fact that these knowledgeable individuals have developed skills, which bring much value to an organization. If these positions are utilized, directed, and supported, they will be extremely beneficial within a healthcare facility. Implementing, supporting, and maintaining an EMR is progress for any organization. The power of progress is amazing and builds upon each generation’s knowledge. Suppose each new generation had to rediscover numerals or language or medicine. The world would see no progress. Each generation stands on the shoulders of the previous generation to reach higher. Therefore, change is the price we pay for progress, and the EMR will bring about change for healthcare organizations. Change itself is not progress; it is the price we pay for progress. We will see some of the most advanced technology and the quest for a fully developed electronic health record will begin to take hold. As generations replace older generations an environment of automation will be expected and accepted by healthcare consumers and healthcare providers.

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Healthcare Informatics Employment, comment

May 30, 2011

To the nurse writing about Acuity levels, I feel your frustration. This is a big reason I left clinical nursing to obtain a career in Healthcare Informatics. I do not worry about our nurse to patient ratio, acuity levels, or about working extra and not getting paid. In Healthcare Informatics, I handle policies, statistics, computer programs, and machines. I miss the clinical nursing. However with clinical nursing I was missing time with my family, with my health, and with my sanity. Now I feel better about myself and the work I am doing to help patients in a different way.

Original Post
March 23, 2011
Acuity levels
Using higher acuity as a talking point for our need for lower nurse:patient ratios has had no effect. I am totally frustrated, as are the nurses on my unit, on how to get the point across to administration. We are unable to provide the total amount of care our patients need.

We use HPPD, hours per patient day, to set up our allocation tables. And even though my Telemetry unit is at 8.35 HPPD and another unit may be at 7.5; we all end up with a 1:5 nurse patient ratio.

Looking for a way to assign acuity levels to the patients doesn’t seem to hold much impact. As I researched this, I found articles that found inconsistent results with changing ratios to acuity, with inconsistent results in outcomes.

So where do I go from here? Patients are barely getting the attention they need……..the patients are sicker, older, heavier, more are diabetic…..nurses can only find time to complete the tasks and not much more…nurses are so frustrated, they are looking for jobs elsewhere?

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