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Nursing care is evidence-based care: reviewing research, gathering data, and revising policies and procedures. Today’s challenge is how to locate all the relevant data from multiple systems and platforms into one usable view, turning data into usable knowledge. Nurses have strived to create a piecemeal workflow that aggregates patient data to create a big picture, a longitudinal trend. Reconciling this information during each patient interaction requires managing information from various pharmacies, medical offices, as well as the patient’s own history; in the shuffle, important medication interactions can get missed.
Simply put, medical records are siloed in various electronic medical records platforms. Radiographs can be inaccessible. A patient forgets a previous diagnosis. The fragmentation of data creates a trickle-down effect where the informatics cannot give the best picture to the nurse, and they, in turn, can’t present the provider and educate the patient with a detailed summary of patient information into one unified health record.
Now, we understand that accessing many systems and not addressing interoperability creates a view of data similar to a disassembled puzzle. We have to turn these data into usable, connected information that fits like a wire frame over the nursing workflow. By doing so, we create a unified patient electronic health record –which means, among plenty of other things that we as nurses don’t have to write something down on paper, then manually enter the information into another system. On many occasions, nurses must log in and out of different systems to get the full picture of information which takes up valuable direct patient care time.
National Nurses Week is May 6-13, 2018; saying thank you and showing gratitude can take on many forms. This year in particular, I’m thankful for how much progress we’ve made toward giving nurses like myself a better view of the patient. Interoperability matters – for nurses, for the healthcare system overall, and for patients directly.
Read last year’s blog post from National Nurses Week
About the Author
Danielle Siarri is an official Social Media Ambassador for HIMSS. She is number 44 in the Top Health Information Technology 100 (HIT100). Danielle has a Master of Science in Nursing Informatics and is a registered nurse with experience ranging from hospital setting of transplants and trauma to case manager in a corporate environment. She is also the owner and publisher of Innonurse.info, a forward thinking Health IT curation website. Follow Danielle on Twitter @innonurse.