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Translational Application of Meaningful Use for the Nurse Executive – Roy Simpson July 22, 2010

Posted by Eric Rivedal in SINI2010.

How do nurses put together valuable information on Meaningful Use for nurse executives? Roy made it clear that this presentation was for novices, but that he hoped there may be some pearls of wisdom for others. 

There was a discussion of the seven stages of MU and what’s really in them. CNO’s need to read and understand the scope of the stages. There are many terms and conditions that must be clearly understood. Understanding the scope of the final rule is important for all nurses in a hospital to understand – without that understanding it’s hard to support the work that’s involved in bringing the changes that satisfy the MU standards about.

October 1, 2010 is when the first incentive payments are set to go out. Healthcare is very costly today and many outsiders see it as a huge hole that money flows into. Healthcare did not help itself as it has not made available the evidence of what the money is being spent on.

The internet may not be the most secure and stable platform for HNIN transmissions of healthcare data. After all, the internet crashed when Victoria’s Secret released their new line in 2008.

The next thing to be aware of is that ARRA provides INCENTIVES for PHYSICIANS. There is no pay for performance initiative for nurses of any kind known today. (if there is one in a hospital today, please contact Roy at rsimpson@cerner.com )

Meaningful Use offers nursing an unparalleled opportunity. It should cover the full spectrum of care. Nurse informaticians are needed to help implement and help bedside nurses understand the value of what they do.

Technology may be a red herring in the overall health care picture. Where is the money going to come from to educate nurses in what they must do to comply with MU? Looking into the future, there will be a time when free-text will be minimized in the effort to assure consistent data. Does a check-mark in a form really mean that a care task has been completed? Let’s use MU as an opportunity to resolve some of the issues in health care today. Nurses and their executives must create and use data that quantifies the value of nursing in the health care system. This can only happen with unified efforts between nurses, nurse informaticians and nurse executives.

Nurse Informaticians must have a strong clinical base in Nursing Informatics – an independent specialty in nursing. They should have advanced degrees in the subject. But the degree is not the only critical element. NI’s must have key experience in Nursing Science, Information Science, and Computer Science. While Ni’s received their commission in the past as field promotions for nurses who happened to have some understanding of computers, there are now established practices and principles that require formal education and real-world experience to truly qualify as the Nurse Informatician.

The NI’s role in MU will educate nurses, help gather outcomes for staff, and help create the full culture of Meaningful Use. NI’s should spend 70 percent of their time assuring that technical choices are made in alignment with organizational direction – not building screens.

Nurse Informaticians are not the popular nurse, the geeky nurse with all the gadgets, or the great project manager. MU and the EHR will demonstrate the proof of the value of nurses. Per Alvin Toffler: “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.”



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