Currently, the healthcare industry is facing a slow implementation of information technology. Indeed, the purpose of adopting information technology is to bring transformation in the health care system with the internet playing a substantial role in bringing changes (National Research Council, 2000). The study by the Institute of Medicine (2001b) emphasizes that computerizing the clinical, financial and executive transactions is pivotal towards enhancing quality, preventing the occurrence of errors, improving the confidence of consumers and efficiency in the health system. Some of the potential benefits of adopting IT in the health system include the enhancement of the decision-making process by providing real-time information, improve communication among the Care Providers and patients, collection and aggregation of clinical data into accessible databases and reduction of healthcare errors among other contributions (Godin 1999). Irrespective of all these perceived contributions, the organization has been slow in investing and embracing information technology. The organization is still using paper records to store clinical data. Only handful patients can access their caregivers using e-mail addresses. Furthermore, the payments made to the organization are based on face-to-face visits. Lastly, the organization confronts with a number of errors since only a few IT systems have been put in place to process and examine the huge amount of clinical information contained in the system. In short, the current systems used by the organization are incapable of collecting and storing the correct data since they have not yet been effectively computerized or integrated with each other (Naylor, 2002).
One of the primary implications for nursing considering the lack of effective systems in this organization is the inability to offer quality services to the consumers of health. This challenge/issue, therefore, calls the health professionals to embrace new roles and approaches. In other words, for health professionals to provide effective care, they will be required to master information technology by using its capabilities to manage clinical data as well as access the updated evidence. The other implication for the nursing is the modification of the roles assumed by the health care professionals. In other words, the health care professionals will be required to undertake the roles of a therapist, trainer, and partner. The health experts will also be required to master the principles of design and improvement in order to restructure and standardize procedures for better care and quality.
The main issue for the organization in addressing a solution to evidence-based nursing practice
The primary issue for the organization in using information technology is the lack of national health standards for capturing, storing, conveying, processing and presenting health information. Based on the Quality Chasm findings (Institute of Medicine, 2001b) the lack of commitment by the national health department as well as a financial backup for establishing a nationwide health information infrastructure, the organization will continue to suffer from low adoption of information technology. As reckoned by the Institute of Medicine (2001a) health professionals are working using a system that usually does not assist them in delivering the highest-quality care based on the current evidence-based study. The first step in addressing the slow adoption of information technology is providing adequate training to the health care professionals (Richardson, 2002). The efficiency of a system depends on the state of knowledge of professionals required to redesign the system to adapt to the current and future healthcare challenges. Health care professionals, in the academic settings and those in practice, need to be educated differently to ascertain they operate effectively in a restructured health care system.
Godin, P., R. Hubbs, B. Woods, M.M. Tsai, D.B. Nag, T.M. Rindfleish, P.P. Dev, and K.L.M. Melmon. (1999). New paradigms for medical decision support and education: The Stanford health information network for education. Topics in Health Information Management 20 (2):1-14.
Institute of Medicine. (2001a). Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century. Washington, DC: National Academy Press
Institute of Medicine. (2001b). Improving the Quality of Long-Term Care. GS Wunderlich and Peter O Kohler. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.
National Research Council. (2000). Networking Health: Prescriptions for the Internet. Washington DC: National Academy Press.
Naylor, M. (2002). Crossing the Quality Chasm: Next Steps for Health Professions Education; Panel Discussion.” Online. Available at http://www.kaisernetwork.org/health_cast/hcast_index.cfm?display=detail&hc=601 [accessed Nov. 12, 2002].
Richardson, W (2002) “Crossing the Quality Chasm: Next Steps for Health Professions Education; Plenary Session.” Online. Available at http://www.kaisernetwork.org/health_cast/hcast_index.cfm?display=detail&hc=601 [accessed Nov. 12, 2002].