Shuffitt and Effken (2012) argue that informatics is insufficiently and inadequately represented in the curriculum of DNP programs and “demands innovative and creative ways of integrating” information systems/technology into those programs (p. 29). The authors argue that “health information technology (HIT) can play a vital role in assisting DNP-prepared nurses to manage health promotion and prevention, as well as acute episodic illnesses, for diverse patient populations” (Suffitt & Effken, 2012, p. 29). Such a sentiment, coming from a DNP (Shuffitt), points to the contributions of IS to DNP healthcare delivery. Furthermore, the authors point to the significant “clinical decision errors that injure approximately 1 out of every 25 hospitalized patients and contribute to more than 48,000 deaths each year” (Shuffitt & Effken, 2012, p. 28).
Furthermore, Shuffitt & Effken (2012) report that “the lack of a comprehensive clinical picture of the patient is cited most often as contributing to these preventable errors” (p. 29).This highlights the critical importance of IS/HIT to DNP healthcare delivery. IS/HIT enables the quick and orderly recording, access, and sharing of crucial patient information. This, in turn, equips DNPs with the information – enhanced information – necessary to deliver care. “A comprehensive clinical picture” is the most important tool a DNP could need for providing improved, quality care.
Advanced medical equipment, cutting-edge treatments, and modern pharmaceuticals have little worth without a clear understanding of the patient’s problem(s), needs, concerns, and considerations. Without the comprehensive patient picture made possible by the kind of organization, storage, and power available through information systems, DNP healthcare delivery languishes; technology does what people cannot do in terms of recording, storing, and providing access to a barely imaginable amount of information. In short, information systems improve the quality of DNP healthcare delivery through sheer information.
- Shuffitt, J. T., & Effken, J. (2012). Threading informatics throughout Doctor of Nursing Practice
(DNP) curricula. Online Journal of Nursing Informatics, 16(2), 28-30.