A landmark report was recently published titled: The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, as the result of a partnership launched in 2008 between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Institute of Medicine. The purpose of the report was to determine criteria to transform the nursing profession, leading to new roles and leadership positions for nurses in the redesign of the health care system.
As co-chair of the Alliance for Nursing Informatics (ANI), co-sponsored by HIMSS and AMIA, I provided testimony to the Committee. This testimony emphasized that nurses are key leaders in the effective use of information technology to impact the quality and efficiency of healthcare services. The ANI contributions were used in the development of the report which has been described as a “tipping point in nursing care,” calling for the nursing profession to be re-engineered.
The report outlines several opportunities to transform nursing practice through informatics and technology:
Implications of Technology’s Impact on the Design of Health Care Delivery
Given the nature of patient data collection, nurses will be integral to proper collection of meaningful use data. As EHRs become more refined and integrated, nurses will have the opportunity to help define additional meaningful use objectives.
Implications for Time and Place of Care
Care supported by interoperable digital networks will shift in the importance of time and place. It is likely that a significant subset of care might be independent of physical location when health IT (HIT) is fully implemented. Nurses provide care in every setting, particularly the community and need to be involved in shaping the effective use of information technology across settings.
Implications for Nursing Practice
While HIT will have its greatest influence on how RNs plan and document their care, all facets of care will be mediated increasingly by digital workflow, computerized knowledge management, and decision support.
Implications of Technology’s Impact on Quality, Efficiency, and Outcomes
Adoption of HIT is expected to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of clinician interactions with each patient and the target population.
Technology’s Role in Transforming the Practice of Nursing
Interoperable EHRs linked with personal health records and shared support systems will influence how collaborative care teams work and share clinical activities.
Involving Nurses in Technology Design and Implementation
The TIGER Initiative’s goal of engaging more nurses in leading both the development of national healthcare information technology infrastructure and health care reform is referenced; as well as the TIGER goal to “accelerate adoption of smart, standards based, interoperable technology that will make health care delivery safer, more efficient, timely, accessible, and patient-centered, while also reducing the burden of nurses.”
This IOM report further emphasizes that the United States has the opportunity to transform its health care system, and nurses can and should play a fundamental role in this transformation.
- What do you think about nursing’s role in this transformation?
- Is the nursing voice active and being heard?
- What are the specific actions that informatics nurses can take based on these recommendations?
- How can we use this report to advance nursing’s role in leading change and advancing health?
I am interested in your thoughts and hope you will join me in the dialogue, here on the HIMSS Blog and by listening to my video commentary on the HIMSS YouTube channel.