In the contemporary world, the ubiquity of the information technologies is the reality and a necessity. Over the last few decades, the information and computer technologies have facilitated many dramatic changes in the ways in which health and nursing care are delivered. In the industry such as nursing, characterized by very rapid and drastic changes, the use of information systems and technologies is a solution to multiple professional issues; computers help the nurses to eliminate a great deal of paperwork, repetitive and routine tasks, time-consuming operations, and arrange better planning and preparation (Toromanovic, Hasanovic, & Masic, 2010).
Healthcare has been stereotyped as one of the fields where the practitioners are slow and reluctant to embrace innovation and change (Cipriano & Hamer, 2014). In reality, this is not the case; in fact, the healthcare industry is one with the fastest integration of technologies. What creates the effect of reluctance to learn new skills is the quick and powerful inflow of the technologies that forces the employees to switch to completely new practices within short periods of time; also, the systems and technologies are often quite complex and not easy to master.
Healthcare information systems (HIS) can be subdivided into two types according to the sources of data they rely on – population-based and institution-based (Health Information Systems (HIS), 2011). The former refer to various censuses such as Community Health Status Indicators (CHSI) that specifically is designed to provide accurate statistical information about all the states and counties in the USA including a variety of relevant factors such as the characteristics of the regions in terms of living conditions, access to good-quality nutrition, levels of income, and other social and physical determinants of the public health (Community Health Status Indicators, 2015). Resources such as CHSI serve as the basis of many health-related policies and decisions; besides, they help the nursing practitioners to address the factors that contribute to various public health problems. Such censuses are recognized as extremely valuable by some of the major national health initiatives and programs. For instance, Healthy People 2020 insists that the creation and maintenance of the healthy physical and social environments is one of the key goals of the American health care (Community Health Status Indicators, 2015). CHSI is supported by the CDC as a resource helping to ensure the cross-disciplinary understanding of the public health drivers.
An example of the institution-based sources of data and information is the CCC (or Clinical Care Classification system). Saba (2012) points out that since the healthcare facilities and organizations widely embraced the electronic health records (EHRs), it became more and more relevant by the year to introduce a common system of codes and classifications that would be standardized for all the practitioners and speed up the communication between the practitioners and avoid misunderstandings that may potentially lead to medical errors. The ANA (American Nurses Association) and Department of the Health and Human Services recognize the CCC that is a system of terminology codes and standards used by all the medical practitioners (Saba, 2012). The CCC is extremely helpful in the nursing practice supporting the practitioners at each step of their work with the patients such as the evaluation and assessment, the provision of a diagnosis, planning, and implementation of treatment, evaluation of outcomes, and follow-up care (Saba, 2012). For nurses, the CCC systems can be compared to a language that serves specifically to deal with the professional issues and ensure the most effective interactions between different professionals.
In my practice, I have faced both types of the professional data sources – population-based and institution-based. In my experience, both of them serve as extremely helpful resources to rely on during practice. Discussing the CCC system, I once spoke to a nurse who was affected by the professional miscommunication with another practitioner due to the lack of knowledge of the standardized terminology. As a result, the two professionals failed to understand one another and this problem affected the patient in a negative way – the treatment was assigned inappropriately. Fortunately, the error was not very serious and resulted in the delay of the positive treatment outcome. Also, there was a misuse of resources due to the mistake in communication. When it comes to the population-based data sources, I have personally relied on them doing different types of professional research that I required for the education as well as my professional needs. I found it extremely useful to be able to research the communities based on their geographical locations and learn the social and physical factors contributing to their health characteristics. In my opinion, this system provides a deeper understanding of the patients and their health-related requirements.
To sum up, healthcare is the industry where the use of technology becomes not only widely spread as a practice but also an everyday necessity. Just like all the other medical professionals, nurses are forced to use a wide range of technologies and systems helping them work in a more productive manner. HIS ensure effective interactions among the professionals and timely learning opportunities as well as the access to important data.
Cipriano, P. F. & Hamer, S. (2014). Enabling the ordinary: More time to care. Web.
Community Health Status Indicators. (2015). Web.
Health Information Systems (HIS). (2011). Web.
Saba, V. (2012). The clinical care classification (ccc) system–now is the time! Web.
Toromanovic, S., Hasanovic, E., & Masic, I. (2010). Nursing Information Systems. Materia Socio-Medica, 22(3), 168–171. Web.