Examine the use of informatics as a tool of practice and discuss the major issues for nursing in its uptake

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Health Sciences & Medicine
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Over the past several years the framework of healthcare has seen enormous changes, with focus shifting from the provider in the institution to the patient at home. These changes are conditioned by several drivers, major ones are the economic need to control the costs spent on healthcare in an ageing community setting at the time when institutional care and technology costs are escalating, increasing consumerism leading to the appearance of the "informed patient" and, finally, the extraordinary innovations in communication technology and the Internet evolution…

Introduction

It is the rational study of the way we think about patients, and the way that treatments are defined, selected and evolved. It is the study of how clinical knowledge is created, shaped, shared and applied. Ultimately, it is the study of how we organise ourselves to create and run healthcare organizations." (Coiera, 2003, 1) Health informatics is about clinical guidelines, information and communication systems as Internet, formal health languages. However, all this is only a means to achieve the goal - to deliver the best healthcare possible. Advances in computer technology fuelled the growth and importance of health informatics as a clinical discipline, which resulted in new ability to manipulate health knowledge at fundamentally higher abstract level and to develop effective communication systems to support and take care of the healthcare process. Thus, health informatics can be defined as "the study of information and communication systems in healthcare." (Coiera, 2003, 3)
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