Informatics Development

We can help you to implement informatics initiatives in a variety of capacities. We offer ready-made professional development online courses in nursing informatics, or we can develop unique curriculum in any of the informatics fields

We will also help you to design courses (either online or paper based) to reflect the most current pedagogical practices, including constructivism, problem-based learning, cognitive apprenticeship, situated cognition, and the integration of technology.

The field of health informatics has been recognized for over thirty years, evolving in pace with the growing use of computers within work and personal environments. Since the beginning of the health professions, practitioners have used (and sometimes invented) whatever technology was at hand to enhance patient care and improve practice. For instance, nurses have long been managers and analyzers of health data, information and knowledge: at least since the time of Florence Nightingale (a widely acknowledged health statistician) in the 19th century.

>Health care professionals are the most important resource and players within the health care systems across the globe. This fact has led researchers, analysts, health care organizations, international licensing organizations, and consulting groups to all agree that it is imperative that professionals participate in the decision-making, design, implementation, and evaluation of computers and other interactive communication technologies (ICTs) in all contexts and sectors of the health care system. Since the late 1970s, pioneer health educators have tried to cultivate awareness and the inclusion of computer technology in the education of health care students to prepare them to utilize informatics in their future practice.

Evolution of the EHR

Advances in information technology over the past four decades has catalyzed the invention of ICTs that process data quickly and transmit information securely to multiple points-of-care. This has set the stage for the development of integrated electronic health records (EHR). National EHRs are currently being developed in many countries across the globe. EHRs are essentially electronic collections of individual patients' interactions with the health care system (e.g. hospitals, community clinics, physician's and other health provider's private practice offices, home care, laboratories, nutritional consultations, specialty services, and so on) which are available for secure access by a variety of health care professionals. Obviously, issues of confidentiality, privacy, and security are key concerns that must be addressed during the development and implementation of these EHR systems.

Electronic Health Information Languages

It is apparent that all health professionals need to develop skill in health informatics in order to competently utilize and participate in decision-making in relation to the design and adoption of Hospital Information Systems, and to use ICTs to provide timely, technologically advanced patient care. As well, indiividual discipline specific care components need to be included in the emerging EHRs. To address this, organizations like the International Council of Nurses (ICN) are developing an universal language for describing nursing practice activities called the International Classification for Nursing Practice (ICNP) (2005) to ensure that nursing care is accurately and fully represented in the new record system. Organizations representing other health professionals are doing the same.

The swift development of computer technology and health informatics has put the onus on health educators to integrate informatics into existing curricula. It is important that health care students develop the knowledge and skills to apply ICTs and computers in all areas of practice. National organizations such as the American Nursing Association and American Medical Association now include informatics competencies in their standards for practice documents. As well, specialty programs are being developed to educate experts in health informatics to act as leaders in technology projects and health care information system decision-making and implementation.

Popular Surge of the E-health Movement

Another critically important wave of network evolution is the public use of the Internet for networking with health care providers and other members of the public, now called E-health. Essentially, E-health is a client-centered World Wide Web-based network where clients and health care providers collaborate through ICT mediums to research, seek, manage, deliver, refer, arrange, and consult with others about health related information and concerns (Moody, 2005; Conte, 1999). ?The spread of powerful computers among a large and rapidly increasing segment of the population, and their interconnection through the Internet and millions of powerful servers, has brought an entirely new and largely unexpected quality to health and health informatics, and is effecting changes that we are only beginning to fathom. Essentially, it provided a vehicle to tie the general population in a new way into the system of health provision, health maintenance and health care. According to many assessments, health care is among the foremost reasons for resorting to the Internet? (Moehr & Grant, 2000, p. 278).

AIt is becoming obvious, that many clients want health care that is ?highlyNetwork personalized, customized, targeted, with tailored information and ultimately care delivery and case management? (Kaplan & Flatley Brennan, 2001, p. 311). This has led to the evolution of many client managed E-health initiatives that serve as self-help or support group networks. Initiators of these networks embrace the role of significant provider as well as user of health information, providing advice and a virtual environment that invites interaction with others who are focused on the same health issues and questions (Henwood et al, 2003). The levels of affiliation and interaction that develops within some of these networks are truly inspirational to health care providers who wish to engage in E-health networks with clients. Nurses can become visible social agents within these networks, interacting with informed, reflective public agents who have the desire and capabilities to make the health care choices that suit their own life world and personal values.

Future of Health Informatics

The field of health informatics promises to bring wide-sweeping and hopefully, positive changes to the practice of the health professions. Computers and other ICTs have the potential to support a more patient-oriented health care system where patients truly become active participants in their own health care planning and decisions. Mobile health technology, tele-nursing, sophisticated electronic health records, and next generation ICTs are predicted to contribute to high quality nursing care and consultation within health care settings, including patients' homes and communities.

Computers will become more powerful yet more compact which will contribute to the development of several technological initiatives which are still in their infancy at this point. The following include some of these initiatives.

Voice Activated Communicators are already being developed in Silicon Valley by companies like Vocera Communications Inc. These new technologies will permit nurses and other health care professionals to use wireless, hands-free devices to communicate with each other, and to record data. This can promote this technology which promises to become a user-friendly and cost-effective way to increase clinical productivity.

Game and Simulation Technology promises to offer realistic, innovative ways to teach nursing content in general, including nursing informatics concepts and skills. The same technology that powers video games can be used to create dynamic educational interfaces to help student nurses learn about pathophysiology, care guidelines, medication usage, and a host of other topics. These applications can also be very valuable for patient education and health promotion materials. The 'serious games' industry is just beginning to develop. Video game producers are now looking beyond mere entertainment to address public and private policy, management, and leadership issues and topics, including health care related ones. For instance, the Games for Health Project, initiated by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is working on developing best practices to support innovation in health care training, messaging, and illness management.

Virtual Reality (VR) is another technological breakthrough that will become common in nursing education. Basically, VR is a three dimensional computer generated ?world? where a person (with the right equipment) can move about and interact as if he or she were actually in the visualized location. The person's senses are immersed in this VR world using special gadgetry such as head-mounted displays, DataGloves, joysticks, and other hand tools. The equipment and special technology provides a sense of presence that is lacking in multimedia and other complex programs.

Telehealth is an emerging sector of health informatics that entails real-time or near-real-time two-way transfer of health information between professional and patient from a distance. It uses technologies such as telecommunications, high resolution graphics, imaging, and video to allow professionals to communicate, assess, and plan care with patients without actually being with them in person. This mode of health care is already becoming popular in remote areas, where the presence of professionals is at a premium. It is predicted that this is a wave that will become much more common for both rural and urban communities.

Mobile Devices will be used more by professionals both at the point-of-care and in planning, documenting, interacting with the health care team, and in research. There are strong indicators thatprofessionals is ready to move quickly to adopt this new technology and utilize it to its full potential at the point-of-care. We anticipate the rate of adoption for mobile information systems within nursing to be rapid, and it will ultimately equal and perhaps exceed that of physicians. Mobile Health Informatics will be at the core of health care in the 21st century. Ready access to data and analytical tools will fundamentally change the way practitioners of the health sciences conduct research, and approach and solve problems.

These predicted innovations are only some of the many computer and ICT applications being developed. As nurses gain proficiency in capitalizing on the creative, time-saving, and interactive capabilities being developed in emerging information technologies, the field of health informatics will grow in similar proportions.

We can help you to implement informatics initiatives in a variety of capacities. We can help you to develop informatics skills, courses, initiatives, research studies, and projects for all health professionals: whether at the individual, ward, office, class, or organizational level.

Accredited Informatics CE Courses

We provide online high quality approved CE courses in Nursing Informatics within the categories of Nursing Practice, Education, Leadership and Theory through the Nursing Informatics Learning Center. We also offer a free Self Assessment area. Click on the links below to explore our courses. Ask us about our institutional rates!

Fundamentals of Nursing Informatics
NRPR 101

39 credits - $199. This 13 module course offers a wide lens introduction to nursing informatics theory, practice, skill development & competencies..
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mHealth for Continuity of Care

NRPR 103

15 credits - $99. Mobile health apps, mHealth, Connected health, mobile devices, informatics.
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The Rise of Telehealth

NRPR 104

15 credits - $99. Value-based, access, continuity, resource use, implementation.
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Nursing Informatics in the Classroom

NRED 103

39 credits - $199. Theory & practice on how to integrate informatics into nursing education and PD.
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System Design Life Cycles

NRBU 102

15 credits - $99. Theory, principles & practice in using system design, analysis, and evaluation.
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Harnessing HIPAA for Optimal Care

NRBU 104

39 credits - $199. Practical applications of HIPAA rules and principles in nursing practice.
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Social Media for Nurses

NRBU 101

15 credits - $99. Theory, principles & practice in using social media professionally.
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Novice to Expert Theory

NRTH 100

3 credits - $20. Hubert and Stuart Dreyfus's and Patricia Benner's theory applied to Informatics.
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Diffusion of Innovation Theory

NRTH 101

3 credits - $20. Everett Rogers' valuable change model for guiding technological innovation.
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The Promise of Artificial Intelligence

NRTH 102

15 credits - $99. Overview of AI theory, principles for practice, analytics, security, value.
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About the Curriculum

All courses have been painstakedly developed to reflect a 21st century, techno-savvy, theory-rich lens of Nursing Informatics. Content is presented using a wide-angle, global lens to help nurses develop keen insight and awareness of all ramifications of the informatics spectrum of health care. A project-rich, constructivist, learner-centered mode of teaching and learning is applied to provide content that both challenges and stimulates learners to engage with the many faces of informatics in meaningful ways.

These completely on-line, self paced courses are approved by the California Board of Nursing for full CE credit; CE Provider No. CEP 14891.

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