Monday September 16th 2019

eHealth makes headlines

ADVANCE for Nurses examined the issues of electronic health information in its September issue. It reported on the American Nurses Association’s (ANA) national campaign to educate consumers about the benefits of electronic health information.

The article highlighted ANA’s plan to develop educational materials for registered nurses on health information technology to share with consumers in support of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology’s (ONC) Consumer eHealth Program.

According to ANA, the initiative will help people understand the benefits of using their electronic health records to prevent illness and manage chronic conditions, and track history of immunizations, clinical exams, and hospitalizations.

“Health information technology can improve care by ensuring that care is based on evidence. It also allows health care professionals from different clinical settings and disciplines to communicate effectively about a patient’s care to avoid duplication of services and ensure nothing important is missed through a lost paper trail or failed memory,” said ANA President Karen Daley, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN. “This unique platform for compiling and analyzing data also supports one of the strongest tenets of nursing — educating the healthcare consumer.”

ANA began promoting the broad use of standardized health IT in the 1990s, designating nursing informatics as a nursing specialty and publishing the first scope and standards of practice documents for it. Nursing informatics integrates nursing science, computer science, and information science to manage and communicate data, information, knowledge, and wisdom in nursing practice.

In 1998, ANA established the National Database for Nursing Quality Indicators® (NDNQI®), the nation’s only comprehensive database allowing hospitals to compare nursing performance measures at the unit level.

— Mary McNamara is the senior public relations specialist at ANA.

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