DQ: Informatics

DQ: Informatics

DQ: Informatics

Technology is an indispensable part of today’s health practice, with many procedures giving way to machines and programmed software. Amid this, the evolutionary impacts of informatics are far-reaching, with the overall health practice outcomes improving immensely. Informatics reduces wastage, increases patient participation in health care delivery, and enhances coordination, among other significant outcomes. It is an evolution that will be critical in health care delivery for a long time as health care providers continue to seek ways of improving patient outcomes.

Concerning informatics’ role in overcoming barriers to care and increasing access to safe, quality health care, medication errors have been greatly reduced through informatics. With the consequences of misdiagnosing a patient or the wrong drug prescription being regretful, informatics prevents harmful treatment and prescription errors. Doing so prevents incomplete treatment of diseases and other medical-related harms such as improper use of medical equipment and incorrectly reading patient data (Stanhope & Matthews, 2019). In medication error reduction, clinical provider order entry (CPOE) systems are usually integrated with clinical decision support systems (CDSS) to enhance patient safety. Here, errors related to medical ordering and dispensing are avoided to improve safety. A typical CDSS identifies the values of drug doses and administration routes, among other sophisticated features (Patient Safety Network, 2019). However, the process also experiences some challenges. For instance, higher rates of adverse drug events are experienced in some hospitals despite using computerized order entry systems. In other cases, usability testing reveals that CPOE systems and CDSS still allow the entry and processing of some unsafe orders.

Generally, informatics is vital in enhancing safety and quality of care by reducing medication errors. Skochelak (2020) described

DQ Informatics
DQ Informatics

informatics as a way to patients’ knowledge since it improves understanding of patients’ problems through knowledge sharing. It also helps to personalize care and increase coordination. Such outcomes are instrumental in the provision of safe and quality care.


Patient Safety Network. (2019, Sep 7) Computerized provider order entry.

Skochelak, S. E. (Ed.). (2020). Health systems science e-book. Elsevier Health Sciences.

Stanhope, V., & Matthews, E. B. (2019). Delivering person-centered care with an electronic health record. BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making19(1), 1-9.

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Informatics is intertwined in healthcare institutions and is part of nursing daily duties, and will continue to be embedded in core processes. Informatics has provided opportunities for healthcare innovation and improved patient outcomes. Informatics provides opportunities to implement safety measures and provide more efficient care. Two key resources are Clinical provider order entry (CPOE). McGonigle and Mastrian (2018) define CPOE as an “electronic process or system that automates the way that orders have traditionally been initiated for patients. It allows a healthcare provider to enter orders electronically and to also manage the results of those orders” (p 778). The second resource is clinical decision support systems (CDSS). CDSS is defined by McGonigle and Mastrian (2018), as “a computer-based program designed to assist clinicians in making clinical decisions by filtering or integrating vast amounts of information and providing suggestions for clinical intervention” (p 773).

These two programs help provides efficiency by gathering information and guiding clinical decisions that provide best-practice interventions. They provide a way to keep mass amounts of patient-specific information organized per patient. Essentially, these programs provide safety measures to flag orders or interventions that are counter-indicated for the patient and their plan of care. The programs combined offer automated safety checks to help mitigate errors and provide efficient ordering processes. A downside to these programs is relying on the safety checks of the system and skipping additional safety steps. Each patient requires customized care and consideration of the many variables that affect their overall care. The programs such as CPOE and CDSS are protocols and algorithms that provide little customizations. These factors can lead to errors and being too reliant on the system to make clinical decisions. It is important to not still take the time to consider all variables and not skip the five rights to administering patient care.


McGonigle, D., Mastrian, K. G. (Eds.). (2018). Nursing informatics and the foundation of

knowledge (4th ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning. ISBN-13: 9781284121247


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