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One of the most notable aspects of healthcare is that it is constantly growing and evolving. Advancements in technology produce data that is evidence-based. Every study can produce patient outcomes. Nursing and healthcare informatics were born as technology’s evolution added a more accessible, user-friendly way to track data. “The technology boom at the turn of the century has helped informatics and information systems further evolve. Enhanced delivery of care, improved health outcomes, and advanced patient education is just a few aspects that have improved” (Sweeney, 2017).
Nursing informatics has played a pivotal role in the data collection and change in practice for health care workers. The HIMSS (2021) explains nursing informatics as “the specialty that integrates nursing science with multiple information and analytical sciences to identify, define, manage and communicate data, information, knowledge, and wisdom in nursing practice.”
Another growing part in healthcare informatics is educating a Nursing informatics specialist. Nagle et al. (2017) states:
We estimate that knowledge development in healthcare, which has doubled every century until 1900, is now estimated to double every 18 months. And the pace is getting faster. This means that when nurses finish their education, the knowledge they gained might be already outdated. The traditional way of developing procedures, protocols and care pathways, sometimes requiring a year to develop, are outdated (p.214).
It’s important to have someone specialized in the rapid growth of information and can assist in the implication of knowledge into practice
I currently work as an ECMO specialist in the CVICU. Patients that require ECMO have to receive blood thinners, and this can cause bleeding problems. Bleeding can be for many reasons, but one of the most prevalent thoughts is that these patients develop Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia. Heparin reduces clotting of the ECMO circuit and runs a higher risk for HIT than bivalirudin. Bivalirudin does not have the same side effects as Heparin. There are few studies on why patients receive Heparin over Bivalirudin. It would be beneficial to our patients to collect data and outcomes of anticoagulant drugs with ECMO. Using electronic data collection can keep track of these patients and possibly find a pattern that would indicate HIT in someone. The nurse leader can use this information to avoid issues in these patients by being proactive and switching anticoagulant drugs.