There are several ways in which the average consumer can access health-related information. Although studies show that the most trusted source for health information is directly from health care professionals, many people do utilize TV, Internet websites, and other sources to supplement the information that health care professionals provide to them (Cutilli, 2010). In my own practice, I encourage patients and family to ask questions of the health care team rather than seek answers themselves. In this way, we can ensure that the most up-to-date and correct information is used, and also that all parties are receiving the same information. Pros: Patients are able to find the supplemental information that they feel they require in order to make informed decisions, or to understand prognoses or tests. Cons: Depending on race/culture, income, education level, socioeconomic status, etc., patients may seek information that proves to be incomplete or incorrect, or not from a reputable source (Cutilli, 2010). It certainly is detrimental to the patient when they or their family finds information from an unaccredited source and assumes it to be correct. This is especially true if the information they find positively reflects or validates their feelings regarding their health situation, which can give them a false sense of hope or reassurance.
This video explains the benefits of consumers using the Internet and social media to obtain health information, and it even touches on the supportive benefits of involving others in your health journey through social media – like a virtual support group.
“Overutilization of technology puts patients at risk.”
I chose this to be my thesis statement as it is a topic that can be highly debated. This is particularly true as we are practicing in a time where we are seeing a major influx of technological advances. The Information Age, as we know it, is defined as this modern era in which information is a product that is quickly and widely distributed, and easily accessible largely due to computer technology (merriam-webster.com). Recent advances in technology are rapidly changing the face of health care and nursing practice; the health care field is perhaps the place where the way and speed at which technology is changing the world is most evident (Huston, 2013).
However, this begs the question: can we function without technology?
Internet dependence has been quoted as an issue facing both nurses and students nurses, with students stating that it is becoming increasingly more difficult to fulfill learning requirements without the use of technology (Phildon, 2017). If it begins in nursing school, is it fair to say that this dependence will continue into nursing practice?
I am including the following video as I enjoyed the points raised regarding over-dependence on technology in health care.
Bear with me while I play around with this blog a bit, it is going to take a bit of getting used to. I posted this exact response in my discussion board post, however, I wanted to post here as well to make sure that I can do this properly.
What does “informatics” mean? The working definition of informatics has evolved from the use of computers for storing and processing information to being largely accepted as “the term for the use of information technology in various communities” (Chauvette, 2016). While nursing informatics is a term used to show a specialty within the field of nursing, there is no widely accepted definition. This is because nursing informatics is a discipline which is always changing with breakthroughs in information and technology, and also because information can be interpreted in many different ways (Chauvette, 2016). Despite this, many general definitions have emerged and are important to acknowledge as they guide nursing practice (Chauvette, 2016). The Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing and the Canadian Nursing Informatics Association both have adopted the definition of nursing informatics as “the science and practice integrates nursing, its information and knowledge and their management with information and communication technologies to promote the health of people, families, and communities worldwide” (Chauvette, 2016).
What informatics and eHealth technologies have you utilized in your practice? I began my practice working in remote communities in Northern Ontario. During my time there, we were still in the age of paper charting. Nothing was done on the computer. In those days, I would use the internet to research information for patients. Later in my career, I would use telemedicine to connect patients in the far north with doctors and specialists in bigger city centres. Now, I continue to use the internet for research purposes, and I also chart electronically.
In addition to the above discussion post, I would like to include this video explaining nursing informatics and it’s usefulness to nursing practice.
References Chauvette, A. (2016). History of Nursing Informatics in Canada. Canadian Journal of Nursing Informatics, 11(4). Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.roxy.nipissingu.ca/nahs/docview/1884547690/F956F4C1A3BF4962PQ/2?accountid=12792 UMSONVideos. [Screen Name]. 2017, May 16. Nursing Informatics: Connecting Patient Care and Technology [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5Lsf7RZMTA