Canadian Journal of Nursing Informatics


This article was written on 20 Dec 2011, and is filled under Volume 6 2011, Volume 6 No 4.

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The Need for Nursing Informatics Specialists In Rehabilitation Settings

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Our newest column on mobile technologies and applications (Apps) is written by Jeanette Centeno a nurse at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in New Jersey and currently works in the Spinal Cord Unit. This facility is well known for its innovative rehab and nursing care.

By Jeanette Centeno


Rehabilitation settings play a unique role in patient care by focusing on the patients physical needs, teaching new methods of care, and expanding access to an environment which may offer new challenges. The environment offers the nurse vast opportunity to interact with the patient and family, but it also poses many obstacles in patient care.

A nursing informatics specialist can provide the synergistic importance of information technology (IT) specialist and nurse professional. A valuable role in improving IT education and maintenance, and assisting in the management of nursing data, supporting nursing practice, and research. Many times hospitals outsource IT personnel, which can create many disadvantages from lack of IT support, lack of nursing knowledge, and poor IT management. This can produce a large amount of stress on staff nurses who are forced to troubleshoot computer problems and thus spend less time with the patient.

The nursing informatic specialist can also assist the patient in applying technology, education, and follow-up care. For instance, occupational therapy can teach a patient how to use a computer with assistive devices, but a nursing informatic specialist, can teach the patient how to navigate the system, use applications, plus assist in nursing care planning.

As technology intertwines with nursing, standards of practice change. The advantages increase the quality of care, improve information sharing, enhance clinical decision-making, and education. Rehabilitation settings can gain an enormous support system by having a nursing informatics specialist on board . It can open many doors and address the unique needs of disabled patients.

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