Nursing school students learn how technology is changing and enhancing patient care.

Electronic health records concept - nurse is working on a tablet device with large letters 'EHR' on top.Medical histories have been memorialized in hieroglyphics, on paper, and increasingly today, in electronic records. A survey of physicians reports 86.9 percent of those polled use some form of electronic medical or health records.1

This technological wave is a cutting edge-topic for nursing school students pursuing an RN to MSN online. In the Walden University course Transforming Nursing and Healthcare through Information Technology, master’s degree in nursing students learn how using information technology can enhance evidence-based practice.

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Length of Stay, from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, is a reading assignment for students in the course, part of Walden’s online MSN program. In this excerpt, the article details the ways health information technology (health IT) can increase the quality of hospital patient care and decrease the length of hospital stays, and offers 5 of the benefits of electronic health records (EHRs):2

Current Findings in the Literature

Patients may experience extensions in hospitalizations due to delays in decision-making by providers while they wait for results, schedule diagnostic tests, conduct discharge planning, or wait for consultation because of inadequate access to consultants and specialists. Electronic health records allow providers to view a patient’s medical record electronically in real time. By doing so, providers can avoid waiting for paper charts to arrive to the hospital floor.

Viewing results electronically may allow for faster access to results, enabling providers to make diagnosis and treatment decisions in a timelier manner. In addition, the use of clinical decision support can lead to more effective and efficient care by recommending evidence-based treatment and medication regimens at the point of care.

Health IT applications that facilitate the transmission of essential patient data to providers more quickly may reduce hospital stays in several ways. For example, health IT can:

  • Help with the efficient and timely notification of available or critical results, or notification of when a consultant note is available.
  • Prevent the ordering of duplicate tests when complete patient information is unavailable.
  • Reduce the amount of time between the placement of a given order and its execution.
  • Allow tests, treatments, and medications to be scheduled and delivered faster.
  • Alert providers to potentially dangerous doses or interactions through electronic prescribing (e-¬prescribing) or electronic medication administration record systems (eMAR).

How Can I Incorporate Health IT into My Nursing Career?

When you select an MSN online degree program at Walden University, you’ll be able to choose from 8 specializations. If your career goal is to enhance patient care through information technology, a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) – Nursing Informatics may be the right degree program for you. As an MSN candidate, you’ll learn how to integrate nursing science, computer science, and information science to manage and communicate data in your field effectively.

Walden’s nursing informatics specialization can place you at the forefront of technological innovation in healthcare – just one reason why MSN nursing students choose Walden, which is No. 1 in Master of Science in Nursing graduates in the U.S.3 Become part of the technological movement that’s helping to improve patient care across the healthcare system – from the lab to the doctor’s office to the hospital. Let Walden’s online MSN programs give you with the knowledge and experience to boost your nursing career. Go ahead and get started. The technology is at your fingertips.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering a Master of Science in Nursing degree program online. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.

2Walden Curriculum Source:
3Source: National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) IPEDS database. Retrieved July 2017, using CIP code 51.3801 (Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse). Includes 2016 preliminary data.

Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission,

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