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Discussion: Analysis and Informatics Practice

Discussion: Analysis and Informatics Practice

Discussion: Analysis and Informatics Practice

NOW FOR AN ORIGINAL PAPER ASSIGNMENT:Discussion: Analysis and Informatics Practice

Workflow Analysis and Informatics Practice

The American Nurses Association (ANA), in Nursing Informatics: Scope and Standards of Practice (2015), defined functional areas of practice for the informatics nurse specialist (INS). The functional area of analysis identified the specific functional qualities related to workflow analysis. Particularly, the ANA indicated that the INS should develop techniques necessary to assess and improve human–computer interaction. Workflow analysis, however, is not relevant solely to analysis, but rather is part of every functional area the INS engages in. The functional areas covered by consultants, researchers, and other areas need to understand workflow and appreciate how lack of efficient workflow affects patient care.

A critical aspect of the informatics role is workflow design. Nursing informatics is uniquely positioned to engage in the analysis and redesign of processes and tasks surrounding the use of technology. The ANA ( 2015 ) cites workflow redesign as one of the fundamental skills sets that make up the discipline of this specialty. Moreover, workflow analysis should be part of every technology implementation, and the role of the informaticist within this team is to direct others in the execution of this task or to perform the task directly.

Case Study

In my experience consulting, I have seen several examples of organizations that engage in the printing of paper reports that replicate information that has been entered and is available with the electronic health record. These reports are often reviewed, signed, and acted on, instead of using the electronic information. Despite the knowledge that the information contained in these reports was outdated the moment the report was printed and that the very nature of using the report for workflow is an inefficient practice, this method of clinical workflow remains prevalent in many hospitals across the United States.

There is an underlying fear that drives the decisions to mold a paper-based workflow around clinical technology. There is also a lack of the appropriate amount of integration that would otherwise allow this information to be available in an electronic form.