Canadian Journal of Nursing Informatics

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This article was written on 20 Apr 2024, and is filled under Current Issue, Volume 19 2024, Volume 19 No 1.

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Artificial Intelligence in Nursing

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Nurse Developer Column

By Raymund John Ang, RN, MAN, PhD St

Raymund is currently a PhD student at the Holy Angel University (Philippines), and works as a clinical analyst in Pennsylvania, USA. He is the project lead of the Open Nursing Information System (Open-NIS) Project

Citation: Ang, R. J. (2024). Artificial Intelligence in Nursing. Nurse Developer Column. Canadian Journal of Nursing Informatics, 19(1). https://cjni.net/journal/?p=12730

Artificial Intelligence in Nursing

Nurses are subjected to a plethora of scenarios where appropriate decision making is necessary to address patient issues or concerns – some of which can have detrimental consequences to patient health. Standards of care, policies, procedures, and protocols have guided nurses on how to properly approach situations to improve patient outcomes, or to prevent or avoid aggravating patient conditions. With progress in technology and a shift towards the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare practice, AIhas been seen as having a beneficial contribution, as well as triggering a sense of caution in terms of implementation. Pailaha (2023) highlighted broader access to quality medical care, and improvement in medical records and quality of service as advantages, while also pointing out that biases and algorithms used in AImay affect the provision of healthcare services.

The American Nurses Association (ANA) issued a position statement on the ethical application of artificial intelligence in the practice of Nursing. In the said document, the ANA recommended that the role of AI is more about supplementing the knowledge and skill of nurses, rather than being an autonomous replacement; and stressed the importance of nurses being responsible healthcare professionals in terms of utilizing the products of technological advancement (ANA, 2022). It is imperative that nurses must be aware of their professional responsibilities when working in an environment where clinical decision-making can be influenced by computational algorithms, especially when these algorithms are proprietary in nature where the training data set for the AI algorithm is not clearly defined.

There is certainly still a myriad of situations where critical thinking is applied without the assistance of AI support systems. To illustrate, a nurse should not blindly administer medications that are contraindicated. A clinical decision support system using a rule-based approach is still applicable with its simple conditional or IF-ELSE logic. There is a lot that can be done with current systems, especially when nurses put on their hat as innovators and systems developers. Although, assistance from AI algorithm-based interfaces could greatly enhance these decision support mechanisms.

References

American Nurses Association. (2022). The ethical use of artificial intelligence in Nursing practice [Position statement].

Pailaha, A. D. (2023). The impact and issues of artificial intelligence in Nursing science and healthcare settings. SAGE Open Nursing, 9, 23779608231196847.

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