Nursing informatics professionals have been integrating nursing science with information and analytical sciences for decades in order to find, describe, manage, and disseminate data, informatics, knowledge, and wisdom. Nurse informaticists are effectively creating change as analysts, educators, software engineers, policy developers, and operational owners to help improve healthcare.
During the pandemic, nursing informatics professionals were instrumental in building new clinical procedures, enhancing operational efficiency, and improving patient care quality. If you feel the call of nursing but enjoy technology and data, then nursing informatics might be an option for you.
What is Informatics in Nursing?
The American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) defines it as a science and practice that combines nursing and its information and expertise with information and communication technology to enhance the health of people, families, and communities throughout the world.
With rapidly developing technology, nurse informaticists make sure that the necessary tools are tested and analyzed to prevent any unintended consequences of health data use. Nurse informaticists, in particular, preserve corporate privacy and security policies of applicable technologies, comply with HIPAA standards, and assure acceptable use of personal health information to satisfy increasing regulations.
The Role of Informatics Technology
Information technology is the cornerstone in today’s healthcare system. Healthcare modernization is best illustrated by comparing where it was thirty years ago to where it is now.
The bulk of the last thirty years of technical progress has been focused on computer programs for administrative purposes. Still, the last decade has seen more significant emphasis on the therapeutic process. In creating new concepts and knowledge in healthcare technology, patient care has become a main priority.
Recognizing the necessity for collaboration between information technology professionals and healthcare practitioners to address patient care challenges, the healthcare sector established nurse informatics specialist jobs. Nurse informatics experts are an essential element of the healthcare delivery process, playing a role in selecting, implementing, and assessing healthcare that promotes safe, high-quality, and patient-centered services.
Certifications Within Nursing Informatics
There are multiple specialization areas in nursing informatics that fulfill the demands of distinct healthcare operations. The AMIA offers certification and/or working groups in these five nursing informatics specializations.
Clinical Research Informatics
The purpose of clinical research informatics is to identify novel ways to provide healthcare via the use of information gathered through clinical trials and secondary research using clinical data. It is a branch of informatics that focuses on using medical research findings in clinical settings.
Research nurses can work for colleges, universities, private groups, companies, and more. They gather and evaluate data using the scientific approaches they acquired in nursing school and practice. One of their most significant responsibilities is to assess the impact of informatics when it intervenes in health behaviors and outcomes.
Consumer Health Informatics
Consumer Health Informatics is the study of informatics from the perspective of the consumer or patient. Patient-centered informatics, health literacy, and consumer education are examples of these. The emphasis is on information structures and procedures that help consumers manage their health, such as health information literacy, personal health records, consumer-friendly language, and internet-based techniques and resources.
Consumer health informatics is the application of nursing informatics to directly assist patients and consumers through health literacy and patient education. The specialization creates frameworks for delivering health information to consumers in an understandable style linked to the patient’s health data.
Public Health Informatics
An informatics background is helpful for public health nurses who gather and evaluate epidemiological data for the general public, other healthcare professionals, and policymakers. Public health informatics is a new profession with numerous prospects. Maintaining vaccination records and public health surveillance systems are two practical uses.
Public health informatics focuses on health surveillance, emergency preparation, illness prevention, and health promotion. The field combines health informatics with population informatics to create information systems that encourage healthy living in groups and communities. In addition to health data, those in public health informatics research environmental variables, the quality of work and living environments, and electronic laboratory reporting.
Clinical informatics refers to the use of informatics and information technology to provide healthcare services. It is also known as clinical informatics and operational informatics.
Clinical informatics uses informatics to enhance healthcare delivery by nurses, doctors, dentists, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals. Clinical informatics addresses issues such as medical decision assistance, image analysis, clinical recording, and provider order input systems.
Translational bioinformatics is a new discipline that translates biological research into clinical applications in patient care and medication development. It entails the creation of computational algorithms to combine and evaluate clinical and biological data to investigate disease heterogeneity.
The volume of biomedical and genetic data is growing at an alarming rate as medical technology develops. Translational bioinformatics creates systems to store, analyze, and interpret data to enhance illness prediction, treatment, and prevention. The objective is to combine biological and clinical data to provide meaningful information to physicians, researchers, and patients.
Career Outlook in Nurse Informatics
The growing dependence on data analytics in healthcare presents possibilities in practically every aspect of nursing. The demand for healthcare personnel with both technical and patient care skills is also driving the nursing informatics employment outlook.
Nursing informatics roles fall into the category of medical and health services managers according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS claims the healthcare industry’s increasing dependence on EHRs has increased the need for nurse managers with expertise and abilities in health IT and informatics.
It also states that medical and health services managers’ employment is expected to expand 32 percent between 2020 and 2030, substantially faster than the average for all occupations.
On average, 51,800 opportunities for medical and health services managers are expected per year during the next decade. Many of those positions are likely to be created as a consequence of the need to replace workers who shift to alternative occupations or leave the labor market for other reasons, such as retirement.
Nursing informatics careers span the whole spectrum of healthcare, from clinical and scientific research to management, administration, and other leadership positions. Nursing informatics experts bridge the gap between the increased dependence on technology in healthcare settings and the demands of clinical practitioners and other healthcare employees who lack IT capabilities.
Post’s DNP Program in Informatics Leadership Specialization
Post University’s American Sentinel College of Nursing & Health Sciences offers a doctorate program in nursing informatics leadership specialization for nurses looking to expand into this exciting field. The courses are available online, and you can get your advanced degree in just 28 months.
This DNP program with a nursing informatics specialization stresses critical thinking, management, and leadership abilities. The American Sentinel College’s DNP is programmatically approved by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). You’ll gain the knowledge you’ll need to pursue executive-level IT jobs in healthcare, ranging from clinical health IT adviser to Chief Nursing Informatics Officer.
Once you complete the program, you will have developed practical skills that allow you to:
- Evaluate the demands of complex organizations as they make strategic decisions and implement change.
- Examine the responsibilities of leaders and partners in healthcare planning, delivery, and evaluation.
- Create strategies for organizational transformation while being culturally and ethnically sensitive by employing theoretical knowledge, meaningful data, and evidence-based practice.
- Use informatics in conjunction with your clinical knowledge to improve system management and patient outcomes.
- Capability to lead information systems into health care systems and clinical environments while collaborating with colleagues in diverse disciplines.
If you are a nursing veteran looking for a change, informatics can give you a way to advance your career. Check out the Doctor of Nursing Practice – Informatics Leadership Specialization program at Post University today!
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