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.
- 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.
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?
The use of data is ubiquitous in today’s world, and it is not surprising that almost all professions rely on data to some extent. In healthcare, data is crucial, and the field of nursing informatics is dedicated to ensuring that nurses have access to the appropriate data to make informed decisions in the interest of patients and add to the knowledge of the discipline. In this essay, I will describe a hypothetical scenario based on a healthcare practice that would require the collection and application of data and how such data could facilitate problem-solving and knowledge formation.
The focus of my scenario is the problem of medication errors in a hospital setting. Medication errors are a common problem in healthcare and can have serious consequences for patients. According to the National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention, medication errors are responsible for over 7,000 deaths annually in the United States. Therefore, it is essential to collect and analyze data to identify the causes of medication errors and develop strategies to prevent them.
To collect the data, the hospital could use a computerized physician order entry (CPOE) system. The CPOE system would allow healthcare providers to enter medication orders electronically, reducing the risk of errors due to illegible handwriting or misinterpretation of orders. The system could also be programmed to collect data on the frequency and types of medication errors.
Once the data is collected, it could be analyzed to identify the root causes of medication errors. For example, the data might reveal that a particular medication is more prone to errors than others, or that certain healthcare providers are more likely to make errors. This knowledge could then be used to develop strategies to prevent medication errors, such as additional training for healthcare providers, changes to medication ordering procedures, or changes to the CPOE system itself.
Nurse leaders could use clinical reasoning and judgment in the formation of knowledge from this experience by analyzing the data to identify patterns and trends that might be missed by others. For example, they could identify that medication errors are more likely to occur during shift changes or when there is a high patient load. They could then use this knowledge to develop strategies to prevent errors during these times.
In conclusion, data is essential in healthcare, and the scenario I have described highlights the importance of collecting and analyzing data to identify and prevent medication errors. By using a CPOE system to collect data and analyzing the data to identify patterns and trends, nurse leaders can develop strategies to prevent errors and improve patient safety. The knowledge derived from this experience can be shared with other healthcare providers, contributing to the body of knowledge in the field of nursing informatics.