“Nurse informaticists are in high demand due to federal regulations and the Medicare program. Healthcare staff and hospital administrators are required to use technical resources such as the electronic health record (EHR) to improve healthcare quality, safety, and efficiency,” says Ramona Yehle Ph.D., MS, RN, adjunct professor, graduate nursing programs at American Sentinel University. Nursing informatics is the practice of integrating health science, computer science and information technology to help clinicians more efficiently store, retrieve and apply mass amounts of critical data as part of daily care delivery. “Nurses have an immediate advantage in this field because they are the most frequent users of the EHR and have critical knowledge of healthcare workflows and processes,” says Dr. Yehle. “Nurse informaticists can help computer science specialists better understand how care is delivered and documented, which affects how information systems are designed.” Currently, the U.S. Healthcare System has a high demand for nurses who can analyze technology from both the patient care perspective and the information technology frame of reference. Two major roles have emerged in the informatics field, the clinician who utilizes health information technology and the specialist who creates, facilitates, tests and implements new information technology. Informaticists also work as the go-between the hospital and information technology vendors to implement and provide training for registered nurses and medical staff. The need for nurses with informatics knowledge, as well as certifications in nursing informatics continues to expand. The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) says the role and responsibilities for these nursing specialists continue to grow, citing that more than 60 percent of HIMSS survey respondents have either a Masters or Doctorate.
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