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Informatics and Patient Safety, Coursework Example

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Words: 1056

Coursework

Introduction

Patient safety in the nursing work environment is of critical importance in all areas. Nurses must demonstrate their ability to be effective in treating patients and in creating an environment where patient safety is a key priority at all times. This process requires a greater understanding of the risks associated with patient care and how patients might be compromised by different actions, including those conducted by nurses. Therefore, it is important to identify the resources that are required to ensure that patient safety is maximized under a variety of conditions, and this includes a comprehensive data and information management system that is capable of tracking this information effectively and without delays or gaps in knowledge. These processes support the continued growth and development of information system tools so that nurses are able to minimize potential risk and harm to patients. The following discussion will address the role of informatics in patient safety in greater detail and will consider the opportunities that are available to improve patient care safety through the regular use of these tools at the nursing practice level.

Analysis

Patient safety in the healthcare environment is of critical importance; therefore, nurses must be able to provide the highest possible quality of patient care by using the tools that are available. In the modern era, there is a continued expansion of tools and resources that are used to improve the treatment strategy for all patients. This process requires an ongoing effort by nurses to identify the relationship between information technologies and patient safety, including the use of electronic medical records (Middleton et.al, 2013). Nurses must be properly trained in the use of these systems and must be prepared to manage any and all risks associated with information sharing through these systems that may have a direct impact on patient care safety and quality (Middleton et.al, 2013). Nurses are responsible for developing new strategies that are designed to improve patient care outcomes that are related to the use of these systems, while also considering other alternatives that enable patients to receive high quality care and treatment on a continuous basis (Middleton et.al, 2013). Nurses are responsible for obtaining the most updated information from electronic health records in order to treat patients effectively using the appropriate tools and resources that are available (Middleton et.al, 2013).

In the workplace environment, nurses must establish what is known as a culture of safety in order to accomplish the necessary objectives of nursing practice (Morath, 2011). This process requires nurses to understand how patient safety is accomplished from a variety of angles, and how these factors work in conjunction with each other in an effort to achieve successful patient care quality (Morath, 2011). Patient safety requires nurses to exercise sound and reasonable judgment at all times, to use electronic tools to the best of their ability, and to make decisions that are in the best interest of their patients on a continuous basis (Morath, 2011). These factors support the growth of new ideas that will provide patients with the best possible resources to improve health and wellbeing over time (Morath, 2011). Nurses must be able to acclimate to an environment where safety is of the utmost importance and is the primary focus of their roles in the healthcare setting, using the knowledge that they have acquired and the tools that are available to meet these objectives in a successful manner (Morath, 2011).

All healthcare environments must adhere to a set of patient safety goals and objectives; therefore, information technologies must be consistent with these objectives and in supporting patient care quality on a regular basis (Sittig & Singh, 2012). From this perspective, nurses must be able to utilize electronic patient records in a manner that supports patient care safety and quality (Sittig & Singh, 2012). Therefore, electronic health records must be updated regularly and contain accurate information at all times so that patient care is not compromised in any way (Sittig & Singh, 2012). Nurses must be properly trained in how to use electronic health records so that they are effective contributors to a safe environment for patients under a variety of conditions (Sittig & Singh, 2012).

Electronic health records require nurses to master the technology and to be apprised of changes to the technology as upgrades are released (Meeks et.al, 2014). They must also be able to recognize when there are potential errors in the system so that patient care is not compromised and safety is taken seriously at all times (Meeks et.al, 2014). These efforts are instrumental in enabling nurses to recognize any risks associated with electronic health records and to be proactive in recommending changes that will improve patient safety and quality over time (Meeks et.al, 2014). Furthermore, nurses must collaborate regarding these efforts and also openly communicate to minimize any risks to patient safety that might be observed in the workplace environment at any given point in time (Meeks et.al, 2014).

Conclusion

Nurses must establish an environment where patient safety is of the utmost importance in order to accomplish the desired objectives. This process requires nurses to be effective communicators through electronic health records and to determine when there is a potential risk that could compromise patient safety in any way. These opportunities enable nurses to be directly involved in making decisions that will create a culture of patient safety and that will encourage others to minimize risks and to prevent errors whenever possible. These efforts are essential to the growth and expansion of nursing practice and the ability to provide patients with a safe and nurturing healing environment, regardless of their health status and current needs in the healthcare setting.

References

Meeks, D. W., Smith, M. W., Taylor, L., Sittig, D. F., Scott, J. M., & Singh, H. (2014). An analysis of electronic health record-related patient safety concerns. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, amiajnl-2013.

Middleton, B., Bloomrosen, M., Dente, M. A., Hashmat, B., Koppel, R., Overhage, J. M., … & Zhang, J. (2013). Enhancing patient safety and quality of care by improving the usability of electronic health record systems: recommendations from AMIA. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 20(e1), e2-e8.

Morath, J.S. (2011). Nurses create a culture of patient safety: it takes more than projects. Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 16(3), 2.

Sittig, D. F., & Singh, H. (2012). Electronic health records and national patient-safety goals. New England Journal of Medicine, 367(19), 1854-1860.

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