In spite of our best collective efforts, and after decades of implementing electronic health records, nurses still can’t consistently use EHR data for research, or for reporting quality and patient safety outcomes.
This concern was the focus of an invitational conference that I participated in this week at the University of Minnesota School of Nursing, attended by a diverse coalition of stakeholders.
National leaders in nursing, healthcare, and informatics came together to develop an action plan for shaping health policy and informatics initiatives that use a national nursing knowledge model. Our primary goal is to guide consistent documentation and data collection to support big data research for transforming healthcare. So, after hearing presentations on a vision of the future, enablers, gaps and challenges, and participating in multiple, iterative, facilitated discussions, where did we land?
We created an action plan for:
1) integrating nursing information into health and healthcare knowledge systems;
2) optimizing nursing language and healthcare information;
3) influencing policy; and
4) modifying and standardizing the informatics educational framework.
This action plan will organize and present knowledge for clinicians and consumers, so that together, they can make the best decisions about their health and healthcare. How cool is that?!
To advance the vision of a transformed health system, we need a more-coordinated structure where information can be easily and safely shared among patients, consumers, clinicians and providers to enable improved outcomes, quality of care and lower costs. This vision requires access to real-time, accurate, and actionable health information. Attendees focused on determining what we can do to achieve the vision.
Specific components of the action plan are to:
- Develop a strategy/campaign for educating front line nurses, students, and faculty on informatics competencies and the value of standardized nursing data;
- Advocate for the adoption of SNOMED-CT and LOINC as national standards for clinical data, and link them with nursing terminologies through mappings;
- Convene a consensus conference with leaders of the major nursing organizations and interprofessional stakeholders to educate them, hear their views, and ultimately, speak with one voice;
- Refresh and activate the ANA’s NIDSEC (Nursing Information & Data Set Evaluation Center) criteria to advance systems that represent and value nursing data; and
- Participate in standards and profile development to ensure a nursing voice.
Why is this action plan important? As knowledge workers, nurses must leverage clinical data from the EHR to:
- Optimize workflow and support clinical decision-making;
- Tell the patient’s story;
- Collaborate to foster knowledge translation;
- Leverage analytics to extract actionable knowledge;
- Use sharable, comparable data; and
- Build evidence out of nursing practice.
And ultimately, when we realize this transformed healthcare system…
- Our focus is on patient satisfaction, patient safety, health promotion, and quality of care.
- The healthcare experience is personalized.
- Consumers are engaged in their health and healthcare, with their care team.
- Evidence-based care is improving outcomes and promoting health
As we tackle this action plan, nursing informatics is leading the way. This is an opportunity to step outside of our comfort zone to make a difference. Your participation is not only welcome, it is needed. We seek your help in further developing and executing the action plan.
Let me know if you are interested in participating, and please watch for specific opportunities in future blog posts. There are exciting times ahead!