THE ROLE OF NURSING INFORMATICS ON PROMOTING QUALITY OF HEALTH CARE AND THE NEED FOR APPROPRIATE EDUCATION
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This research was an attempt to investigate the role of nursing informatics on promoting quality of health care and the need for appropriate education. The study was restricted to the premises of St Luke HoapitalAnua, in Akwa Ibom State. The study adopted both primary and secondary method of data collection from 30 health workers (Nurses) from St Luke HoapitalAnua. The main instrument used was random sampling techniques in the selection of respondents, while the questionnaire aided the smooth process of the research. The study adopted simple percentage table and Chi Square as it analytical tools and survey design as a preferred methodology. The findings of the study revealed thatthere are potential impact of integration of nursing informatics into nursing education in St. Luke’s Hospital Anua. Also, there is a significant relationship between nursing informatics competence and quality health care delivery in St. Luke’s Hospital Anua. The study concluded that the application of technology in nursing education in Nigeria is an innovation that will allow more choices, enhance faculty-student interaction, and bring about variation in learning for appropriate education.The study recommends that Nurse Educators who are vested with the responsibility of producing competent nurses, well suited to function in highly technological environment should endeavour to be digitally literate in spite of the impediments.
1.1 Background to the Study
The eruption in health information technologies has made it mandatory around the world to integrate informatics into the teaching of undergraduate health programmes, so that professionals can be appropriately educated about information and communication technology resources. It is believed that this will enable them to efficiently and responsibly use information and information and communication technologies, the digital revolution in the practice of nursing is linked to standardised and quality practices as a result of the use of information and computer technologies (Sanches et al., 2011).Information Communication Technology (ICT) is a process of transmitting media data from a source to a destination through electronic means. Nursing service delivery in the 21st century demands a combination of nursing science, computer science and information science in relation to the diagnosis and treatment of human response to health & illness which has been defined as Nursing Informatics (Tellez, 2012).
Nursing Informatics according to the American Nurses Association (ANA) in (Darvish et al., 2014, p.11) is a specialty that incorporates nursing science, computer science, and information, science to manage and communicate data, information, and knowledge in nursing practice.The use of Information Technology (IT) in healthcare with a focus on information management rather than on computers is known as health informatics (Sewell &Thede, 2013). This super high way has greatly impacted health care resulting in more and more clients becoming well informed about their health concerns. It is therefore obligatory for the nursing workforce in Nigeria to keep pace with the world-wide trends in health care delivery, which is tailored to the utilization of Information Communication Technology (ICT) in service delivery.Nursing informatics facilitates the integration of data, information, and knowledge to support patients, nurses, and other providers in their decisionmaking in all roles, and settings (Darvish et al., 2014, p.11).
Informatics, as a result of theadvancement in ICTs, has become a major ingredient in the development of nursing.Nursing professionand the healthcare system, is progressively becoming more technology-dependent (Harerimana&Mtshali, 2019, p. 1; Arone and Cunha in Tanabe and Kobayashi, 2013, p. 941). Nurses are attested to constitute the highest group among healthcare professionals (Lipke, 2014). Supporting this, (Darvish et al., 2014, pp 14) and Tanabe and Kobayashi (2013, p. 941) assert that nurses relate more with patients, so the use of technologies for their duties will enhance their professional performance. Consequently, Gonen, Sharon and Lev-Ari (2016) call for nursing professionals to be computer literate, and to learn the use of ICTs. This assertions led to the emergence of nursing informatics (NI) globally.
Nursing informatics (NI) has also been reported to be the combination of nursing, information, and computer sciences for the management of data, in order to generate the required knowledge for informed decision-making in the practice of nursing (Murphy, 2010).The integration of Information Communication Technology (ICT) into nursing education is very essential (Harerimana&Mtshali, 2018; Rouleau et al., 2017) so that nurses-in-training can acquire the relevant competencies in the use of computer and information technologies in their professional practice (Harerimana&Mtshali, 2019; Wilkinson et al., 2013). Masouras (2016) report that nurses are supposed to be able to use the computer to perform word processing and spreadsheet functions, and to explore databases and health information systems.
Nurse educators are vested with the responsibility of producing the crop of nurses who have the capabilities to fit into the current trend of nursing practice. Although nursing informatics (NI) has many multifaceted competency requirements, in order to function in the ever increasingly complex healthcare environment, every nurse is expected to have some basic competencies. These are computer competencies, capacity to access, use and evaluate appropriate nursing information and possess information management skills (Gugerty&Delane, 2009).Nurses are integrated into the field of IT automatically. So they should be able to deal with it successfully to improve quality of care outcome. In this regard it is required to study the role of nursing informatics on health care and make bold the appropriate information technology educational needs for nurses.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Nursing profession represent the largest health professionals, working in virtually all settings where patient care is received. This includes both in-patient and out-patient settings, as well as, long-term care, hospice, public health, and emergency settings to name a few.Today’s nursingprofession requires nurses to be constantly equipped with the new developments, new medications, and new technologies among others. With the influx of patients into the medical system, it is more essential than ever that nurses keep up. The nursing profession is turning towards using computers for many areas of their daily tasks like documentation, communication between shifts, departments and even facilities and building an information database, the steps of utilizing information, applying knowledge to a problem and acting with wisdom form the basis of nursing practice science. In order for practicing nurses to be able to be responsive to the changes in their practice environment, a new specialty called “Nursing Informatics” has emerged that integrates nursing science, computer science, and information science to manage and communicate data, information, knowledge and wisdom in nursing practice (McGonigle and Mastrian, 2009). Still a major challenge in the new healthcare system is the use of information systems and technologies to improve the quality of service between nurses and patients. This study therefore examine the role of nursing informatics on promoting quality of health care and the need for appropriate education.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The main aim for this research is to examine the role of nursing informatics on promoting quality of health care and the need for appropriate education. The study intend to achieve the following objectives;
- To explore the potential impact of integration of nursing informatics into nursing education inSt. Luke’s Hospital Anua.
- To examine the relationship between nursing informatics competence and quality health care delivery inSt. Luke’s Hospital Anua.
- To ascertain thechallenges facing the use and implementation of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in St. Luke’s Hospital Anua.
1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions would act as a guide to achieving the above objectives:
- Are there potential impact of integration of nursing informatics into nursing education in St. Luke’s Hospital Anua?
- Is there any significant relationship between nursing informatics competence and quality health care delivery in St. Luke’s Hospital Anua?
- Are therechallenges facing the use and implementation of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in St. Luke’s Hospital Anua?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
H0: There are no potential impact of integration of nursing informatics into nursing education in St. Luke’s Hospital Anua.
H1: There are potential impact of integration of nursing informatics into nursing education in St. Luke’s Hospital Anua.
H0: there is no significant relationship between nursing informatics competence and quality health care delivery in St. Luke’s Hospital Anua.
H2: there is a significant relationship between nursing informatics competence and quality health care delivery in St. Luke’s Hospital Anua.
16 Significance of the Study
Digitization and internet have improved accessibility to information, regardless of space and time. Nursing informatics is considered as a requirement for appropriate educational practice and is the base required to advance patient care. Since proficient use and access to computers are essential to nursing and health related practices today. Therefore, the findings of this study will equip health care providers to become ICT user friendly and proficient at utilizing information technology IT, including the internet and other electronic information resources. The study will help nurses enhance informatics proficiency to successfully interpret and utilize Evidence-Based Practice. The study will make the Nursing professionals to be accountable when integrating health research evidence and information into the decision-making process with the aim of improving quality health care services. The research will revealed the level of awareness about nursing informatics among Nurses in Akwa Ibom State and their relevance in timely information dissemination at emergency ward.This study will also serve as a resource base to other scholars and nursing students interested in carrying out further research in this field subsequently, if applied will go to an extent to provide new explanation to the subject of nursing informatics.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The scope of this study revolves around the entire federation; since it examines the role of nursing informatics on promoting quality of health care and the need for appropriate education, the dynamic scope has a national outlook and it will thus be universal to embark on the study. However, it becomes very necessary for the researcher to narrow it down to the premises ofSt. Luke’s Hospital Anua, with a view of finding a lasting solution to the challenges.
1.8 Limitations of study
There were some constraints tending to interrupt the flow of this study such as;
Financial constraint– Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Nurses Reluctance: In most cases the nurses on duty often feels reluctance over providing required information required by the researcher. This result in finding information where the structured questionnaires could not point out.
Researcher’s Commitment: The researcher, being of full time student spent most of her time on other academic activities such as test, class work, assignment, examination etc which takes average focus from this study.
Inadequate Materials: Scarcity of material is also a major hindrance. The researcher finds it difficult to lay hands on several required material which could contribute immensely to the success of this research work.
1.9Operational Definition of Terms
Nursing Informatics:Nursing informatics is a “science and practice which integrates nursing, its information and knowledge, and their management, with information and communication technologies to promote the health of people, families and communities worldwide” (IMIA, 2009).
Quality: This is the standard of something as measured against other things of a similar kind; the degree of excellence of something.
Health care:or healthcare is the maintenance or improvement of health via the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, amelioration, or cure of disease, illness, injury, and other physical and mental impairments in people.
Education:Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, morals, beliefs, habits, and personal development.
Computer Skills: this is the ability to use ICT devices for the documentation of patients’ data, and the use of information technologies for improving nursing services.
Informatics Knowledge: is the recognition of the use or importance of nursing data for improving practice, and the recognition of the fact that the computer can only facilitate nursing care and that there are human functions that cannot be performed by computers.
Informatics Skills: Informatics skills includes the interpretation of information flow within the hospital, the preparation of process information flow charts for all aspects of clinical systems, and the development of standards and database structures to facilitate clinical care, education, administration or research.
Nurse: A registered nurse is a nurse who has graduated from a nursing program and met the requirements outlined by a country, state, province or similar government-authorized licensing body to obtain a nursing license.