What Are Some Current Issues in Nursing Informatics?

As of 2015, nursing informatics, the integration of nursing science with data and information sciences to enhance nursing practice and patient care, faces several issues: developing facility-specific policies and procedures regarding the use of the informatics system, training system users, establishing codes of conduct for users and implementing security measures to protect patient information. Specialists within the field are also working to refine the presentation and retrieval of patient information within informatics systems to best support high-quality patient care.

Additionally, nursing informaticists are addressing the need to create the data and communication standards necessary for a national data infrastructure and to establish standards in support of evidence-based nursing practice, research and professional development, according to the Nursing Informatics working group of the American Medical Informatics Association. Integrating nursing informatics as a competency across the nursing profession and clearly defining specialized competencies for nursing informaticists are on-going issues in the field of nursing informatics. Emerging technologies, which enable nurses to manage patient care remotely, also challenge nursing informaticists to design and develop these systems to ensure quality patient care and properly train nursing professionals in their use.

As the nursing informatics working group of AMIA addresses issues such as the identification of technologies to improve the flow of information between medical professions and various health-care settings, of note is the difference between nursing and health care informatics and health care information technology. Health care information systems and technology focus on computer applications to store, manage and share a range of clinical, administrative and financial data, whereas the purpose of nursing and health care informatics is to enhance and ensure the quality of patient care.