Nursing informatics is a discipline which integrates computer and information science with nursing profession. Informatics competencies are a must for every professional nurse nowadays. The basis of the nursing informatics competencies are user-level competencies related to working knowledge of basic software programs and processes (Park, Murray & Delaney, 2006).Registered nurses should be able to work with computer software at three levels – user level, modifier level and innovator level (Park, Murray & Delaney, 2006).
The role or nurses and the scope of nursing have been transformed by the use of computerized information management systems. For nursing, the relevant computerized information management systems are also referred to as clinical information systems (Hunt, Sproat & Kitzmiller, 2004). The processes of automating patient care have changed the responsibilities of nurses and requirements towards their skills.
Using clinical information systems, nurses can optimize their administrative responsibilities, reduce the number of errors, reduce costs of these responsibilities and devote more time to direct patient care (Thede & Sewell, 2010). In addition to this, nurses now can effectively use expert knowledge provided by the information systems to improve the quality of care and to integrate evidence-based practices in their workflows (Hunt, Sproat & Kitzmiller, 2004). Therefore, in order to respond to the changing needs of the clinical environment, nurses should have working knowledge of nursing informatics, understand the principles and processes of computerized information management systems and use the technology to improve the quality of patient care.
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