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What do I like most about informatics?

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...

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Unique Nursing Identifiers (UNI) for Nursing Care

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...

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Taking that step toward board certification as an informatics nurse

nursinginformatics May 22, 2022

It was about this time of year in 2014 when I decided I was going to prepare for the Informatics Nurse board certification exam. I had wavered back and forth on it for a number of years. 

Becoming board certified was something I wanted to accomplish but questioned whether I needed it. 

However, there came a time when I decided I needed it before an opportunity in nursing informatics would require it in the future. 

I had been in the field for ten years at that time (now 18 years) and something I had experienced time after time was in clarifying what informatics nurses do and how they drive an impact on quality care through nursing science, computer science, and information science. 

If I held the board certification, that would be beneficial for potential clients, healthcare organizations and peers to have a metric to evaluate the knowledge, skills, and abilities I possessed as an informatics nurse before beginning any type of work. 

Additionally,...

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Informatics Impacts Everyone in Healthcare

Whether you are a nurse, physician, patient or family member, informatics impacts us all when it comes to caring for one's health. 

Think about that sentence for a minute. 

This means that whether you are an expert in the field or this is the first time introduced to the word informatics, there is a place for this science in your life and/or work. 

Let me explain. 

Consider you are a nurse and you are assigned a new patient. You may want to know the patient's name, date of birth (e.g., age), and a general reason for visit to start. All three of the areas mentioned represent different data elements. 

Perhaps you are a patient and requesting an appointment or picking up a prescription. Either of these actions are a result of a healthcare need driven by your own health data. 

For physicians, medical orders can only be placed based on the presentation and/or associated results from diagnostic exams, tests, and/or values. 

Family members who may be...

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