Nursing Informatics Safety in Healthcare

Nursing Informatics

This is a 3 page expository essay.
Please be sure references are from scholarly peer review that is 5 years or newer. You can
choose out of 4 topics to write about. I will send you the instructions and the topics that you
can choose from. Please send me the topic you choose after reviewing instructions.

Nursing Informatics
Safety in Healthcare

Introduction
Nursing informatics involves the collection, storage, and retrieval of data, which is in
electronic form. Nursing informatics is increasingly applied to patient identification, clinical
decision support, computerized drug ordering and nursing research (Bickford, 2015). The essay
below discusses nursing informatics and safety in healthcare regarding issues, possible strategies
to solve the problem, barrier to the policy and relevant nursing code of ethics.
Topic Selection
Application of nursing informatics has faced several challenges and threats to patient
safety. Treatment errors are one of the patient safety concerns in nursing informatics. Clinicians
utilize computerized and automated systems to identify patients, make prescription orders and
administer drugs. Errors in barcode patient identification lead to administering the wrong
medication to the wrong patient and performing procedures on the wrong patient. Technology-
related clinical errors result into poor health, worsening of symptoms and sometimes death of the

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patient. Data entry error is another problem affecting patient safety. Integrated and non-
integrated health information technology relies on manual entry of patients’ data. However, the
human-computer interface may result in entering incorrect data or entering another patient’s data
to the profile of a different patient. Subsequently, affected patients are misdiagnosed; undergo
the wrong therapeutic procedures (Hussey & Kennedy, 2016).
Nursing Informatics Strategies
Secure data and confidentiality are two nursing informatics strategies to ensure the
patient’s safety. Nursing informatics best practices require that patient’s data should only be
accessed to authorized persons only. In other words, authorized persons under specific
circumstances should only access patients’ health information. Patients’ health information
should be protected with passwords only known to each of the authorized personnel. Therefore,
to access the patient health information, an individual needs to log into the patient’ database. The
requirement specifies that the system should be capable of keeping information of the personnel
who log into the patient database at specific times with the person’s full details. Additionally, the
patients’ data should be protected from malware computer programs. The system should have
installed threat detection and elimination applications to protect the data from potential cyber-
attack and access to data by unauthorized persons (Gordon, Fairhall, & Landman, 2017).
Confidentiality is an ethical and legal requirement strategy towards ensuring safety in
nursing informatics. According to the Patient Safety and Requirement Act, the disclosure of
patients’ information is only permitted after an evaluation of the level of protection accorded to
the data. The patient data to be transmitted or shared should undergo evaluation by Patient Safety
Organizations (PSO) to determine if data is secure for sharing with the aim of improving patient
care. According to the act, privileged access is only granted to criminal courts for criminal case

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proceedings and cases where there is no other source of such information. Further, according to
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, patient identity should not be revealed
when sharing patients’ health information. Patients’ identification information should be
represented with numbers and codes (Hersh, Boone, & Totten, 2018).
Inadequate training and adverse technological events are barriers to the implementation
of the nursing informatics strategies. Inadequate training of nurses on the application of nursing
informatics adversely affects the patient safety measures. Inadequate skills and knowledge lead
to commonly avoidable errors made in using automated systems, for instance, in the use of
barcodes for patient identification, automated drug prescriptions, and manual data entry errors.
Further, poor training results in a lack of nurses’ input in the selection of best-suited products for
the clinical nursing environment with specific healthcare facilities. Additionally, health-nursing
informatics is a fast evolving practice whose advancements are determined by technological
developments. Therefore, nurses who are not updated to the current technology cannot
implement the required patient’s safety strategies in nursing informatics (McCormick & Pruthi,
2017).
Technological adverse events negatively impact on the strategies in place to ensure the
safety of patient care. Some systems used in nursing informatics fail to update to the most
current versions of the systems in the market and therefore cannot be used to implement the
current health care safety strategies. Failure of computerized and automated systems jeopardizes
the patient care safety measures in place (McCormick & Pruthi, 2017).
Nursing Code of Ethics and Informatics and Application to Practice
Maintaining the confidentiality of patients’ health information is one of ethics in nursing
practice. Further, according to the nursing informatics best practices, authorized persons should

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only access patients’ data. Therefore, nurses have a role of maintaining the confidentiality of
patient data, both as an ethical requirement and one of the nursing informatics best practices.
Also, the moral principle of non-maleficence applies in nursing informatics. Nurses have a moral
duty of ensuring patients are protected from any harm or injury. Nursing informatics, through
errors in the computer-human interface, may cause errors that may result in wrong medication
and wrong surgical procedures, causing damage to patients (Masters, 2015).

Conclusion
Causes of breach of patient safety in the application of nursing informatics should be
prevented through cautionary measures by collaboration between technology and healthcare
industries. The existing legal strategies safeguarding the patient’s safety in nursing informatics
should be amended to address advancements in nursing informatics and new threats to the safety
of patients. Adequate nursing staff training is required to close the knowledge gap between
nursing informatics dynamics and existing nursing knowledge. Nursing care standards should
integrate existing nursing informatics safety concerns, the legal framework of healthcare
technology and nursing ethics.

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References

Bickford, C. J. (2015). The specialty of nursing informatics: New scope and standards guide
practice. CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing, 33(4), 129-131.
Gordon, W. J., Fairhall, A., & Landman, A. (2017). Threats to Information Security—Public
Health Implications. New England Journal of Medicine, 377(8), 707-709.
Hersh, W. R., Boone, K. W., & Totten, A. M. (2018). Characteristics of the healthcare
information technology workforce in the HITECH era: underestimated in size, still
growing, and adapting to advanced uses. JAMIA Open.
Hussey, P. A., & Kennedy, M. A. (2016). Instantiating informatics in nursing practice for
integrated patient centered holistic models of care: a discussion paper. Journal of
advanced nursing, 72(5), 1030-1041.
Masters, K. (2015). Role development in professional nursing practice. Jones & Bartlett
Publishers.
McCormick, B. J., & Pruthi, R. S. (2017). The Present and Future Challenges Facing Urology
Departments at Academic Health Centers. Urology, 104, 25-30.

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