Yesterday, I ran a 5K starting and ending at the Boston Common and Public Garden. This was a flat course up and down Commonwealth Ave! A very Bostonian scenic tour by foot if you will.
As I was running the race, I kept a close eye on my pace via my Apple Watch. I wanted to reach a sub 11 minute mile and knew it would be a challenge for me. So, the frequent checks to my watch kept me informed about how I was doing along the 3.1 mile course.
I tracked the distance to see how much longer I would mentally need to prepare for at the pace.
I watched my heart rate to see where it fell as I was starting to feel like it was getting hard to keep up with that pace.
I also analyzed my results after finishing to see how I did across the three miles in terms of a pace. (I ended up at a 11 minute, 7 second average pace).
Then last night, I reviewed my last several months of speed in a longitudinal manner.
I am sharing all of this with you because we now have more...
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...
Good evening all,
I was walking down the street this evening with my AirPods in my ear, and music playing from my phone's Music app that is connected via Bluetooth. All of these technologies supported my preference to listen to a few songs while I ran some errands. When I returned home, I took the AirPods out of my ears, put them in the case, turned the Music app off and put the phone on the counter. The technology is there to use but I opted not to do so for what I wanted to do next (get dinner ready, write this blog post, and more).
I share this as a simple every day example of how technology is there to support our needs and preferences. Those needs and preferences come from people first in the context of workflows or processes.
If I did not want or like to listen to music while out, the AirPods and Music app would have limited relevance for me in how I use them.
In relation to nursing and healthcare, the same concept applies to the technologies that...
Before writing these posts, I reflect on areas were I've had interactions related to informatics in my day to day life that catch my attention.
You may have noticed that I titled this reflection Genetics & Informatics. This is an areas we discuss during the Nursing Informatics Certification Exam Review (NICER) Program and it typically comes with some questions. How is genetics related to informatics?
Well, I have experienced this myself through professional informatics consulting with a large genetics company, and also personally, with my own health visits.
The professional informatics consulting involved working with a clinical information system to support the design and testing of their product before deployed to clients. The product provided cancer screening tools for genetic counselors to use when working with referred patients to determine their cancer risk. I worked to test the software in the same way that I would for any other clinical...
Just a few weeks ago, I remember hearing of ChatGPT across several industries and thought leaders. Similar to other anticipated tech trends, ChatGPT began to bring discussions of promise and risk. As with any new technology, there will be benefits and disadvantages (e.g., often referred to as unintended consequences).
As I heard this term used over and over again, I wanted to find out what it was and why it was gaining so much attention almost immediately after being introduced.
Yet, how exactly does it work? Well, the best way to explore this new technology is to test it out for yourself. You can sign up for an account here for free and try for yourself: https://chat.openai.com/.
I signed up for an account and am also attending a workshop in a few weeks to better...
I hope that everyone had a nice thanksgiving holiday. Perhaps you were able to get some rest, have some time with friends and family, and maybe even a little shopping and decorating along the way in preparation for the holidays.
We shared an email on Wednesday with details about our sales through Wednesday November 30th this week and wanted to give another reminder.
For the first time, we are offering our Nursing Informatics Certification Exam Review (NICER) Program at 25% off, saving approximately $100 off of the program. (We have not increased the price of the NICER Program in 6 years). The NICER Program is now virtual and on-demand with access for as long as you need until you pass the exam. Our exam pass rates are at or above 90% on the first try! The NICER Program comes with an abundance of resources, videos, and test questions along with a study guide.
We have also recently added two new programs that are designed to help support professional...
Years ago I was speaking to a nurse in direct care about some of the challenges she saw in documenting in the electronic health record (EHR). She looked at me and told me she felt like a glorified data entry specialist. We talked about what small things might make it better. She shared some thoughts but then said, who would I even go to about this? Who is here to help us make it better?
That memory has sat with me for years. I remember it vividly and it is brought back every time I hear another nurse or healthcare professional discuss something similar.
As a PhD prepared board certified informatics nurse, I've encouraged nurses and healthcare professionals that they have an ability to influence change in the EHR and/or other Health IT solutions. Some of the comments I've received have been:
"I don't even know where to even start."
"Who would I even talk to about my ideas?"
"I don't have an informatics or health IT background."
Informatics nurses and clinical IT...
The term patient-centeredness is more than a concept and word when aiming for quality.
Patient-centeredness at a minimum refers to centering care around the patient.
Patient-centered care is one of the six elements of quality as defined by The National Academy of Medicine in Crossing the Quality Chasm.
Taken from the executive summary of that report:
"Patient-centered—providing care that is respectful of and responsive to individual patient preferences, needs, and values and ensuring that patient values guide all clinical decisions." (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK222271/)
Patients are people first, often with a lot going on outside of the immediate appointment, episode, or treatment.
Perhaps a televisit (over an in person visit), and prescription delivery services will help address some compliance issues related to distance, obligations, or cost to travel and park.
Perhaps knowing the patient's name when you walk into the room will help the patient feel as though you...
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...
Good afternoon all,
I was reading an article this week on Unique Nurse Identifiers (UNI) and wanted to reflect on it here this week.
If this is the first time you have heard of a Unique Nurse Identifier (UNI), I'll share the definition from the article which I was reading:
"A UNI is a defined code or series of characters that represents an individual nurse within various healthcare technology systems and devices."
The concept of UNI's is not new as each registered nurse has a UNI with the board of nursing where he/she/they has had a registered nursing license.
Additionally, Nurse Practitioners have a National Provider Identification (NPI) number provided from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
Adding a UNI for nurses in healthcare organizations could help in several ways. One that stands out is the ability to more discretely identify the impact of direct nursing care on patient health outcomes. An ongoing challenge in nursing has been the ability...