NURS 6050 Discussion The Application of Data to Problem-Solving

NURS 6050 Discussion The Application of Data to Problem-Solving

NURS 6050 Discussion The Application of Data to Problem-Solving

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.

Health informatics has had a significant impact on the provision of healthcare in the modern world. Healthcare providers largely utilize it to achieve the goals of care that include efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and high quality care. In nursing field, nursing informatics connotes a specialty that encompasses nursing science, information science, and computer science to help in managing and communicating data, information, understanding, and wisdom (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2017). Nurses now utilize health informatics to make informed decisions and enhance the safety of the health care given to patients. Therefore, this research paper explores the use of informatics in nursing. It provides a hypothetical situation where nursing informatics can be used, how data might be used, collected, and accessed, and how a nurse leader can use clinical reasoning and judgment in the formation of knowledge obtained from nursing informatics.

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Patient Scenario

Nurses are always tasked with the responsibility of administering medications that are ordered by physicians for their patients. In my experience in the hospital I work with, such orders are written in a patient’s file. The file contains the information concerning the patient, which includes bio-data, complaints, diagnosis, and medications that have been ordered. Registered nurses have to check the prescribed medications and order them from the pharmacy for administration. Often, the use of the paper system for prescribing the patient’s medications increases the risk of medication errors. For example, the registered nurses might not have the time that is needed to obtain all the relevant histories of their patients. The high workload that they face might make it difficult for them to focus on addressing the individual needs of the patients. Therefore, the use of paper prescriptions for the patient’s medications increases the risk of medication errors and their associated adverse events in the hospital.

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Data That Could Be Used

Given the challenges associated with paper-based prescriptions, it is imperative to consider how the paper

NURS 6050 Discussion The Application of Data to Problem-Solving
NURS 6050 Discussion The Application of Data to Problem-Solving

prescription affects the process and flow of the health care setting and also identify the appropriate technology that may facilitate the data collection process and workflow.  Informatics can help in bridging the gap and help in addressing the challenges occasioned by the paper prescriptions (Sweeney, 2017).  In particular, electronic health records could be deployed in the hospital to ease the process of providing care to the patients. Electronic health records are important for sharing all relevant information for the patients that are seen in the hospital. For example, the physicians are expected to enter their assessment findings into the electronic records. They also obtain any critical information such as medication use as well as history of drug or food allergies. The electronic system could also help them in identifying the existing contraindications in the medications that the patients should use. An example would be the system assisting in the identification of the drugs that should not be prescribed to a patient suffering from end stage renal disease. Nurses can also use the system to verify the safety, dosage, and routes of administration of the prescribed medications to their patients. The information for use in this scenario is collected during patient’s admission to the hospital and to the wards. The healthcare providers are given safe access options in case they need to use the patient’s data. Through it, safety, quality, and efficiency are achieved in nursing care.

Knowledge that Might Be Derived from the Data

The use of electronic health records in the administration of medications can act as a source of knowledge. One of the ways is that healthcare providers understand the importance of history taking and assessment in healthcare. Effective use of electronic health records in medication administration entails ensuring that one understands the history of any allergies and any other significant histories from their patients. The nurses can use the patient’s stored data to determine the existence of any food or drug allergies that must be considered in the provision of care. The other knowledge that can be derived from the data is the principles of safe medication in nursing practice. It ensures that nurses adhere to the principles of safe practice by ensuring that medications are administered to the right patient in right dosage, time, route, and frequency. Additional form of knowledge that nurses derive from the data includes the importance of responsibility and transparency in practice. Electronic health records keep a history of all the care that the patient receives. An occurrence of adverse events can easily be investigated. Therefore, nurses and other healthcare providers learn the importance of transparency and responsibility in the provision of care.

Use of Clinical Reasoning and Judgment in the Formation of Knowledge from Experience

According to McGonigle and Mastrian (2017), availability of electronic resources fosters clinical decision making and trust in patient care. Therefore, nurse leaders can utilize clinical reasoning as well as judgment in the formation of knowledge from the experience in a number of ways. The first way is through the accurate collection, analysis, and storage of the patient’s data before and after the adoption of an intervention. An example would be the collection of data on the condition of the patient before and after the implementation of the treatment plan. This data will enable the determination of the effectiveness of interventions that are utilized in meeting the needs of the patients. The other way is the collection of data on the overall duration of patient stay in the emergency department by the management to streamline organizational processes. The data can be used to implement change initiatives that address patient throughput issues in healthcare. Besides, the experience is also critical in sharing knowledge and communication. According to Nagle, Sermeus and Junger (2017), the connected health is critical in ensuring collaborative patient care. For instance, in the situation at hand, electronic health records would ensure that goals are clearly set and shared among the multidisciplinary teams, with clearly defined and accepted roles. Besides, the informatics would ensure coordination of systems and communication to facilitate continuity of care.  Consequently, nurse leaders can use their clinical reasoning and judgment by ensuring meaningful use of data to address the needs of their stakeholders.


Health informatics is important in nursing practice. Its use is associated with benefits that include enhanced quality, safety, and efficiency of care. Nurses should ensure that data is used to promote the optimum health and wellbeing of their patients. They should also use it to generate evidence-based practices that can be used to transform healthcare. Therefore, effective use of health informatics improves the overall outcomes of the different stakeholders in healthcare.


McGonigle, D., & Mastrian, K. G. (2017). Nursing informatics and the foundation of knowledge (4th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Nagle, L., Sermeus, W., & Junger, A. (2017). Evolving role of the nursing informatics specialist. In J. Murphy, W. Goossen, & P. Weber (Eds.), Forecasting Competencies for Nurses in the Future of Connected Health (212–221). Clifton, VA: IMIA and IOS Press. Retrieved from

Sweeney, J. (2017). Healthcare informatics. Online Journal of Nursing Informatics, 21(1).

The Application of Data to Problem-Solving

I have found your information on IPASS in the EMR to be very interesting.  In the last staff meeting on the inpatient Behavioral Health unit that I work in, it was announced that research was being done to improve the change of shift report, as well as report being given by the Emergency Room for new admissions or medical floor if the patient being admitted from Medical. Bedside reporting is something that we currently do but it is very inconsistent.  Certain things that I see frequently not passed on are if someone is on detoxification protocols (such as CIWA and COWS)), and any discontinuation, new or increase in medication.  With the use of IPASS or a program like IPASS, a tool can be created in Epic directed more toward behavioral health and detox, it could prevent nurses from not doing a proper change of shift or admission report as it would be embedded in Epic. It is just as easy for things to be missed in Epic because there are so many places to look such as order history, orders, nursing communication (which are not specifically orders but are tasks requested by providers, and hospitalist consults.  So, if there was a tool at the change of shift that connected all new or pending tasks, lab results, and orders over a 24-48 hour period it could make it less likely for valuable information to not be passed on, this tool could also help providers that are coming on over the weekend to care for patients. There was a study launched on initiation of IPASS with the goal of improvement of quality of care according to Studeny et. al (2017).  Before developing IPASS a survey was given to staff and clients to identify what was lacking in the change of shift reporting.  With the implementation of these programs, quality of care improved exponentially, particularly in summary and diagnosis of patients, the severity of the patient, and synthesizing all information and data in a timely manner (Studeny et. al 2017). IPASS incorporates all aspects of nursing informatics including cognitive, computer, nursing science, and information technology (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2017).  As nurses, we must always strive to incorporate the most up-to-date tools at our disposal to enhance the quality of care and communication with our colleagues and patients.


McGonigle, D., Mastrian, K.G. (2017). Introduction to information, information science, and information systems. Nursing Informatics and the Foundation of Knowledge (4th ed., pp. 20-33). Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Scott Studeny, Lauren Burley, Kelsey Cowen, Melanie Akers, Kelly O’Neill, & Susan L Flesher. (2017). Quality improvement regarding handoff. SAGE Open Medicine5.

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