By Joyce Sensmeier & Christel Anderson
The HIMSS Nursing Informatics Community, representing more than 6,000 nurse informaticists seized the opportunity to provide comments to the American Nurses Association (ANA) Nursing Informatics: Scope and Standards of Practice, Second Edition. This publication, updated every five years, serves as the foundational text for describing the essentials of Nursing Informatics – the who, what, when, where and how of nursing informatics practice.
This was no small undertaking! As a result of our coordinated response process we received 163 written line-by-line comments and 46 verbal comments through a facilitated discussion from 69 contributors. Read our full response. The following themes were highlighted in our response:
Definition of Nursing Informatics (NI):
- The proposed definition has a heavy emphasis on data; data are merely the tools used to analyze workflow change and improve patient safety. The definition and role of a nurse informaticist should be expanded to improve patient care and outcomes through the use of data and other tools.
- NI has advanced from a discipline that was primarily focused on EHR implementation to one that is ultimately enhancing and optimizing technology and informatics tools that help clinicians provide better care and positive health outcomes for patients.
Metastructures, Concepts and Tools of Nursing Informatics:
- The importance of data standards to enhance the quality and efficiency of healthcare delivery is a significant component of our national agenda. Consider adding more emphasis on defining and using data standards; the Informatics Nurse can enhance the ability to automate interaction and enable information exchange with external partners which in turn will reduce costs associated with patient care.
Functional Areas for Nursing Informatics:
- Since NI is evolving rapidly, we should not try to determine a clearly defined list of NI functional areas. Rather, consider addressing NI as an evolving field and although this list is a current summary, it will continue to evolve over time.
- Bring awareness that these are evolving areas and the reader is encouraged to use online journals, peer publications, available research, education opportunities, etc. to stay informed, as the publication is updated once every five years.
Evolution of Informatics Competencies:
- We applaud the inclusion of the work of the TIGER Initiative Foundation and the reference to their publication Informatics Competencies for Every Practicing Nurse.
- Add that as knowledge workers, nurses must be able to leverage clinical data from the EHR in order 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.
What were your comments? Please share your thoughts, and be sure to attend the HIMSS14 Nursing Informatics Symposium to continue the dialogue in person, and explore the latest trends in nursing informatics.