In keeping with the information age, the modern healthcare system is characterized by specific purposes like collecting and retaining patient information and providing medical personnel with an opportunity to offer efficient medical treatment. Various medical data raise privacy concerns in information interchange. Any personal privacy discussion involves the analysis of compassionate information about treatment plans and health information. Regarding a constant growth of the public demand for privacy, the World Health Organization (WHO) has established the measures that preserve patient privacy as a key priority for medical facilities in a digital age. Nurses, in particular, have access to personal information as they cooperate with patients regularly and need to uphold certain ethical and legal obligations to share clear facts and maintain trust.
The research will examine nursing professionalism in the informatics context, with special attention to privacy protection perceptions and nursing competency in their relationships with patients. As a result, two major research questions must be addressed. Is nursing professionalism connected with nursing students’ awareness of how to protect patient privacy? What is the link between nurse professionalism and patient privacy protection perceptions mediated by nursing informatics competency?
Relevance of the Proposal
Students should improve their understanding of patient privacy issues during practice and learn how to use personal information properly. There is an opinion that personal information leakage has arisen because poorly trained college students have limited knowledge about what to do with medical data. There is also a low responsibility for information security compared to other hospital workers. Nursing students know little about alternative techniques and working processes. They are likewise unconcerned about patient privacy. Although nursing students who work with patients need to be more conscious of patient privacy protection, research about patient privacy protection degrees and existing variables are lacking (Sapci & Sapci, 2020). Patient privacy breaches can harm a medical institution’s professionalism and reputation and violate several ethical and legal standards, undermining different facilities and public trust. Considering all these changes in patient privacy protection that are critical for the medical profession, a vital task is to investigate what elements influence privacy protection and what nursing students.
Detecting health informatics skillsets for graduate students is a problem because researchers, students, and healthcare providers share various viewpoints and objectives. Students with a solid clinical background require the skills and training in mobile health, also known as mHealth, to work with patients, make diagnoses, and develop treatment plans (Booth et al., 2021). Individuals who prove to have a good information technology background focus on developing their technical and programming knowledge to design patient-centered health systems. It is also linked to various medical devices, consumer-directed mHealth options, Internet of things-connected wearable resolutions, and customized medicine apps that leverage AI algorithms.
According to Booth (2021), there is noteworthy progress to share in the medical and healthcare fields about the existing obstacles in using digital technologies. Employees can neither keep up with rapid developments in digital technology nor understand their impact on society. It is correct to say that despite the quality of their work, many nurses are not able to observe advantages in their practice and improve patient care. Instead of strengthening the already gained skills, a nursing practice should be changed from multiple perspectives. For example, it is possible to prepare digitally-enabled professionals who respond to the current global concerns, identify difficulties, improve the health system, and prepare a future for nursing care.
Furthermore, Sapci and Sapci’s (2020) admit that jobs in health informatics in the twenty-first century require skills to gather information from various wireless medical devices. It helps integrate and demonstrate the results of real-time data analysis and artificial intelligence algorithms that create a basis for many clinical and monitoring apps. Health informatics is a separate multidisciplinary subject that offers several career pathways. It provides access to a wide range of medical issues, so, the precise number of skills necessary within the chosen individual businesses are never the same because of rapid nursing care pace and evident technology advancements. The skills required by health informaticians differ greatly in terms of the roles that nurses should perform. Health informatics students develop their abilities during professional practice to identify the scope of their experiences and advance their careers in multiple ways.
According to Darvish (2018), technological aspects play an important role in nursing education and practice for constantly developing health systems and environments. It is expected to strengthen the examination of the nursing role, underline the necessity to promote more IT programs and investigate the nature of technological changes as a part of a learning process. The nature of the information age is hardly predictable, and its evolution imposes a variety of obligations on all nurses, including IT training, communication, and leadership. Technological advancement is impossible to stop or control, and the only step is to empower nurses in IT and help them improve their professional outcomes and care quality. There are many specialized courses with certain short- and long-term purposes. It is expected to work in several major directions, namely education, graduation, degree advancement, and work itself.
Review of the Various Studies
Competence in nursing informatics is a significant component that influences the quality of healthcare services. Nurses play a critical role in clinical practice as essential members of the clinical team. Their talents and competencies considerably impact the different working aspects, including positive and negative outcomes of medical interventions. According to Nazeha et al. (2020), such issues as self-efficacy, work satisfaction, time spent on learning health information systems, and the nature and length of clinical experiences affect nurses’ informatics proficiency directly and substantially. Furthermore, they discovered that their age influences nurses’ informatics competency indirectly and substantially.
In today’s nursing practice, the development and improvement of informatics knowledge and skills are highly supported, while the worth of computer skills remains poorly addressed and recognized. This finding matched that of Khezri and Abdekhoda (2019), who looked at nurses’ views through the prism of evidence-based practice. According to Kinnunen et al. (2019), another type of skill – informatics literacy – also has one of the greatest percentage levels, whereas computer literacy is characterized as the quality with the lowest mean score percentage. These findings contradicted Nazeha et al. (2020), who concluded that the average computer ability score was low. There was no significant link between informatics competency and education degree, shift, or employment position. This finding aligns with Khezri and Abdekhoda (2019) to prove no statistically significant association between the overall nursing informatics competence score and the level of knowledge among the chosen research participants. This conclusion, however, contradicted Booth (2021), who investigated the viewpoints of nursing management and the abilities that are critical for the informatics field. It was also found that educational level had a substantial influence on some nursing competencies.
Sapci and Sapci’s (2020) study confirmed the predictions about a positive connection between nursing professionalism, patient privacy protection perceptions, and nursing informatics competency. Unfortunately, not many researchers continue investigating this field from this particularly chosen perspective. Thus, the existing rarity of academic projects, it was difficult to compare the offered findings with those of previous projects to verify the association between the two major factors like nursing professionalism and informatics competency. Previous research has demonstrated a significant positive association between nursing professionalism and how patient information can be managed. Besides, attention was paid to the impact of information literacy, which defined the capacity to acquire, understand, and appraise essential information appropriately. Finally, nursing students and researchers may consider these achievements to formulate an additional sub-concept in nursing informatics known as proficiency.
Potential Impact on Wider Community
One of the essential duties of nurses, aside from protecting patient privacy, is to gather and evaluate data to deliver safe, high-quality patient care and ensure safety. In this case, informatics has to be identified as one of the critical abilities for all healthcare professionals to possess. The knowledge, abilities, and attitude required to use diverse nursing, computer, and information sciences are referred to as nursing informatics competence (Booth et al., 2021). Informatics technology is utilized in medical settings to make critical decisions for the best patient outcomes and gather, manage, and safeguard patient privacy. Nursing students with greater nursing informatics expertise are more conscious of privacy protection.
Insufficient competency in nursing has been documented to result in the possibility to apply electronic patient privacy issues in practice and research properly. These interventions and changes result in a significant patient privacy discussion. Furthermore, competencies in nursing informatics encompass fundamental computer knowledge, abilities, and the understanding of one’s position as a nurse. In recent years, the necessity to establish nurse informatics competency has emerged to prove that nursing professionalism is crucial in preserving patient privacy due to the impact of medical informatization and digitalization. According to this approach, a significant and beneficial association between several concepts emerges: nursing informatics competency and nursing professionalism. This link underlines the essence of privacy protection and guarantees safety for patients due to a properly developed nursing informatics expertise.
Booth, R. G., Strudwick, G., McBride, S., O’Connor, S., & Solano López, A. L. (2021). How the nursing profession should adapt for a digital future. The BMJ, 373. Web.
Darvish, A., Bahramnezhad, F., Keyhanian, S., & Navidhamidi, M. (2018). The role of nursing informatics on promoting quality of health care and the need for appropriate education. Global Journal of Health Science, 6(6), 11–18. Web.
Khezri, H., & Abdekhoda, M. (2019). Assessing nurses’ informatics competency and identifying its related factors. Journal of Research in Nursing, 24(7), 529–538. Web.
Kinnunen, U. M., Heponiemi, T., Rajalahti, E., Ahonen, O., Korhonen, T., & Hyppönen, H. (2019). Factors related to health informatics competencies for nurses – Results of a national electronic health record survey. CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing, 37(8), 420–429. Web.
Nazeha, N., Pavagadhi, D., Kyaw, B. M., Car, J., Jimenez, G., & Tudor Car, L. (2020). A digitally competent health workforce: Scoping review of educational frameworks. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 22(11). Web.
Sapci, A. H., & Sapci, H. A. (2020). Teaching hands-on informatics skills to future health informaticians: A competency framework proposal and analysis of health care informatics curricula. JMIR Medical Informatics, 8(1). Web.