This is a landmark week for HIMSS and the Nursing Informatics Community. HIMSS’ Board of Directors has recently approved its first HIMSS Position Statement focused on nursing practice.
Though you might join me in saying, “It’s about time!,” it is worth celebrating this moment since the statement is significant to our professional practice, as well as to the future of our healthcare system. My key take-away from this statement is that HIMSS believes nurses must lead, be visible, vocal and present at the table for all significant healthcare reform initiatives.
HIMSS Position Statement Summary
Nurses are key leaders in developing the infrastructure for effective and efficient health information technology that transforms the delivery of care. Nurse informaticists play a crucial role in advocating both for patients and fellow nurses who are often the key stakeholders and recipients of these evolving solutions. Nursing informatics professionals are the liaisons to successful interactions with technology in healthcare. As clinicians who focus on transforming information into knowledge, nurse informaticists cultivate a new time and place of care through their facilitation efforts to integrate technology with patient care. Technology will continue to be a fundamental enabler to future care delivery models and nursing informatics leaders will be essential to transforming nursing practice through technology.
A major driver for this statement was the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Report The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, which emphasizes the vital role of nurses in transforming healthcare in our country and presents recommendations about how to promote that role in the future. The IOM report highlights that “The United States (U.S.) has the opportunity to transform its healthcare system, and nurses can and should play a fundamental role in this transformation. However, the power to improve the current regulatory, business, and organizational conditions does not rest solely with nurses; academia, government, businesses, healthcare organizations, professional associations, consumers and the insurance industry all must play a role.”
The HIMSS Position Statement provides background on key related issues and identifies specific recommendations for eliminating barriers and addressing nursing’s role in transforming healthcare, particularly in regards to the role of nursing informatics and the use of health IT. This statement was developed by the HIMSS Nursing Informatics Committee, representing more than 2,900 nurse informaticists, and is supported by HIMSS multidisciplinary stakeholder membership. At the crossroads of technology and patient care stand the nurses who have chosen nursing informatics as their specialty.
As we know, nursing informatics is a well-established specialty that has evolved to become an integral part of healthcare delivery and a differentiating factor in the selection, implementation and evaluation of health IT that supports safe, high quality, patient-centric care. When patient-centric processes encourage patient engagement, nurses and other healthcare team members across care settings can work in partnership to enhance the well-being of consumers. Nurses integrating informatics solutions into clinical encounters are critical for the transition to an automated healthcare environment that promotes the continuum of care across time and place, in addition to wellness and health maintenance activities.
Please join me in celebrating this occasion by widely disseminating the HIMSS Position Statement and advocating for the following recommendations in your organization:
- Partner with nurse executives to lead technology changes that advance health and delivery of healthcare.
- Support the development of informatics departments.
- Foster the evolution of the Chief Nursing Informatics Officer role.
- Transform nursing education to include informatics competencies and demonstrable behaviors at all levels of academic preparation.
- Promote the continuing education of all levels of nursing, particularly in the areas of EHRs and health IT.
- Ensure that data, information, knowledge and wisdom form the basis of 21st century nursing practice by incorporating informatics competencies into practice standards in all healthcare settings.
- Facilitate the collection and analysis of inter-professional healthcare workforce data by ensuring data can be collected from existing health IT systems.
Are these recommendations already in place in your organization? Does your organization currently have a CNIO or Nursing Informatics Executive role? If so, what are their job responsibilities?
I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas!