By pursuing a career as a family nurse practitioner, you’re choosing to dedicate your life to ensuring the wellness of others through preventive medicine. According to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, in 2018, NPs are becoming the No. 1 choice for millions of people in the country when they need to visit a health care professional. As this role continues to grow in popularity and demand, nurse practitioners should learn more about how technology is impacting them.
Digital advances have transformed the industry. Doctors and nurses alike are using electronic health records and other digital resources to better treat patients and offer more advanced prevention methods. As new technology continues to surface and older innovations become more advanced, future nurse practitioners must understand health informatics and how it can impact their career.
Let’s take a closer look at what defines health informatics, how it’s transforming the health care industry and why it matters for family nurse practitioners.
What defines health informatics?
According to the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, health informatics is defined as the design, development, adoption and application of medical services, management and planning through technology. Health informatics affects everyone from the doctors and nurses providing care to the patients receiving the assistance.
How is health informatics helping FNPs?
The rise of health informatics has an impact on all parties involved. Ultimately, it will ensure better outcomes for patients, but it will affect both doctors and nurse practitioners, changing the way they gather and use information in their practice. Here are some of the ways health informatics is changing the way nurse practitioners deliver care:
When health informatics is involved, NP’s have better access to evidence-based information and educational tools, according to Jenna Quinn, RN, writing for EBSCO Health. With new technological features at their disposal, patient portals and artificial intelligence software, nurse practitioners are exposed to surrounding care providers and information that can help them hone their craft and improve areas of expertise.
Think about all of the information nurse practitioners are expected to relay on daily basis. With health informatics, NP’s and other medical professionals have easier access to enhanced communication. It’s easier and faster to discuss patient outcomes, prevention methods and other care details by using digital resources like the patient portal.
Health informatics also allows nurse practitioners to use technology as a stepping stone for patient education. Digital advancements like the patient portal allow patients immediate access to their electronic medical records. This, in turn, allows nurse practitioners to teach patients how to personalize their care and be more forward-thinking about their overall health. With health care informatics, nurse practitioners can show patients how to contact healthcare assistance in the practice instantaneously when something is urgent instead of waiting on hold after calling the office. The patient portal is also a hub for educational information that patients can access when they want to learn more about a condition or diagnosis.
Self and patient protection
As new tools emerge, nurse practitioners are constantly given new ways to care for patients and keep them safe. NPs can rely on the digital tools presented by health informatics, such as telemedicine, internal messaging systems, EPrescribing and more to better monitor patients and provide evidence-based care that turns into accurate, efficient outcomes.
Furthermore, health informatics can assist nurse practitioners with patient documentation. Health care technology allows NPs to keep track of records more efficiently and effectively, making it easier to track vitals and other health information.
When nurse practitioners are better equipped to answer questions quickly and effectively, document a more comprehensive manner and look up patient information, they can communicate properly and provide care that translates to better patient outcomes.
Now more than ever, nurse practitioners are encouraged to embrace health informatics and the future of technology. Not only can it help them improve their skills, but it can make tasks that were once difficult more seamless and streamlined. This will ultimately help them jump to the forefront of the industry, giving them a lead as technology continues to transform their role.
Why does it matter for family nurse practitioners?
While health care informatics indirectly impacts nurse practitioners, nurse informatics is a subset that’s specific to the field. According to HIMSS, nursing informatics is defined as the specialty that mixes nursing science with analytical science to help nurses, consumers, patients and other health care teams make the best decisions through information structures and processes.
Both health informatics and nursing informatics are relevant to family nurse practitioners as the health system changes. As new technology and initiatives emerge, all parties involved in the health care setting must remain on the same page to ensure fewer problems and streamlined care. Practicing such coordination as technology evolves will provide the safest and most effective care for the patient.
Pursuing the Master of Science in Nursing program at Bradley University
As the health care climate continues to transform, professionals in the medical field must be open to taking on new roles and learning more about the growing industry. For those looking to further their education in a flexible setting, consider the online Master of Science in Nursing concentrating in Family Nurse Practitioner from Bradley University. Because this non-traditional program is 100 percent online, you can attend classes and complete assignments on your own time. This gives you total control of your education, career and future.
Once you graduate from the online FNP program, you can acquire a big-picture view of the modern health care industry, expand your knowledge of advanced nursing and patient-centered care and gain technological expertise as new technologies emerge.
To learn more, check out the Bradley University Online Master of Science in Nursing — Family Nurse Practitioner program page.
Health Informatics defined