The American Nurses Association (ANA) identified nursing informatics as “a specialty that integrates nursing, science, computer science, and information science to manage and communicate data, information, and knowledge in nursing practice” (ANA, 2001, Pg.17). The rapid innovation in data collection is crucial for optimal patient care and quality improvement among states. Good data collection allows the hospital to improve its direct care to the patient, improve staff training, and foster improvement in clinical intervention. A chronicle impact of scientific clinical data collections is the correlation that exists between hospital acquired infection caused by foley insertion among patients.
I work in the intensive care unit where the use of foley catheters is almost considered the gold standard for patient care before the introduction of pure wick and condom catheters. Most patients admitted in the ICU had foley catheter inserted for hemodynamic monitoring. A habit that persisted before the introduction of pure wick or condom catheters. This culture often sometimes caused hospital-acquired urinary tract infection among patients in the ICU. To change this culture, our hospital put in place an aggressive policy change where patients must meet certain criteria before staff nurses can insert foley and daily foley care. In rare conditions, patients’ Foley has a three-day physician order after which there must be rationale from the clinical team to continue the use of Foley. Our ICU nurses then compares the data collected from the Foley use versus the condom/pure wick use. The accurate data collection was documented using the hospital flowsheet.
Our hospital was able to reduce hospital acquired UTI caused by foley infection by 85% and aim toward zero catheters acquired infection annually. This accurate data collection and evidence-based practice helps change an old culture, help improve patient quality of care, limit unnecessary readmission, and improve staff training. Without this well-documented data, our hospital might have been stuck in its old ways. An old way that continues to increase the cost of healthcare, caused decline in patient care, and undue prolongation in patients’ hospitalization.
Also vital is the staff teaching which helps improve patients’ satisfaction. All nurses, regardless of their arena, must use informatics and technology to inform and support that practice (McGonigle, & Mastrian.2022). Our staff embraced this evidence-based practice, and a new culture was established. Moreso it would have been impossible to implement this new policy without accurate data to justify the clinical outcome. These data allow the hospital to own the foley inserted in each patient and nurses can track more accurately if the patient acquire the infection during their hospitalization. This clinical practice drastically reduced infection among our patients and improve our patient care
In retrospect, a nurse leader can use this clinical reasoning and judgment in the formation of knowledge by recognizing a particular problem that may hinder patient care and help form policies to correct certain lack of evidence-based practice among staff. The nurse leader can use accurate data collection to reform old policies within an organization. for example, a nurse leader can compare the outcome of patients with foley insertion versus patients on condom/pure wick catheter and based outcome on individual patient intervention.
In conclusion, without accurate data, it is impossible to change any bad policies or improve on any policies within an organization. lack of data may hinder innovation and new ideas within the organization. Therefore, data collection is a vital tool for patient care, staff improvement, and improvement in patient satisfaction.
Sweeney, J. (2017). Healthcare Informatics. Online Journal of Nursing Informatics, 21(1), 4–1.
McGonigle, D., & Mastrian, K. G. (2022). Nursing informatics and the foundation of knowledge (5th ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Chapter 1, “Nursing Science and the Foundation of Knowledge” (pp. 7–17)