CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing:
doi: 10.1097/NCN.0b013e31821f660f


Perry, William MA, RN

Free Access

The Internet has brought the spirit of global communication and collaboration to nurses and other healthcare professionals in ways never before thought possible. These resources are offered to expand your opportunities for discussion, reference, education, and research.

How can informatics, the blending of nursing, computer, and cognitive sciences, improve the safety, quality, and efficiency of the care we deliver to patients? Computer-based tools have given clinicians means to provide quality checks, assess clinical values, recommend interventions, and provide access to resources. What resources have you found to stimulate discussion or provide materials to foster the integration of informatics into a culture of safety?

The QSEN (Quality and Safety Education for Nurses) Web site, founded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, describes itself as "a comprehensive resource for quality and safety education for nurses! Faculty members worldwide are working to help new health professionals gain the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to continuously improve the healthcare systems in which they work. This Web site is a place to learn and share ideas about educational strategies that promote quality and safety competency development in nursing" ( The informatics section describes informatics as "Use information and technology to communicate, manage knowledge, mitigate error, and support decision making" ( and offers several teaching strategies for clinical settings, the classroom, and independent study.

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality ( offers Morbidity and Mortality Rounds on the Web. These cases cover a wide variety of incidents, many of which involve electronic medical records or the interaction of clinical staff with complex technology. Examination of these cases may provide a starting point for how nurses and other healthcare personnel do (or do not) apply critical thinking to the interactions between provider, patient, and automation.

The tools of technology advance rapidly. Creating a culture that integrates technology and nursing is a goal of the Technology Informatics Guiding Education Reform (TIGER) Initiative. In the March 2011 issue of Computers, Informatics, Nursing, Anderson and Sensmeir announced the new TIGER Web site with the mission of "Preparing nurses and health professionals to use technology and informatics to improve patient care" ( The Web site describes three elements of creating a technologically aware nursing culture:

* developing a US nursing workforce capable of using electronic health records to improve the delivery of healthcare

* engaging clinicians in the development of a nationwide health information technology infrastructure

* accelerating adoption of smart, standards-based, interoperable, patient-centered technology that will make healthcare delivery safer, more efficient, timely, accessible, and efficient in a new interdisciplinary approach (

Technology is a part of providing safety, quality, and efficiency of the care we deliver to patients. The other part is the healthcare provider using the technology in a knowing and thoughtful manner that is the result of integrating nursing, computer, and cognitive sciences.

William Perry, MA, RN

Senior Systems Analyst, Kettering Health Network;

Adjunct Instructor,

Wright State University

College of Nursing and Health

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.



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