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Chapter 6

Key Concepts in NI
Nursing informatics (NI) is a specialty
that integrates nursing science,
computer science, and information
science to manage and communicate
data, information, knowledge and
wisdom in nursing practice.
The term informatics was derived
from the French term informatique,
which means to refer to the
computer milieu (Saba, 2001).
Information science and technology
Role and Goal of NI
The goal of NI is to improve the
health of populations, communities,
families, and individuals by
optimizing information management
and communication.
NI is one example of a discipline-
specific informatics practice within
the broader category of health
1992 recognized by ANA
All inclusive
Human computer
interaction HCI
Metastructures of NI
Data - discrete entities that are
described objectively without
Information - data that are
interpreted, organized, or structured
Knowledge - information that is
synthesized to identify and formalize
Wisdom - the appropriate application
of knowledge to the management
From Knowledge to Wisdom
-increasing complexity
Knowledge focuses on what is known
Wisdom focuses on the appropriate
application of that knowledge
For example, a knowledge base may
include several options for managing
an anxious family, while wisdom
would guide the decisions about
which of these options are most
appropriate with a specific family.
Evolution of wisdom
Used to be automated type systems
Now we use information technology
to improve access and quality of
health care
Used to be just the technology
Now using technology to help with
Structured Language as a Tool for Nursing Informatics

Nursing knowledge is gained by the

ability to extract data that specifically
defines nursing phenomena.
Many different languages and ways of
organizing data, information and
knowledge create difficulties in mapping
nursing phenomena. See box 6-1
You have already used one.which one
Concepts and Tools from Information
Science and Computer Science
Combination of nursing science,
information science, and computer
Information technology includes
computer hardware, software,
communication, and network
technologies, derived primarily from
computer science.
Job Titles
Informatics nurse
Informatics nurse
Can you think of
what this type of
nurse might do in a
hospital setting?
Human Computer Interaction and
Related Concepts
Humancomputer interaction (HCI),
usability and ergonomics concepts
are of fundamental interest to the
INS. (what?)
Human Computer Interaction

HCI rooted in psychology, social

psychology, cognitive science
Does the interaction complement,
mimic, streamline, etc. the way the
nurse does things
Example: medication orders
Usability issues address the
efficiency and effectiveness of an
User friendly software and hardware
Is physical equipment and arrangement
of equipment ergonomically friendly
Human Computer Interaction and
Related Concepts
In the past 5 years the number of HCI
and usability publications in
healthcare has increased
Vendors have installed usability
laboratories and incorporated
usability testing of their products into
their systems lifecycles.
Phenomena of Nursing
The metaparadigm of nursing comprises
four key concepts: nurse, person, health,
and environment. (sound familiar?)
Nursing actions are based upon the inter-
relationships between the concepts and
are related to the values nurses hold
relative to them. (sound familiar?)
The process of decision-making in nursing
is guided by the concept of critical
thinking. (sound familiar?)
Decision Support Systems
Decision support systems are
typically rule-based, using a specified
knowledge base and a set of rules to
analyze data and information and
provide recommendations.
An expert system is a type of
decision support system that
implements the knowledge of one or
more human experts.
Insulin pump example
Wisdom in Informatics
Informatics specialist must
Data, information, knowledge, wisdom
Nursing science
Nursing, person, health, environment
Information structures, technology,
managing information
Future of Nursing
As informatics solutions become as
common a tool as the stethoscope,
each nurse may be considered, in
part, an informatics nurse.
New materials and concepts will
evolve in the future.
What are some changes coming?