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ESSAY: Nursing

Technology and Information Literacy

In healthcare continuum, technology and information literacy focus on healthcare provider’s ability to research, manage, transform, collect, understand, and share information using technologies such as electronic health records or wireless telephone (Bala, 2017). The ability to understand and apply technology to collect and use information is fundamental in promoting patients’ experience in modern healthcare environments. Therefore, as technology becomes more integrated into hospitals, interprofessional collaboration and teamwork are becoming increasingly virtual. Therefore, technology is a significant tool used to ensure faster communication in the managerial, technical, and executive positions (De Veer, Fleuren, Bekkema & Francke, 2011). This means that a lack of competency in nursing technologies create a number of barriers to participation and development hence reducing efficiency and patient experience.

There is a positive correlation between information technology and improved efficiency, access to health services, care quality, and patient safety. In fact, nurses are required to demonstrate competencies in different areas of computers including information literacy and informatics to use IT effectively in research, education and in healthcare practices (Blais, 2015). In compliance with these requirements, the nursing profession has come up with established competencies that will help to instill IT skills and knowledge, both at the beginners and experienced levels.  However, there is need to articulate for specific roles and its expectations in terms of advanced nursing practices as seen in the evidence-based approach to enhancing competency in technology and information literacy.

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Nurses among other health care practitioners should use IT to not only deliver and document but also to obtain reimbursement for the patient care (ACRL, 2014).  This has seen the launching of Technology Informatics Guiding Education Reform (TIGER) and Health Information Technology Scholars (HITS) to enhance the implementation of IT competencies. This will help nurses to use innovations and evidence-based practices in transforming research, education, and clinical care.

In a clinical setting, I will use the following evidence-based practices to enhance competence in technology and information literacy in healthcare facilities.  The first step is to integrate the appropriate technologies that are vital in knowledge management and aid to improve health care.  This involves the use of technology resources such as informatics competency from TIGER and American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) (Finkelman, 2015).  This is vital because it helps to synthesize data from various sources such as clinical decisions support technology when making critical decisions that involve appropriate consultations, management, and decision making.  The next step involves translating scientific and technical health information into a more understandable form (Finkelman, 2015).  This will involve the use of technology and devices to help improve the outcome of patients by interpreting statistical simulations and graphs into a form that is easy to understand by the nurses, patients, and family members.   

The third intervention would involve encouraging healthcare providers to demonstrate information literacy skills when faced with a situation that needs complex decision making.  This is the step that requires one to analyze the barriers and strengths associated with technology and information systems (Pordeli, 2017). There will be the application of advanced security measures to ensure confidentiality and to promote privacy in communication.  In addition, implementation of technology and information literacy involves the involvement of healthcare providers and scholars in the design of the clinical information systems. Importantly, this measure will help to promote efficiency, quality and safe care. 

In conclusion, enhancing competency in technology and information literacy in healthcare setting is a critical measure that will help to improve patient’s outcome. One of the important approaches includes availing information and training healthcare providers through an integrated system to encourage sharing of information electronically and to enhance efficiency.

References

Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL). (2014). Information literacy competency standards for nursing. association of college & research libraries. Retrieved from, http://www.ala.org/acrl/standards/nursing

Bala, A. (2017). How technology is changing nursing: The impact of telehealth.

Blais, K. (2015). Professional nursing practice: Concepts and perspectives. Pearson.

De Veer, A., Fleuren, M., Bekkema, N., & Francke, A. (2011). Successful implementation of new technologies in nursing care: a questionnaire survey of nurse-users. BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making, 11(1). http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1472-6947-11-67

Finkelman, A. (2015). Leadership and management for nurses: Core competencies for quality care. Pearson.

Pordeli, L. (2017). Informatics competency-based assessment: Evaluations and determination of nursing informatics competency gaps among practicing nurse informaticists (Doctoral dissertation, Jacksonville University).

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