For frontline nurses eager to spend more time delivering care and less time completing yet another form, health informatics offers a unique opportunity. Health informatics, especially the subspecialty of clinical informatics, focuses on the development of tools which make our care safer and more efficient. Crucially, however, it recognises the importance of collaborating with those who will actually use these tools – our frontline nurses and other members of the multidisciplinary team.
Too often in health, our ward nurses are the last to find out about new initiatives or policies that will affect their work. Too often non-clinical duties or tasks are delegated to frontline nurses for no other reason than they are the only set of hands available. Too often the expertise and knowledge of clinical nurses is overlooked when it comes to designing new IT systems and implementing change. Health informatics seeks to rectify this and give clinicians the skills and opportunities to not only be involved, but lead the development of new informatics tools.
In the constantly expanding digital world, health care must ensure it is not left behind and through health informatics, nurses can lead the way, safeguarding patient privacy and person-centred care as we venture forth.
Gardner RM, Overhage JM, Steen EB, et al. (2009). “Core content for the subspecialty of clinical informatics”. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association. 16 (2): 153–7. doi:10.1197/jamia.M3045.