by June Kaminski, RN MSN PhD(c), OJNI Editor in Chief
CITATION: Kaminski, J. (2022). ReImagine Health: Creating space for Nursing Informatics in the Vision. Online Journal of Nursing Informatics (OJNI), 26(1). https://www.himss.org/resources/reimagine-health-creating-space-nursing-informatics-vision
The theme for this year’s HIMSS22 coming up on March 14 – 18 in Orlando, Florida and online is “ReImagine Health”. In an interview done for Healthcare Finance, HIMSS CEO Hal Wolf explained why this theme was selected. “HIMSS looked at what has fundamentally changed,” said CEO Hal Wolf. “When we think about Reimagine Health, it’s creative, inspirational and transformational. There’s not a single part of healthcare that’s not been impacted by COVID-19. We’re still establishing new normals” (Morse, 2022, p. 1).
A guiding premise of this theme is a move toward predictive care, at both individual and population levels. “Novel precision predictive analytics present a way for nurses, physicians, respiratory therapists, and clinicians at all points of care to be able to visualize changes in patients’ risks over time particularly with ever-changing clinical illness trajectories” (Keim-Malpass & Moorman, 2021, p. 2). When the copious amounts of data within electronic health records (EHR) are harnessed using predictive algorithms through artificial intelligence and machine learning, this data can support care planning and cohesiveness that is otherwise difficult to achieve. The data becomes more than mere data and information: it fuels linkages and relationships that can better serve inclusive, unique person-centred care.
Coupled with well-developed nursing knowledge, predictive analytics can provide valuable support to predict risks and potential outcomes. “Nurses will be leaders in the implementation and the coupling of AI systems with human decision-making, relevant communication, and care. Beyond the critical role of learning to recognize patterns of deterioration, there is much attention needed to understand ability or willingness of the point-of-care team to comprehend and act. Indeed, the team is already overwhelmed with tasks. As such, AI-based precision predictive analytics monitoring implementation and education considerations should involve nursing as a key member of the interdisciplinary team” (Keim-Malpass & Moorman, 2021, p. 5).
Predictive analytics shows great promise for individuals as well as populations. “With the goal to expand information sharing and increase data portability as patients transition through different phases of care, opportunities exist to use predictive modelling to increase patients’ self-efficacy in taking control and managing health concerns or illnesses” (Garcia-Dia, 2021b, p. 48). Predictive analytics can support the holistic view of a patient through robust use of data mining, statistical modeling, machine learning, predictive modeling, and pattern matching, taking into consideration their preferences, lifestyle choices and practices, genetics, history and predicted future risk to help nurses create truly unique and ongoing care plans for individuals.
Telehealth presents another trend that has emerged in full force during the Covid pandemic and continues to add promise to the way nursing care and healthcare in general is provided. Nursing informaticists have worked closely “with physicians and other disciplines to modify existing workflows and systems to properly capture consent and then document telehealth visits. With the time-sensitive shift from in-person to telehealth visits, health systems have had to leverage a nurse informaticist’s expertise to rapidly design and test technology and workflows while simultaneously training end users before deployment” (Menkiena, 2021, p. 3).
Nursing informatics experts have been key leaders in the shaping and application for years but have advanced full force during this pandemic. “The use of telehealth has rapidly expanded due to the pandemic and as the context of virtual care delivery took on new meaning, health inequities in the community were highlighted. Nursing informaticists engaged in professional organizations such as HIMSS shared the experiences of underrepresented communities accessing COVID-19 testing. The pandemic shed a light on challenges related to access, computer literacy, language barriers, and other social determinants of health. Through social media chats, nursing informatics specialists disseminated these issues and increased awareness about health equity by promoting HR 7663, intended to protect access to telehealth for seniors” (Garcia-Dia, 2021a, p. 56).
As Garcia-Dia (2021b) also pointed out, telehealth surges during the pandemic alerted nursing informatics experts and other leaders to the gaps in health literacy and technological access that are prevalent across low income, aged and isolated populations. “Nursing informatics specialists and APNs can create partnerships through a health coach model to support patients’ clinical and information management needs. This can be facilitated through a hybrid interaction that’s flexible enough to accommodate in-person or virtual visits. As communities continue to deal with COVID-19 spread, the use of telecommunication tools will need to be considered depending on the patient’s familiarity with the tools, geographic location, and broadband connection” (p. 48).
This recent surge in telehealth use across medicine, nursing, and other health professions has confirmed that telehealth technologies can continue to serve both individuals and populations in their care in the future. Not to replace face to face, in-person care but to augment it as appropriate. “It is now time to re-evaluate where the profession of nursing stands regarding telehealth. It is time to embrace this new paradigm and prepare nurses to not just support telehealth efforts, but to take the lead in its integration within healthcare. It is time for nurses to promote and optimize the efficiency, effectiveness, and implementation of telehealth” (Rutledge & Gustin, 2021, p. 1). Nurses already have many of the skills necessary for effective telehealth consultations: they know how to build rapport with patients, trust is often well established, they work hard to promote inclusion, they act ethically and professionally, and have expert communication skills (Galpin et al., 2021).
Predictive analytics and telehealth are just two of the many areas that health technology is quickly evolving and where nursing informatics can likewise evolve. Attending HIMSS22 will help nurses open their eyes and minds to these possibilities. Take a moment to preview the topics that will be covered during these four days and let your imagination soar! It is critical that nurses are involved in this reshaping and reimagining of healthcare and informatics can help!
Galpin, K., Sikka, N., King, S. L., Horvath, K. A., Shipman, S. A., & AAMC Telehealth Advisory Committee (2021). Expert Consensus: Telehealth Skills for Health Care Professionals. Telemedicine journal and e-health: the official journal of the American Telemedicine Association, 27(7), 820–824. https://doi.org/10.1089/tmj.2020.0420
Garcia-Dia, M. J. (2021a). Nursing informatics: An evolving specialty. Nursing Management, 52(5), 56. doi: 10.1097/01.NUMA.0000743444.08164.b4
Garcia-Dia, M. J. (2021b). Reimagining the role of nursing informatics. Nursing Management, 52(12), 48. doi: 10.1097/01.NUMA.0000800388.33704.ab
HIMSS. (2022). Reimagine Health: HIMSS Global Health Conference. https://www.himss.org/global-conference
Keim-Malpass, J. & Moorman, L. (2021). Nursing and precision predictive analytics monitoring in the acute and intensive care setting: An emerging role for responding to COVID-19 and beyond. International Journal of Nursing Studies Advances, 3(Nov), 100019.
Menkiena, C. (2021, Feb. 2). The Three Essential Responsibilities of a Nurse Informaticist. Health Catalyst. https://www.healthcatalyst.com/insights/nurse-informaticist-3-essential-responsibilities/
Morse, S. (2022). HIMSS22 theme Reimagine Health echoes healthcare’s transformation since COVID-19. Health Finance, Feb. 15. https://www.healthcarefinancenews.com/news/himss22-theme-reimagine-health-echoes-healthcares-transformation-covid-19
Rutledge, C. & Gustin, T. (2021). Preparing Nurses for Roles in Telehealth: Now is the Time! Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 26(1), Manuscript 3. https://doi.org/10.3912/OJIN.Vol26No01Man03