Rapid innovation and the invention of technology has resulted in the encroachment of information and technology into the medicine and nursing fields. The contemporary domain of science and healthcare relies on several forms of technology for the provision of quality and affordable health care services. Advancements in the areas of informatics and data analysis have enabled the gradual incorporation of information and communications technology (ICT) into modern-day medicine and nursing practice. The use of modern healthcare technology such as Clinical Information Systems is a big step forward in improving the quality and affordability of nursing and medical care in modern-day health facilities.
Clinical Information Systems (CIS) utilize data analysis and informatics technology that improves data collection and storage in contemporary health care facilities. CIS is a computer-based software that enables healthcare providers and administrators to collect, analyze, store, manage, and retrieve both clinical information and patient data (Khalifa, 2013). The basic CIS software is composed of several building blocks that tackle issues such as Electronic Medical Records (EMRs), Clinical Decision Support, and Training and Research platforms (Khalifa, 2013). EMRs are software that stores patient personal data and medical history, while Clinical Decision Support is a tool that aids nursing practitioners in making relevant and accurate evidence-based clinical decisions (Khalifa, 2013). The Training and Research platform offers basic training to nurses and doctors whenever necessary. CIS is a better solution to data collection and storing than the traditional paper system as it utilizes both the EMRs and informatics technology to digitally collect, analyze and store patient and clinic data (Merrill, 2010). The CIS stores the collected data in a digital data warehouse where it can easily be accessed by medical practitioners whenever required. CIS reduces the chances of errors in data collection and misplacement or erroneous destruction or misplacement of data, which is a common feature of the paper system.
The CIS is more adaptable and accessible compared to the paper system of data storage. The CIS utilizes informatics and digital software in the collection and storage of data and therefore data can be easily be adapted or tailored according to the preferences of an organization (Merrill, 2010). Moreover, the CIS stores all collected data on a centralized data warehouse system. This, therefore, enables any qualified individual or medical practitioners to access relevant data from the CIS’s database from the comfort of his location as long as he has internet access (Khalifa, 2013). The paper system, on the other hand, is quite inflexible and data can only be accessed through personal and physical access of a patient’s health records. The implementation and operation of the CIS have several financial impacts on a health care organization. The CIS requires not only a constant and stable electricity supply to function but also a steady internet connection to smoothly operate. Being a software with numerous building blocks the CIS requires a quick and reliable internet connection to facilitate the uploading and storage of the collected data (Khalifa, 2013). A health organization will, therefore, have to foot the extra costs of electricity and internet usage brought about by the use of the CIS. Uploading data on the CIS renders obsolete the use of papers, files, and storage units as all storage is done digitally. This ensures that a health organization reduces its expenditure on physical data storage items such as papers and files.
The use of CIS in modern nursing and medical practice is a big step in the right direction. The CIS utilizes the latest informatics and communication technology to ensure that clinical data is collected, analyzed, and stored digitally. The use of the CIS is a massive improvement from the ancient paper system of data collection and storage, which is characterized by frequent data loss.
Khalifa, M. (2013). Barriers to health information systems and electronic medical records implementation. A field study of Saudi Arabian hospitals. Procedia Computer Science, 21, 335-342. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.procs.2013.09.044
Merrill, M. (2010, November 23). Top 10 factors for successful EHR implementation. Retrieved from https://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/top-10-factors-successful-ehr-implementation