Use of Health Information Technology as the Source for Evidence-Based Practice
Health information technology brought a narrow provision for evidence-based practice before digital transformations in respect to a database have started. Nurses sourced information about cutting edge research from periodicals and libraries. However, the emergence of digital research databases has brought a solution to this challenge (McGonigle et al., 2012). Databases as a form of information technology have made a significant contribution to evidence based practice.
The resources identified in the scenario of comparison between twelve-hour shifts and eight hour shifts (as presented in McGonigle’s Nursing Informatics and the Knowledge Foundation) can influence an organization’s practice. The resource informs of the negative implications to nurses and patients’ safety of the twelve-hour shifts. This can provide an insight to an organization on how to change the schedules to transform the problematic shift to an efficient set-up, whereby it can deliver high quality healthcare. This change can also improve the welfare of nurses and ensure efficient patient healthcare.
My concern is on the issue of counseling and education of patients about preventive measures to avoid illness as part of family nursing practice. Counseling and education of patients refers to the sensitization process of patients about disorders and their preventive care. It helps patients to have information about various disorders and ways on how they can be prevented. Health organizations have been using traditional methods of patient counseling and education such as brochures, leaflets, video tapes and, to a certain extent, face-to-face communication. However, health information technology provides new perspectives of upgrading the family nursing practice to a new level. I have used health information databases to locate three evidence-based practice resources that could address this concern and, perhaps, outline further set of actions. I have located Stoop’s study on “Using information technology in education of patients: realizing surplus value”. Insights in this resource reveal that computer-based patient information systems can replace traditional forms of patient counseling and education to improve the efficiency of services rendered. Computer based patient information systems should be designed to match the needs of patients. This can improve the care of different diseases such as diabetes, hypertension among other disorders (Stoop, 2004).
Stoop’s article provides pilot project that makes use of computer based patient information as evidence that; adoption of health technology can improve counseling and patient information. The study states that information in health technology resources is easily for patients that want to look up for medical counseling. They are able to consult information on the moment they select, at their own pace, and from the setting of their choice. The study states that information technology, internet, and health care information technology applications, can be the remedy for the limitations of traditional nursing means of patient education.
I have also located Doran and others’ article on “Supporting Evidence Base Practice for Nurses through Information Technologies”. The insights in the article link the use of information terminals that are mobile such as Tablet PC or personal digital assistants, which ought to improving access for nurses to the required information resources. This can help them to disseminate information to patients on different preventive measures with regard to various disorders. It is realistic to provide nurses and patients with access information resources through mobile information technologies to improve the efficiency of healthcare (Doran, 2010).
Doran’s article studies an initiative of the Nursing Secretariatin the Ministry of Health, Ontario, and the Long-Term Care. The secretariat provided nursing practitioners with palmtop computers and tablet personal computers, to enable internet access of resources to get information. Nurses could access drugs and medical reference information, and the most suitable practice guidelines, and to abstracts of recent research studies. The study reports that there was a substantial progress in research awareness, and in communication of research among nurses. The article gives evidence that nurses were able to improve patient information dissemination about care and different disorders after consulting different studies and information resources online. This is evidence that health technology can improve patient counseling and education. The resource states that it is feasible to provide nurses and patients with health technology resources to reduce the barriers to health information.
I have also located the e-health forum as a resource to address the issue of patient education and counseling. The resource provides insights on community medical questions and answers. Access to the resource can improve patient information on various disorders. The resource contains different medical topical issues that can provide an influential information base about patients (E Health Forum, 2013).
The e-health forum’s wide patient and member catchment are evidence that the resource has information that can improve patient and counseling information. Featured medical experts and community patients groups engage in medical information consultancy that through the website. The forum’s positive reception also provides evidence that family nursing practitioners can make use of online forum to; counsel and sensitize patients on different disorders.
Health information technology supports the evidence-based practice in different ways. It can help family nurse practitioners to locate, manage and utilize the information they require in their practice (Umscheid et al., 2010). It reduces the time of finding information to make decisions on healthcare. It also supports nursing research that can unravel findings to inform and improve nursing practice. It offers various modes for gathering information, keeping and processing data, as well as analyzing the information. In addition, health information technology helps in implementing research findings (Jamal et al, 2009). It disseminates information to practitioners through databases, and this conveys new practices in nursing. It also improves the quality of healthcare through the use of aspects such as automated medical accounts, electronic provider command-entry, and choice sustenance systems (Hynes et al., 2010).
In conclusion, it is essential to adopt the use of health information technology in order to improve patient care and minimize health costs. Health information technology can enable the healthcare sector to operate at a level of high quality and efficiency according to expectations of patients, healthcare experts, or sector regulators. In addition, it can reduce substantial concerns that exist in the sector related to the quality of patients’ care, incidences of improper medical examinations or medical treatment, as well as regular increment of health costs.
Doran, D. (2010). Supporting evidence based practice for nurses through information technologies. World Views on Evidence Based Practice, 7 (1), 4-15.
E Health Forum. (2013, April 22nd). Health Forums. Retrieved from http://ehealthforum.com/health/health_forums.html
Hynes, D., Weddle, T., Smith, M., Whittier, E., Atkins, P., and Francis, J. (2010). Use of the health information technology to improve evidence-based practice: Lessons from the VA QUERY program. Journal of General Internal Medicine, S44–S49.
Jamal, A., McKenzie, K., and Clark, M. (2009). The effects of health information and technology on the quality of health and medical care: A systematic analysis. Health Information Management Journal, 38(3), 26–37.
McGonigle, D., & Marian, K. (2012). Nursing informatics and the foundation of knowledge. Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett Learning. Chapter 26, “Nursing Research: Data Collection, Processing, and Analysis”.
Stoop, A. (2004). Using information technology for patient education: realizing surplus value? Patient Education and Counseling 54, 187-195.
Umscheid, A., Williams, L., & Brennan, D. (2010). Hospital-based proportional effectiveness centers: Translating research into practice to advance the quality, safety and value of patient care. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 25(12), 1,352–1,355.