Tuesday, November 6, 2007

This presentation is part of : Nursing Informatics Strategies
Integrating the Staff Nurse Voice into Decision Making for Clinical Information Systems
Mary K. Walton, Translational Nursing Research, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Phila, PA, USA
Learning Objective #1: describe the formation of a Nursing Informatics Committee and several approaches to support empowerment of staff nurses in decision-making for the Clinical Information System
Learning Objective #2: Identify the role of the nurse leader in the process of intergrating technology into Nursing practice.




Evidence-based nursing requires the integration of the best evidence available, nursing expertise and the values and preferences of those served. Optimal nursing care is provided when nurses have access to research and exercise their judgment in clinical decisions. Positive outcomes are achieved when direct care nurses are routinely involved in formal and informal work groups within organizations.


The need to integrate and apply information science, nursing science and computer science in the daily work of staff nurses in acute care hospitals is well recognized. Information Systems staff struggle to communicate with “end-users”. Groups are formed to introduce new systems but are not supported after “go live” is accomplished. Computerized order entry has changed communication processes among clinical staff and introduced new challenges.  


The staff nurse perspective in the constant introduction of new technology and ongoing evolution of the Clinical Information System (CIS) is essential yet difficult to achieve. Administrators and information technologist are recognizing the importance of vetting options and making decisions with staff nurse participation to achieve successful project implementation. Nurses recognize the need for their involvement in integrating technology and suffer the consequences when it is lacking.  Approaches to integrating the staff nurse voice into decision-making is challenging in complex health care settings with subspecialty needs, competing vendors and clinicians needing limited technical resources.   


This session will describe the development of a staff nurse informatics committee. Supports and structure for empowering a group as a decision-making body for matters related to the use of technology in their nursing practice will be outlined.  Aspects to be included are: an introductory needs assessment, one-year committee evaluation, educational retreat, and selected operational/clinical outcomes of committee work. The importance of establishing collaborative relationships among Information Systems leaders and technical analysts with staff nurse experts  will also be discussed.