Nursing informatics specialists are constantly being pulled into initiatives that deal with new regulations and new technologies, and their contributions are being recognized.
The 2014 Nursing Informatics Workforce Study shows steady increases in annual salary and the number of information technology-related post-graduate degrees.
The growth of this role reflects healthcare providers’ shift in focus from system implementation to optimization.
It’s a natural evolution for nursing professionals with technology expertise. Who better to bridge the gap between technical personnel and front line caregivers?
Nurses interact with a variety of departments within the hospital. They have knowledge of the daily routines and current processes. And, most importantly, they have credibility with their peers, which is invaluable for showing other nurses how, and why, technology can make their jobs better.
They also bring a clinical perspective to system design and planning meetings, helping technical personnel understand why decision “A” will work, but decision “B” might not. They focus on the benefits IT brings to the clinical setting, versus the simplest way to string a system together.
Evidence of the shift from implementation to optimization is particularly apparent in the survey’s job category question. Nearly 40 percent of respondents selected “System Optimization / Utilization,” a new category this year, as their work role. This choice reflects the increasing recognition that installing technology is no “silver bullet.” It is the people, the processes, and the technology working together that improves performance efficiency.
TeleTracking has been saying this all along. We continue to build upon our tradition of supporting nurses and other implementation personnel and recently expanded our consulting services to include post-implementation coaching and change management for hospital leaders and staff.
TeleTracking sees business intelligence as another area of great opportunity for healthcare providers. More and more healthcare providers are relying on business intelligence to steer their “ships.” Effective data analysis requires sound judgment and a thorough knowledge of service offerings, two items nursing IT personnel have in abundance. TeleTracking facilitates successful business analytics initiatives by offering training for nursing professionals and others whose institutions have installed our data warehouse and analytics applications.
Whether by accident or by design, most nurses who enter healthcare IT are pleased that they did, according to the HIMSS survey. Fifty-seven percent of respondents were “satisfied” or “highly satisfied” with their current job, and 81 percent were “satisfied” or “highly satisfied” with the decision to go into the field of informatics.
As the benefits of real-time workflow management become more evident, the visibility, importance, and rewards of the nursing IT professional’s role will continue to increase.