[Recommended] Clearly Defined Protocols Explicitly
I am currently working as a registered nurse for an elementary school and within my healthcare organization thus far, I have only seen nurse informaticists interacting with the other professionals regarding covid-19 data. The children are tested weekly through random pools every Monday, and we typically receive all the results by Wednesday. The nurse informaticist organizes everything from the number of tests done to the quantity of positives, negatives, close contacts, and even those who are symptomatic versus asymptomatic. Among such a large quantity of students, it is challenging to keep track of all the varied statuses in health of the children. Therefore, it is even more difficult to keep the entire student body as healthy as possible. I’ve observed that the nurse informaticists’ interactions being mainly through us, as school nurses, rather than any of the other professionals in our organization, such as the teachers, receptionist, and head of school. The reason is because it is much too difficult to communicate all the information to each group of professionals, therefore the nurse informaticists limit their interactions to us and we communicate the necessary information thereafter to the other professionals when necessary. In my experience, the main method of interaction of this information seems to be organizing it all in an excel chart and giving the access solely to us nurses. We organize it all with the nurse informaticists and it seems to be the most efficient mechanism for processing all the technology data into the appropriate systems for documentation.
However, in my experience, I have also seen that data get lost or not be documented or communicated accurately all the time due to the multiple outlets of information being received. Some children test positive at home, some are close contacts at home versus in school or vice versa, some travel, etc. There is a lot to keep track of and school nurses can use their leadership skills to advocate for improvement in the data organization so that there is more clarity among all the professionals in our school setting. If there was a more organized workflow and more clearly defined protocols explicitly written out for every possible covid-related scenario, there would be more accuracy among the data (Mosier, Roberts, & Englebright, 2019). Although I understand the reason for solely communicating to us, as the school nurses, is to stay more efficient, I do feel that there is a need to improve the interactions among all the professionals to keep everyone in the loop. I do not feel that we should have all teachers, receptionists, and nurses all on the same excel sheet for the students’ covid-19 statuses because that would become chaotic with too much manipulation. However, I do feel that we should have a technological database platform that gives us all access to it. This way, we can all utilize it, incorporate proper data, and have all the professionals that surround the students with access to and ability to correct all data.
The creation of proper technological platforms to cater to data entry and organization would impact the nursing informatics profession greatly. The reason is because these kinds of changes are examples of how fast-paced and up to date we need to become to keep up with this modern-day world of healthcare that involves all technology-based formats of documentation, storage of historical data, maintenance of current conditions and statuses, as well as the methods for our communication and even patient monitorization (McGonigle, & Mastrian, 2022). A platform such as this would require the initial commencement of project management because to create a new resource, different departments are needed to be contacted to account for all the skills necessary. Technology-based advancements require the collaboration of multiple skillsets and specialties from computer experts, technology pros, and informatic specialists to administration, management, and of course, leadership of the entire project (Sipes, 2016). Nurses are the experts in the healthcare aspect of it all but the resources we utilize come from an entire world of professionals whose expertise lies in a variety of other categories. The continued evolution of informatics and new technologies will continue creating further job opportunities for collaboration through these new resources as they become more necessary. More and more, varied professionals will network, interact, and share their crafts as they continue to head towards a technologically advanced world of healthcare.
McGonigle, D., & Mastrian, K. G. (2022). Nursing informatics and the foundation of knowledge (5th ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Mosier, S., Roberts, W. D., & Englebright, J. (2019). A Systems-Level Method for Developing Nursing Informatics Solutions: The Role of Executive Leadership. JONA: The Journal of Nursing Administration, 49(11), 543-548.
Sipes, C. (2016). Project management: Essential skill of nurse informaticists. Studies in Health Technology and Informatics, 225, 252-256.