Electronic Health Records

Adoption & Implementation News

Informatics Nursing Key to Population Health Management

By Vera Gruessner

The results of an additional survey – called 2015 Impact of the Informatics Nurse Survey – were released today at the 2015 HIMSS Annual Conference and Exhibition in Chicago and illustrate how informatics affects population health management. More than 500 participants were polled online including executives, clinical analysts, and informatics nurses. The polling took place between November 17, 2014 and January 24, 2015.

The survey analyzed how nursing informatics affects the technology-driven healthcare environment. It shows that nursing informatics has expanded greatly over the years and is now impacting patient safety, care processes, workflow, and productivity improvements.

The report shows that 60 percent of respondents feel that informatics nurses play a key role on the quality of care offered to patients. Out of all respondents, a majority – 61 percent – said their organization employed an informatics professional in a leadership position while 95 percent said their facility employed an informatics professional with a nursing background. Additionally, 20 percent stated a Chief Nursing Information Officer is positioned at the leadership helm of their healthcare facility.

“The 2015 Impact of the Informatics Nurse Survey showcases the positive influence informatics nurses are having on improved quality and efficiency of patient care,” Joyce Sensmeier, Vice President of Informatics for HIMSS, said in a public statement. “We are going to continue to see the role and use of technology expand in healthcare and the demand for nurses with informatics training will grow in parallel. As clinicians further focus on transforming information into knowledge, technology will be a fundamental enabler of future care delivery models and nursing informatics leaders will be essential to this transformation.”

Some of the most common applications that survey takers stated their medical facility employed include medical device integration, health information exchange, mobile apps, electronic prescribing, voice recognition tools, and remote monitoring or telehealth capabilities.

In the survey results, 85 percent feel that informatics nurses are valuable during the EHR and health IT implementation phases while 83 percent believe informatics nurses are necessary during the optimization phase.

The informatics sector plays a key role in evolving technologies within healthcare organizations and informatics nurses are important in ensuring user acceptance and the adoption of health IT systems, according to the survey. Seven out of 10 respondents also stated that these nurses are vital for integrating medical devices within health professionals’ workflows.

The poll also shows that organizations that first created an informatics position prior to 1995 were more likely to have two or more informatics leaders while organizations that only offered this position between 2010 to 2014 were significantly less likely to have such a leader. Informatics nurses were considered to have a high impact on the quality of care and patient health outcomes at the respective institutions of survey takers due to their population health management improvements.

Nurses will be an important part of the future of patient care and EHR-based healthcare solutions, as medical organizations continue to implement population health management tools and data analytics to further advance the triple aim of a better patient experience, lower costs, and improved outcomes through population health management.





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