ADVOCATING FOR THE NURSING ROLE
Advocating for the Nursing Role in Program Design and Implementation
Nurses play a significant role in the healthcare system because they interact with the patient directly. Although they are not the implementer of the program, they are critical players throughout the program life cycle. Nurses are advocates of change in the healthcare organization because they understand the dynamic flow of services provided to patients. They recognize the specific change needed to improve the care process, such as the need for a bar code reader to enhance their work in collecting and recording patient information.
Nurses are information providers in the change process because they understand the needs of the new system and can provide critical data for its design and implementation. For example, they comprehend the nature of demographics and other information they collect from their patients. Hence, they explain how the new system should interface with the current systems in the healthcare organization.
The nurse will play a communicative role to explain the need for and the use of the new program. For example, the nurse leader should ensure that other nurses understand the importance of a new information system and how to use it. They will also explain the need for the change to the patients seeking care in the hospital because of their role as patient advocates and the regular interaction with patients.
Nurses will assist in research, especially about the new program and communicate with internal and external stakeholders in the facility. They are expected to collect information from various sources to inform the design and implementation of the new system. Besides, the nurse should communicate the information gathered during the research process.
Question: Tell us about a healthcare program, within your practice. What are the costs and projected outcomes of this program?
Answer: The healthcare organization is implementing a new patient records information system at the cost of $162,000,
Question: Who is your target population?
Answer: The target population includes all patients seeking primary care at the hospital, inpatient and outpatient.
Question: What is the role of the nurse in providing input for the design of this healthcare program? Can you provide examples?
Answer: The nurse will play a vital role as a source of information during the design and implementation of the program. Considering that the nurse will be an important user, implementers should collect information about nurses’ perception of the new system. For example, they should conduct interviews about the nurse’s view of the system and intended use.
Question: What is your role as an advocate for your target population for this healthcare program? Do you have input into design decisions? How else do you impact design?
Answer: The advocate for the intended information system plays an essential role in ensuring that the program serves the needs of the intended population. The most critical input in the design decisions is the need for a user-friendly system that considers the security of patient information. I could influence the design by initiating the change of user interface to make it easy for nurses to enter patient data.
Question: What is the role of the nurse in healthcare program implementation? How does this role vary between design and implementation of healthcare programs? Can you provide examples?
Answer: The nurse, as one of the key users of the information system, should be involved during the implementation process. For example, facilitators should request nurses to test the ease of use of the new system. The role varies between design and implementation because, during design, a needs analysis informs nurses’ input, while application involves the actual procedure and feedback.
Question: Who are the members of a healthcare team that you believe are most needed to implement a program? Can you explain why?
Answer: The most critical members of the organization during implementation are the nurse leaders, nurses, technicians, physicians and physician assistants, pharmacists, and administrative and support staff. Since they all play a significant part in the healthcare team, they should be involved in the design and development of the program, which is aimed at improving their work and patient outcomes.