Health informatics has become one of the most influential fields of healthcare management due to its importance in organizing and analyzing health records to improve health outcomes. The medical information systems tend to lag behind possible innovations, but the utilization of the new technologies significantly improves them. This practice is crucial especially nowadays when the pandemic sprawled across the globe. Therefore, I chose the article entitled Rapid response to COVID-19: health informatics support for outbreak management in an academic health system published by a group of researchers in a Scholarly Journal of Health Informatics and Biomedicine.
To my mind, this article deserves special attention as COVID-19 affected more than 150 countries and health informatics helps to sustain the records of the infected and the recovered. As a result, new technologies are being implemented to the hospitals so that the efficiency of collecting and storing COVID-19 patients’ data are preserved and supervised. Moreover, health informatics is supposed to support the hospitals with supplying reporting and analytics tools to establish patient-facing technology. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the article related to health informatics and analyze how it can be used in the nursing practice.
The purpose of health informatics is to deal with resources of information, devices and means of retrieving, storing, and using data in health and medicine. Among the tools used are different communication systems, computer technologies, and medical terminology (Hoyt, 2018; Nelson & Staggers, 2018). Health informatics is a modern provider of medical records to patients, doctors, and other healthcare professionals. Thus, the article I have chosen is related to the field of health informatics.
The article provides details on how to manage the pandemic situation and see if implementation of new devices is relevant to support the health system in dealing with challenges. The objective is to “discuss the rapid development and implementation of the EHR configuration necessary for outbreak management within a large regional public academic health center in the setting of new and pending COVID-19 cases” (Reeves et al., 2020, p. 854). The goal’s achievement is possible by introducing modern devices and technologies to the hospitals of San Diego. Even though, the emergency hospitals owned their devices, they still lacked proper recording and documenting patients’ data especially the once admitted with coronavirus.
For complying with the objective, the researchers used several interventions to the San Diego’s infirmaries. The authors suggest that “one of the first needs for the health system was the development of a rapid and effective multimodal COVID-19 screening process” (Reeves et al., 2020, p. 854). That process included telephone calls, direct e-mails, and Electronic Health Record (HER) messaging prior to having personal appointments. Those technologies were used in order to consult the patient and recognize the symptoms before they call in for a proper triage to the healthcare facility.
Then, the secured communication platform was created for the workers to report data. According to the article, “to better respond to the rapidly evolving care needs during this outbreak, UCSDH assembled a 7-person Ambulatory COVID Team (ACT)” (Reeves et al., 2020, p. 855). Later, “the enterprise reporting team constructed a series of easily accessible reports within the EHR for use by the ICC, Infection Control, and other key organizational leaders” (Reeves et al., 2020, p. 856). Those reports were directly distributed to the devices of each member and they were used for making straightforward operational decisions concerning tests, procedures, and other urgent interventions (Adams & Walls, 2020). They also implemented the operational real-time dashboard that has all the data concerning the number of COVID-19 tests, admitted and recovered patients, available units, and other crucial aspects.
In addition, the researchers installed a telemedicine system that could be used by healthcare teams and patients to monitor test results, procedures assigned, appointment time and other important data. Reeves et al. (2020) state that “over 200 000 patients at UCSDH use the patient portal functionality within the EHR-tethered patient portal (Epic MyChart) which allows patients to utilize the video visit” (p. 856). Therefore, both sides got a chance to receive updates directly and rapidly.
Overall, the heath informatics in the research discussed was highly implemented to sustain the information flow. Therefore, it can be applied to my nursing practice as being a nurse demands fast reaction to the updates and when there is a possibility of using such technologies, I can react much faster. Moreover, the introduction of various communication and information systems simplifies interacting with patients as both can receive quick feedback, track the appointments, and keep a record of patient’s condition. In general, I believe that secured platforms installed on healthcare workers’ devises is a futile innovation that will alleviate the process of monitoring a patient’s condition.
In conclusion, it seems relevant to state that health informatics may significantly improve health outcomes and increase the level of awareness among the hospital staff. As the pandemic outbreak caused serious implications on hospitals, the teams have to act fast in order to treat each patient. Therefore, such systems as HER messenger can simplify the process by receiving and sending the urgent data on time.
Adams, J. G., & Walls, R. M. (2020). Supporting the health care workforce during the COVID-19 global epidemic. JAMA.
Hoyt, R. (2018). Health informatics: Practical guide. AMIA.
Nelson, R., & Staggers, N. (2018). Health informatics. Mobsy.
Reeves, J., et al. (2020). Rapid response to COVID-19: Health informatics support for outbreak management in an academic health system. A Scholarly Journal of Health Informatics and Biomedicine, 27(6), 853-859, Web.