The application of data to problem-solving

Category: Nursing

The Application of Data to Problem-Solving

In the modern era, there are few professions that do not to some extent rely on data. Stockbrokers rely on market data to advise clients on financial matters. Meteorologists rely on weather data to forecast weather conditions, while realtors rely on data to advise on the purchase and sale of property. In these and other cases, data not only helps solve problems, but adds to the practitioner’s and the discipline’s body of knowledge.

Of course, the nursing profession also relies heavily on data. The field of nursing informatics aims to make sure nurses have access to the appropriate date to solve healthcare problems, make decisions in the interest of patients, and add to knowledge.

In this Discussion, you will consider a scenario that would benefit from access to data and how such access could facilitate both problem-solving and knowledge formation.

To Prepare:

  • Reflect on the concepts of informatics and knowledge work as presented in the Resources.
  • Consider a hypothetical scenario based on your own healthcare practice or organization that would require or benefit from the access/collection and application of data. Your scenario may involve a patient, staff, or management problem or gap.
By Day 3 of Week 1

Post a description of the focus of your scenario. Describe the data that could be used and how the data might be collected and accessed. What knowledge might be derived from that data? How would a nurse leader use clinical reasoning and judgment in the formation of knowledge from this experience?

By Day 6 of Week 1

Respond to at least two of your colleagues* on two different days, asking questions to help clarify the scenario and application of data, or offering additional/alternative ideas for the application of nursing informatics principles.

Click on the Reply button below to reveal the textbox for entering your message. Then click on the Submit button to post your message.

*Note: Throughout this program, your fellow students are referred to as colleagues.

 Will be posting additional discussion replies that will require two replies which will be included in this discussion post. 

Each requires at least three references and all need to be in APA format.

Monicas discussion 

Discussion #1- Initial Post    

All healthcare workers are trained to share the common goal of providing the best quality of care to their patients.  Regardless of what role one may serve on the multidisciplinary team, they all have an obligation to accurately assess the needs of the patient, to efficiently collect and record data, to contribute to diagnosing, and to treat/ evaluate properly. “Informatics blend technology and information to blend something new that people, organizations and society can make use of” (Laureate, 2018). Advancement in technologies such as, electronic health records (EHR), electronic medication administration records (EMARS), computerized physician order entry (COPOE) and etcetera, have all played an intricate role in reassuring that healthcare teams are on one accord with providing safe and effective treatment to patients. Each electronic system mentioned have parameters put in place to promote safety and warrant issues that need to be addressed during patient treatment.  It is crucial for the multidisciplinary team to communicate with each other to come up with solutions on how to provide the best care.  It is also imperative to communicate information and treatment with the patients. As a staff nurse, I have witnessed ineffective communication between the healthcare team and patients far too often.  Patient care should be patient centered therefore, it is the nurse’s to duty to ensure that patients are actively involved and well informed on their medical issues and care. Besides verbalizing care with patients, it is a great idea for nurses to promote the use of patient health portals as a resource for patients to be informed on their care.

“A patient portal is a secure online website that gives patients convenient, 24-hour access to personal health information (PHI) from anywhere with an internet connection” (Oliveira, 2019).  Patient portals provide data of all of the care rendered, lab values, testing, discharge information, appointments, billing, and so on, entered by healthcare staff during the patient’s stay.  The data collected comes from the various electronic tools that the healthcare team used to record data. The portal also has a patient satisfactory survey and comment section for patients to evaluate the care rendered and offer suggestions on ways that the hospital and staff can improve with providing care.

The patient portal is a valuable tool for both the patient and the healthcare team. For the patients, it is a great resource for patients to educate themselves on their conditions and they do not have to rely heavily on verbal communication from staff.  It is helpful and supports understanding; therefore patients may have fewer questions due to them being well informed. For the healthcare team, input from the patient gathered from the online surveys and comments sections provide feedback on ways the staff and hospital can improve care from all aspects. Nurse leaders serve as informatians which “enable communication between people and systems to more effectively protect the population’s well-being” (Public Health Informatics Institute, 2017). Nurse leaders can use the information gathered from the surveys and comments sections of the patient portal to identify issues that may need to be addressed to improve quality of care and/or the hospital environment.  Data gathered from the patient portal provides a constant evaluation of healthcare rendered by staff and provides a baseline to evaluate whether care is improving or not. Nurse leaders can take the information gathered to identify problems and come up with problem solving strategies to present to staff and hospital administration during meetings.

References:

Laureate Education (Producer). (2018). What is informatics? [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Oliveira, K. (2019, November 5). Best practices for effective patient portals. Amazing Charts. https://amazingcharts.com/best-practices-for-effective-patient-portals/

Public Health Informatics Institute. (2017). Public Health Informatics: “translating” knowledge for health [Video file].Retrieved from https:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLUygA8Hpfo

Micheals discussion

 The concept of informatics centers on the careful gathering, sequencing and the obtaining of information from various sources with the intent of making it readily accessible for use in a more cohesive format across various platforms for use either by healthcare teams, law enforcement, researchers and or students in and out of the classroom setting. “Healthcare and nursing informatics are both vastly growing fields within the medical field and are continuously incorporating new and evolving technology. Both have been around for the past three decades, at least. 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 are just a few aspects that have improved.” (Sweeney, 2017) 

 My scenario follows from the background of my work in a surgical oncology hospital where I work as a registered nurse in the care of post operative surgical patients who are battling cancer, often at times some of the cancer patients that arrive my unit have undergone some form of plastic surgery where a piece of tissue has been derived either form the back or the leg muscles for the reconstruction of the jaw or the mandible which translate to a flap with the need for hourly monitoring within the first seventy two hours, and picture uploading of the flap, this parameters are put in place for careful monitoring of the flap site to rule out hematoma, seroma or failure of the flap due to non viability or tissue rejection.

     Following from careful monitoring and reporting of patient flap and its viability to the treatment team, any adverse outcome like flap failure, hematoma, or undesired coloration of the flap indicating poor perfusion can be readily addressed which could mean the difference between redoing the surgery or salvaging the surgery before it further deteriorates. Data for the flap can be collected via computer interface and also via the work phone picture platform where hourly flap check reports are documented and every shift flap pictures are uploaded to the patient chart electronically, with this system in place and the synch ability across different computer models on real time makes it easy for all providers associated with the surgery to gain access to patient data, pictures, documentation on post surgical state of the patient in real time, this in turn gives the team peace of mind knowing they are able to monitor and manage a post surgical patient’s care even when they are away from the unit. According to McGonigle (2017, p30), “An IS acquires data or inputs; processes data through the retrieval, analysis, or synthesis of those data; disseminates or outputs information in the form of reports, documents, summaries, alerts, prompts, or outcomes”.

     Based upon the lay out of the hospital, and the sync ability of the pyxis with the computer modules, every medication pulled from the pyxis shows pending administration, and when the medication is scanned and given to the patient the medication reconciles with the pyxis as given and no longer pending, this safety parameter provides administrators with first hand information and knowledge about all medications that have been pulled from the pyxis, those that were scanned, those that were returned due to patient refusal and those that were not administered, it also gives the administrators a real time data on the monitoring of controlled substances and mismanagement of access to narcotics by the nurses if such occasion arises.

     Stemming from the technological advancement in computer informatics and parameters that have been made possible due to the ability of these systems to communicate coherently across various platforms in real time, information derived from these systems present as ready resource for nurses, nurse leaders, administrators and other related healthcare providers to use for their discernment in making clinical judgment and best case scenarios in their plan of care to bring about a better prognosis for the patient in their care. “Nursing informatics roles have taken many forms in focus and function over the last decades; suffice it to say that they have not been consistently described or defined in terms of scope of practice. At the time of this writing it is clear that role of nursing informatics specialists will continue to evolve at an increasingly rapid rate in the coming years. The unfolding of new health care paradigms will bring greater connectivity between care providers and patients, include a wide array of emerging technologies and an increasing emphasis on data analytics will make the integration of informatics competencies into every area of nursing an imperative.” (Nagle et al., 2017, p212)

                                                                                                             References

McGonigle, D., & Mastrian, K. G. (2017). Nursing informatics and the foundation of knowledge (4th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Nagle, L., Sermeus, W., & Junger, A. (2017).  Evolving Role of the Nursing Infomatics Specialist. In J. Murphy, W. Goosen, &  P. Weber  (Eds.), Forecasting Competencies for Nurses in the Future of Connected Health (212-221). Clifton, VA: IMIA and IOS Press. Retrieved from https://serval.unil.ch/resource/serval:BIB_4A0FEA56B8CB.P001/REF

Sweeney, J. (2017). Healthcare Informatics. Online Journal of Nursing Informatics, 21(1), 4–1.

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