Hey Nurse Informatician, Don't Let Someone Else Define Your Roadmap

A Nursing Vignette, presented as a part of National Nurses Week. 

by Kelly Aldrich DNP, MS, RN-BC, FHIMSS, RYT, Informatics Nurse Specialist, Chief Clinical Transformation Officer, Center for Medical Interoperability

As nurses, we are not only the most trusted healthcare profession, we are transformational leaders. Nurses understand workflow and process management, and we have organizational skills to keep our patients safe and provide a caring touch. While no one profession can singlehandedly solve interoperability issues within care settings, nurses are mission critical to advancing the strategic roadmap toward achieving data liquidity. Nurses represent the bridge between clinical practice and informatics and are key factors in improving both patient outcomes and clinicians’ practice experience.

We, collectively, need to stop saying that nurses and other clinicians have a “resilience issue.” What we have is a “lack of strategic and partnership issue” that is absolutely critical if we ever expect to be able to support proper workflows, reduce burden and improve outcomes. We have processed our people to the point of moral injury. We need to stop creating workarounds to compensate for our sorely lacking technology infrastructure. We should, instead, invest in solutions and approaches that enable the transformation of information into knowledge that are useful within the care environment. As a group, we have the clout to demand more from our technology solutions and we have the expertise to specify what we want out of it in order to provide a safe, equitable, efficient and satisfying experience for all.

Here are three things that you can do right now to start thinking like the Clinical Informatics leader that you already are:

  1. You know things, you’ve got this. You are a nurse! Start by identifying three work arounds for the clinicians you represent, then roadmap and fix them. Let it be known you are targeting the elimination of workarounds to make the technology interactions of the entire practice team more safe, satisfying and useful.
  2. Define the big picture roadmap and get involved. How can you collaborate with your larger clinical and policy community to improve these initiatives on a grand scale?. Get involved with not only local but national committees. You might be interested in cybersecurity, policy or academics-- pick one and network. Working to help others achieve success benefits all care providers and patients --and is simply a win for all.
  3. Be a mentor. Do you have a mentor? If not, find one, and work with that person to develop accountability for your short and long-term goals and initiatives. And be a mentor to others. How else will we stand united to advance our profession, which is the heart and soul of caring?

You are a Nursing Informatics leader and, together, we are over 4 million reasons to celebrate!

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Join us in celebrating #Nurses4HIT and the value they bring to health IT during #NursesWeek May 6 - 12.