Typically, the foundation of a CIS is the electronic medical record or computerized patient record, which is a digital record of the care delivery episode. Building on this electronic record, a comprehensive clinical information system also incorporates computerized order entry and results reporting, as well as integration with information systems in the laboratory, radiology and other diagnostic services, and the pharmacy. A CIS frequently also includes elements of expert systems that perform quality functions such as alerting physicians to potential drug interactions or dose errors. The CIS also provides for data collection and analysis for administrative and quality processes.
All nurses have a role in informatics because nurses are primarily responsible for maintaining patients' records and helping doctors and their supervisors by providing relative information about the patients under their care. That is why nurses must embrace the clinical information system to facilitate and improve patients' healthcare related issues. Most of the time nurses practice informatics without prerequisite education. However, it is the need of time that all nurses must be fully aware of the healthcare informatics and well conversant with the use of computers software and equipments so they put their full potencies to facilitate timely delivery of healthcare to the much needing patients under their direct supervision. ...
r this may be the lack of understanding on the part of nurses about how they can utilize information technology to improve the patient care services and how they can save time and generate vitally useful information in shortest time span.
Nursing informatics is composed of theory and skills and it is a combination of nursing science, information science, and computers in which a nurse stands in the forefront duly supported by informatics and computers (Figure 1). According to the American Nurses Association (ANA), nursing informatics is "a specialty that integrates nursing science, computer science, and information science to manage and communicate data, information, and knowledge in nursing practice . . . to support patients, nurses, and other providers in their decision-making . . . using information structures, information processes and information technology" (ANA, 2001, p. 46).
FIGURE 1: The relationship of information technology, computer science and nursing.
The main purpose of nursing informatics is to improve the health of individuals, families, and communities. This can be done by optimizing the management and communication of information to enhance the availability of patients' medical history and medicine records, promptly responding to any emergency and utilizing information system to deliver in time service to the healthcare management and patients. In this direction, computers can be used to manage and communicate data, information, and knowledge. It is very important that nurses are able to interpret data, utilize the information generated through the collection of data and put their knowledge to make the data meaningful and helpful for timely decision-making process which would enhance the healthcare services. The