In contemporary healthcare, information technology has a significant impact on nursing due to its potential positive and negative effects. For example, social media can pose a threat to patient privacy and confidentiality, whereas clinical decision support systems are used to enhance the quality of care and patient safety. Nurses need to understand the drawbacks and benefits of modern information technology to use it appropriately.
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In its white paper, the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN, 2013-2014) explains that it is critical to educate nurses about the threat to patient confidentiality and privacy that comes with the use of social media. However, there are also other methods that managers can use to prevent inappropriate social media use. As part of the plan, it is essential to define the institution’s rules regarding social media use by care providers.
Explaining the consequences of inappropriate social media posts or comments could help organizations to prevent this type of misconduct (Brous & Olsen, 2017). In addition, it is essential to provide education and training to nurses regarding online security, including ways of protecting information stored on mobile devices (The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, n.d.).
Clinical decision support is a beneficial technology that can be used to improve patient safety and the quality of care (Health IT, 2018). This technology has some advantages and drawbacks that can impact its implementation and acceptance. On the one hand, CDS systems can improve adherence to guidelines and prevent medical errors, promoting safety (AHRQ Health IT, 2014; Lopez et al., 2017).
These systems also provide users with data required to establish the diagnosis, order tests, and prescribe treatment, thus fulfilling their need for information. On the other hand, alerts and reminders issued by CDS systems can distract healthcare professionals from patients, disrupting the workflow and causing them to miss important details (AHRQ Health IT, 2014; UABHIProgram, 2017). All in all, it is crucial to refining these systems to ensure that they meet the users’ need for information support without creating distractions.
AHRQ Health IT. (2014). CDSC: Cloud-based decision support [Video file]. Web.
Brous, E., & Olsen, D. P. (2017). Lessons learned from litigation: Legal and ethical consequences of social media. AJN The American Journal of Nursing, 117(9), 50-54.
Health IT. (2018). Clinical decision support. Web.
Lopez, K. D., Gephart, S. M., Raszewski, R., Sousa, V., Shehorn, L. E., & Abraham, J. (2017). Integrative review of clinical decision support for registered nurses in acute care settings. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 24(2), 441-450.
National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN). (2013-2014). White paper: A nurse’s guide to the use of social media. ISNA Bulletin, 40(1), 12-15.
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT. (n.d.). Chapter 4: Understanding electronic health records, the HIPAA security rule, and cybersecurity. Web.
UABHIProgram. (2017). Clinical decision support [Video file]. Web.