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Arkansas State University

How Do Doctor of Nursing Practice Professionals Use Health Informatics?

Most healthcare professionals have a packed work schedule, making it difficult to manually classify all patient data in the moment. The invention of health informatics has made it easier for nursing and other professionals to complete their tasks while staying up to date with patient information and concerns.

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) – Education online program from Arkansas State University (A-State) equips graduates to utilize health informatics to improve care systems and patient outcomes.

What Does Health Informatics Entail?

Health informatics acquires, manages and assesses patient data through scans, test results and other records to increase efficiency and understanding. Ultimately, the use of health informatics improves patient outcomes.

There are multiple forms of health informatics, including clinical, nursing and public health informatics. Each type of informatic serves a specific purpose in healthcare.

According to Tech Target, “clinical informatics is used in direct patient care by supplying physicians, nurses, physical therapists, aides and other caregivers with information that can be used to develop a care plan.” This complements the nursing field, especially the role of nursing informatics, as “nursing informatics specialists encompass nurse interactions with health IT systems and accurately document transitions of care.”

The clinical and nursIng informatics environment typically involves hospitals and emergency rooms. Healthcare providers who care for patients who need specialized care will likely use clinical or nursing informatics to collect, analyze and store patient information and data.

Those within the public health informatics field utilize “computer science, information and technology to the administration of public health, including disease surveillance, prevention, preparedness and health education to help guide diverse communities,” explains Tech Target.

Why DNPs Use Health Informatics

Each type of health informatics concentration benefits the overall population. These informatics concentrations also exist in various forms of applications and resources.

DNP professionals use health informatics to study patterns in population health management data. Often, this data helps nursing professionals determine the necessary measures. It also identifies certain areas or populations that might be subject to various social determinants of health that impact access to and quality of care, such as safe housing, transportation, racism/discrimination, education, income, food security, pollution, literacy skills and more.

Most healthcare informatics data is stored in technologically based formats, making it easier for managers and nurses to share information instantaneously. DNPs in the professional environment “make sure that all forms of data are organized and can easily be translated into various formats depending on the patient,” describes Nursing License Map. With the implementation of electronic health records, professionals within the industry need to have a strong handle on the digital tools available.

Informatics also becomes valuable in administrative and managerial roles for all healthcare organizational and systematic needs. HIMSS explains, “information systems in the managerial role often consist of interpreting information and modifying data to be utilized in decision-making processes. Managerial programs facilitate payroll functions, streamline material control and assist with financial and administrative factors of their role.”

Driving Healthcare Transformations

To transform the operation of health informatics, nursing professionals must ensure they follow all resources and protocols from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA’s mission statement concerning informatics reads, “The mission of the Office of Health Informatics is to provide health informatics tools, solutions and expertise that enhance, transform and sustain FDA’s ability to protect and promote the public health.”

According to the FDA, key initiatives include:

  • FDA Data Standards Advisory Board
  • FDA’s Global Substance Registration System
  • openFDA
  • PrecisionFDA
  • Structured Product Labeling
  • Vocabulary and Terminology Services

Each resource category is helpful for nursing professionals to demonstrate a new and improved ethical understanding of health informatics throughout the industry. “The primary function of informatics transformation is to ensure that there will be a next-generation open source platform that enables collaboration, fosters information-sharing and provides analytic tools in regard to the Precision Medicine Initiative,” states the FDA.

Apply Health Informatics Concepts With a Doctoral Degree

One way to transform how you apply health informatics concepts as a nursing professional is to further your career and earn your Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree. Those who enroll in the DNP – Education online program at A-State will not only strengthen their nursing practice and expand their expertise in health informatics, but they will also be equipped to use such knowledge in a nursing education setting and teach other nursing professionals.

Students will develop and demonstrate expertise in designing and delivering practical training and education for nursing and healthcare professionals. This intensive program allows students to learn about industry-specific, contemporary topics such as healthcare informatics, policy, leadership, finance and translational research. Plus, they will be able to communicate these topics to others in the field.

For example, the Healthcare Informatics in Advanced Nursing course covers the basics of management theory and informatics applications to increase efficiencies in various functional areas of healthcare services. In the Leadership, Policy, and Healthcare Systems course, students delve into leadership and organizational theories to influence policy in healthcare delivery. Students can complete the program in as few as 12 months.

Each future DNP professional will obtain the knowledge and skills necessary to enter influential roles in healthcare, such as university nursing faculty, nursing school academic administrator, clinical education director or director of nursing education. Knowledge in health informatics will serve them well in any role as they seek to improve patient outcomes.

Learn more about A-State’s online Doctor of Nursing Practice – Education program.

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