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Nursing Informatics Pioneers

Nursing Informatics Pioneers

The current paper gives a brief introduction to nursing informatics, its origin, and its development or implementation. The article deals with two pioneers, Dr. Patricia Abbott and Dr. Betty L. Chang, whose works are admirable. Through the paper, one may find out about their professional achievements and contributions of their work to nursing practices. More so, the information will help us understand whether the pioneers have shaped nursing informatics. Most importantly, people can learn much through their experiences, adopt useful skills shown by the pioneers, and use them to develop their professional careers.

Nursing has evolved since 1860 when Florence Nightingale established the first school of nursing. A panel of pioneers has been involved in the development of nursing informatics ever since the beginning of nursing education. Nursing informatics is a scientific practice that combines nursing and information or communication management and technology to promote healthy living (Baker, 2012). The AMIA has put in place a nursing informatics history project that entails interviewing 33 recognized leaders. They tell their personal stories sharing what they have experienced in the dawn period of nursing informatics. They also reflect on the progress made after the implementation of informatics in the American healthcare system. Of all the pioneers, the works of Dr. Betty L. Chang and Dr. Patricia Abbott are most commendable because they have efficiently and effectively influenced the nursing practice and HIT (Health Information Technology).

Patricia Abbott, RN, Ph.D., FAMI

Patricia became a nurse after training in the University of Maryland. She practiced nursing for a few years and then became more interested in nursing informatics. She received a master’s degree in the subject and later did a Ph.D. in information systems in 1999. She had a good reputation even before completing her Ph.D. while working as a clinical information system specialist at the University of Maryland. She worked under the faculty of nursing at the same university and later joined John Hopkins University as the director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and WHO (World Health Organization) facility for information systems in nursing where she currently serves. In her interviews, she says that her passion of informatics originated from her interest in computers (Saba & McCormick, 2011). Hence, learning about nursing informatics can be achieved through self-education, online or one on one school training.

She applied data mining techniques in nursing hence discovering existing databases in lasting care to enable people to understand the factors contributing to patient outcomes. She has committed some of her work to patient safety, ensuring that strong informatics is used in programs funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

McGonigle and Mastrian (2009) argue that Dr. Abbott is an international figure of admiration due to her leadership in mentoring scholars and health workers in nursing informatics. Similarly, she is famous for her efforts in the development of the ANA (American Nurses Association) codes of practice for nursing informatics. All nurses are expected to meet all the set standards hence shaping nursing informatics ethically and professionally. She is a representative of the US in the IMIA (International Medical Informatics Association) and an active member of the JAMIA editorial board. She also has a talent in communicating disciplinary contributions to multidisciplinary organizations (Ball et al., 2011). Students taking the course now practice nursing using technology, and this has greatly improved healthcare in America. The nurses are competent and can work in various fields.

Leadership, self-drive and hard work are some of the important traits shown by Dr. Abbot and by possessing them, people can become big achievers in nursing informatics. Similarly, her experience shows that passion is vital to become successful.

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Dr. Betty L. Chang

Her major contributions in informatics have majored in Nursing Education and Research. She started working in the 1980s. She designed a computer-based education program for undergraduate and graduate students practicing nursing. The research modules were then distributed even to the rural places in the US via the ANA (American Nurses Association) mechanisms. She says that her inspiration for informatics was due to her passion in technology (Ball et al., 2011).

Another contribution of hers was the instrumental development of the first computerized laboratory-based learning. She also helped pioneer a teaching program for nursing informatics in the University of California. She helped inspire scholars studying in the school of nursing and served as a committed member of the ANA Commission and power-steered nursing applications (Ball & Hannah, 2011). Through such incentives, she inspires many students to pursue nursing informatics and improve healthcare. Dr. Betty continuously contributes to nursing informatics by publishing papers and acting as a leader in the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) programs and the International Medical Informatics (IMIA) programs as well as the Nursing and Consumer Health Informatics Groups.

From her experience, it can be learned that persistence is important for one to achieve his or her dreams. The most important skills she has shown are leadership skills and patience. They are ideal skills for success in professional nursing practice.

In conclusion, Dr. Betty L. Chang and Dr. Patricia Abbott have made major contributions to the improvement of healthcare and the production of competent nurses through nursing informatics. Their experience and continuous support provide great potential for the growth of nursing informatics in the future.

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