Advances in technology mean that nurses are increasingly required to gain new skills to keep up. As a result of advances in technology, new roles in nursing have emerged as the implementation of nursing information systems steps up in most healthcare facilities worldwide. Like in any other organization, information systems in nursing have had a significant positive impact on a healthcare organization. At the very least, they have helped ensure that customers’ healthcare records are safely stored and their retrieval made easier (Moghaddasi, 2019). However, the complexity and costs of various information systems necessitate a nursing leader with a deep understanding of the profession and information technology that supports it to ensure that a healthcare facility obtains the proper tools for the profession. Thus, as people with direct knowledge of the informational needs of a healthcare organization, nurses are essential in the selection and evaluation of an information system.
The implementation of new information requires enormous capital investment by a healthcare facility. Consequently, organizations must ensure that the necessary internal deliberations are held before a decision is made. It is in these deliberations that a nurse’s role comes into play. Nurses are especially essential in the process of determining the needs of an organization and matching those needs with appropriate information systems. In addition, nurse informatics ensure that the selected systems matches the latest technical specifications and can respond to the need of an organization in the future without requiring an upgrade (Moghaddasi, 2019). The selected systems must also be able to adequately respond to the needs of the patients and improve efficiency in the healthcare organization. Thus, the role of a nurse in the selection of an information system is one of shared decision-making, where they help identify the needs that a selected system should meet.
Healthcare information systems support both clinical and administrative tasks in a healthcare facility. In particular, they help ensure that errors are minimized, costs are reduced, and the quality of services offered is improved. Nursing information systems (NIS) form part of the healthcare information system as they help nurses manage their tasks effectively while improving the care given to patients. Specifically, nurses use nursing information systems to develop care plans, organize data, assess the quality of care provided to a patient, and recommend interventions (Moghaddasi et al., 2017). However, the effective utilization of nursing information systems depends to a large extent on their design and how well they match the expectations of a nurse. NIS systems that are poorly designed could complicate nursing and lead to poor acceptance by nurses in an organization.
At a minimum, a selected information system should be easier to learn and use, have a friendly user interface, have an easy data retrieval sequence, and produce information relevant to nursing decision-making. In essence, the design of any NIS should consider its usability before considering any other technical specifications. Evaluating the usability of the selected systems is the role that is assigned to the nurses who will utilize the system daily once a decision is made to purchase it by the management. In evaluating an information system, nurses consider its suitability and functionality in supporting the performance of daily tasks (Moghaddasi et al., 2017). Thus, an appropriate information system must match a nurse’s expectations and support them in the performance of daily tasks. Otherwise, the acceptability of the system by users and its uptake could become problematic. Other important criteria that nurses consider when evaluating an information system include suitability for specific tasks.
Moghaddasi, H. (2019). Features of nursing management information systems: A systematic review. Biomedical Journal of Scientific & Technical Research, 21(2).
Moghaddasi, H., Rabiei, R., Asadi, F., & Ostvan, N. (2017). Evaluation of Nursing Information Systems: Application of usability aspects in the development of systems. Healthcare Informatics Research, 23(2), 101–129.