Every time I start to try to explain informatics to someone, especially someone in nursing and healthcare, I use the two terms of heart rate and pulse as an initial example.
At the surface, a nurse or healthcare professional might consider these to be the same thing, just different expressions for what the beats per minute are for one's heart.
Yet, to someone who is not a nurse or healthcare professional, these are two different words so why would they necessarily mean the same thing?
This is especially true of those who work on developing health IT systems. Heart rate and pulse are two discrete terms.
So what is the implication of having two different terms that could mean the same thing?
The impact of having two different terms that may mean the same thing is that someone, likely someone within a nursing and clinical informatics role, needs to decipher the semantical difference (if any) between these two terms.
This is a simple example but is...
I went on a trip recently and the day before I left I had a thought, "what if my luggage does not make it to the destination?" I have that thought every trip but this time I started to think about how to be prepared for such an event.
I thought of the Apple AirTags that I had seen in videos on the internet. I am an Apple user and appreciate the integration of the devices. With the 'Find My....' app, you can identify where all of your devices are (as long as they are synced with the app).
So, while I did not purchase the AirTag in time for the trip, (thankfully my bag made it with me :) ), I did purchase one as soon as I returned home.
I linked it up to the Find My... app and it is now part of the suite of products I have organized.
So, how does this relate to healthcare and informatics?
Well, in this instance I had the problem I was looking to solve where I could have more data and information about where my luggage...
I was recently interviewed for a graduate school assignment by a nurse who is pursuing a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. I was happy to participate in the process and find it a great opportunity to help demystify nursing and healthcare informatics. Before I answer the question, it is important to frame informatics according to the definition.
Informatics can appear to be a field that is unclear and misunderstood if you've not had the opportunity to interact, participate in some way and/or work in the field.
I remember the first time I hear the word informatics, I was a clinical analyst at the time in the IT department (not nursing). I had been working on an EHR (electronic health record) project for some time and heard the word used by a nursing leader and IT leader. I didn't know what it meant at that time.
However, the questions I was asking at that time were what prompted the introduction to informatics.
A common misconception is that informatics is...
We, as healthcare professionals and consumers of healthcare, cannot provide quality healthcare to others or to ourselves without data.
Data points are everywhere. Your respiratory rate, heart rate, oxygen saturation, and blood pressure are just four common data points in healthcare facilities (perhaps even at home).
At home in the day to day, you may be counting your steps, hours of sleep, days per week you are exercising, and many other possibilities.
We would rarely collect these data points without a purpose and intention to use the data for meaningful insights.
An initial set of vital signs may provide a baseline for a patient that could be referred to with each subsequent set of vitals for comparison.
For someone looking to become more active through walking, tracking steps may provide a way to determine progress and plan for how to make adjustments.
Now there are many opportunities to add on to the list of data elements. However,...