The chief nursing informatics officer's job is to advocate for his or her "customers" on IT projects--in CNIO Mary Beth Mitchell's case those customers are the health system's nurses.
Mitchell, RN, of Texas Health Resources, told Health Data Management that she spent the first couple of months in the job talking to nurses about their IT pain points. When she found out that they disliked the form used for taking admission histories, she rounded up nurses to meet with the IT staff once a week for six weeks to design a better form.
Those nurses didn't want to stop after six weeks, and the group became the Nursing Informatics Council, which meets one day a month to work on IT-related issues, she said. The group has expanded to about 30 people, including representatives of specialty areas such as respiratory therapy and pharmacy.
With new technology, the council does all the testing, and in return the nurses also advocate for the new technology with their nursing staffs, Mitchell said.
She also speaks to THR's Nursing Congress, most recently about an inpatient portal that had been unenthusiastically received at its two pilot sites, and is working on the health system's secure messaging project being run by the IT department.
One way to ensure nurses are satisfied with EHRs is to involve them in EHR-purchasing process, Kerry Bruning, a pediatric oncology nurse and director of marketing for the Allscripts Sunrise organization, says. Sixty-six percent of respondents in that survey said they had not been invited to be part of that process.
In addition, nurses more than ever have a major impact on healthcare innovation and delivery.
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