Advanced Information Management in Nursing


  1. Introduction. 3
  2. The Project Committee. 4
  3. Team Members and their Organizational Positions. 5
  4. Roles of each Member 5
  5. Necessity of Each Team Member’s Expertise for the Project 6
  6. Two Real-Life Computerized Management Systems. 8
  7. Microsoft Dynamics GP10. 8
  8. Systems, Applications & Products (SAP) 8
  9. Summary of the Advantages and Disadvantages of the Two Systems. 8
  10. Microsoft Dynamics GP10. 8
  11. SAP. 9
  12. The Best Choice System.. 10
  13. SAP Features. 10
  14. The System’s Impact on Patient Care and Documentation. 11
  15. How Using the System to Access Information Will Influence Service Delivery. 12
  16. Organizational Benefits. 12
  17. Quality Improvement (QI) 12
  18. Security Standards and Methods. 13
  19. How the System Protects Patients’ Privacy. 13
  20. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) 14
  21. How the System Reduces Costs. 14
  22. Importance of Involving All Nurses in the Project 15
  23. Conclusion. 15
  24. References. 17

Advanced Information Management in Nursing

1.      Introduction

            Advances in technology have resulted in many professionals adapting the use of technology in advancing their performance. Recent technological advances allow nurses to improve the quality of services they offer their patients through efficient access to evidence and data. Consequently, decisions made at both the point of care and the organizational level is impacted by information support systems. Nurses prepared at the master’s level fill a key role in leading unit and organizational change that incorporates these emerging technologies into the improvement of patient safety and quality of care. Primarily, effective management of data ensures that patients’ information is safe; thus reducing chances of lawsuits resulting from confidentiality of clients’ personal information (Dixon & Massey, 2007). One of the key sectors that have been positively affected by IT is communication channels. In the nursing profession, information is exchanged between nurses, doctors, departmental heads and patients (Foley & Stein, 2011). Essentially, improved information management ensures that information reaches the target audience in real time. Subsequently, such possibilities lead to reduced cases of morbidity in patients since their personal information is accessible within the shortest time possible. At the same time, any available medical practitioner could serve any patient making follow up because the patient’s information is available in the health care institution Everdingen, Hillegersberg & Waarts, 2000).

Notably, in the current nursing system, all decisions must have accurate information to offer quality health care in competitive and cost effective manner. In addition, well-informed decisions seek timely, complete and accurate information available from well-managed data processors. At the same time, health care providers must be conversant with tools responsible for managing information. Notably, knowledge of computers as well as the applications that run them is necessary for any health care professional. Notably, the Digital Age has succeeded the Information Age, which means that data accessibility is much easier today when compared to the 1990s. However, as Barnard, Nash & O'Brien (2011) note, “The practice of nursing has not escaped the exponential growth in the amount and complexity of information in recent decades.” (p. 508) In essence, paper documentation has outlived its usefulness because it cannot meet the needs of a hospital with one hundred-bed capacity. The hospital must have several departments and dozens of nurses and other medical practitioners it were to serve the patients efficiently and effectively. Nurses are expected to improve the quality of the lives of their patients. Ideally, “The all encompassing evidence-based practice movement supports the development of a research basis for health-care practice and requires that nurses have the skills to access, appreciate and apply pertinent research findings to their practice (Barnard, Nash &O'Brien, 2011, p. 509). At the same time, retrieving this information from an institution suing paper work is not only tedious but time consuming. Innately the use of ineffective data management systems increases the chances of errors that could lead to preventable death of patients. Fundamentally, to increase efficiency and effectiveness of data mining and information sharing, the organization must embrace technology in its data management.

Proposal for a New Information Management System

2.      The Project Committee

Each project must have a committee responsible for drafting and implementing the required system. In addition, the committee should draw members from different departments of the organization in order to ensure that the needs of all employees are met. At the same time, the members must be conversant with the assigned roles to improve service delivery and the time taken in designing and implementing the said project.

a.      Team Members and their Organizational Positions

Member Title

Nursing Position in the Organization

Masters Nursing Informatics Certificate

Assistant Director of Nursing

Advanced Practice Registered Nurse

Assistant Head Nurse

Advanced Practice Registered Nurse

Nursing Assistant

Advanced Practice Registered Nurse and Certificate in Accounting

Staff Nurse

b.      Roles of each Member

            The assistant director of nursing would be the chairperson of the project. In essence, the chair organizes meetings and assigns all members roles and deadlines. Innately, deadlines are essential in any project because they ensure that team members perform to their potential. Consequently, other members would be reporting their progress to the chair on a weekly basis. On the other hand, any changes that the project requires to move forward would be discussed during the team members’ next meeting. As a leader, the chair would ensure that all team members are briefed on the project’s progress before any upcoming meeting. Team members would be advised to keep their discussions confidential in order to boost the morale of all team members.

            On the other hand, the assistant director of nursing would act as the vice-chair in the team. The vice-chair acts on behalf of the chairperson when the latter is absent. In addition, the nurse ensures that all members have direct communication to each other in order to share their challenges and seek for solutions from other members. In addition, the vice-chair would ensure that all members work as a team because teamwork is ideal in solving challenges. Moreover, the chosen person coordinates the best methods of tackling resistance to change which is expected from some of the staff members.

            The Nursing Assistant would act as the secretary of the team because discussions and contributions must be noted down. In essence, notes are essential in any project because they references in the future. Since all members are equal stakeholders in the group, every contribution is important. Communication is an important aspect in the team because it ensures that al members are aware of what is going on in the project. Consequently, the secretary would provide minutes of any discussion to all members.

            Lastly, the staff nurse would act as the financial controller in the project. Her certificate in accounting comes in handy for she would ensure that the project could draw a budget that would cover of all costs. However, she would be working with the other members but she is the leading guide in all financial matters.

c.       Necessity of Each Team Member’s Expertise for the Project

The chairperson has worked in several team projects, which makes him an ideal leader in the project. In addition, the chair has a Master’s Nursing Informatics Certificate thus providing an ideal leader who uses the knowledge of information management to create a project that succeeds. At the same, the project is enormous thus requiring a dedicated person who would commit time towards achieving the set goals and objectives. The chair establishes the needed knowledge of computer software, which is necessary to keep the project on the right path. Notably most of the other members are comfortable to work with paper documentation and as a result, the leader advises them on the benefits of switching to digital data management because it is easily retrievable. In nursing, confidentiality of information is essential which means that the expertise of the chairperson would be ideal in bringing on board software that would guarantee only authorized people’s access to the information. Initially, the chairperson would create an efficient communication technique between the team members to ensure that information gets to the intended recipient in real time.

At the same time, the assistant director of nursing has been in firm for several years; therefore, the person understands the weaknesses and strengths of all other team members, in addition, the vice-chair has been on a leadership role for a long time, which makes it easier to coordinate the project’s activities. In essence, the vice-chair is not new to team work and as a result, the project’s members would be happy to have her as the vice-leader.

The nursing assistant is an advanced practice registered nurse who understands the needs of patients, their families and other staff members. In addition, as the secretary the person understands the most important aspects to be addressed by the project. Consequently, the secretary is in a position to note the most important points that would ensure the project’s success. Although the secretary lacks any formal secretarial knowledge, the project needs a person who is willing to dedicate much time on the project. The nursing assistant has worked for the firm for six years; thus, the person is in a position to understand the challenges posed by paper documentation.

Any project must have a budget for it to move forward. Consequently, the staff nurse offers an ideal solution to financial matter because the individual has a certificate in accounting. The financial controller would ensure adequate allocation of funds to different segments of the project. In addition, the person’s knowledge in accounting would come in handy in helping negotiations with other organizations’ representatives when outsourcing the needed software. Ideally, the financial controller would use accounting knowledge to reduce chances of overpricing the needed materials (Everdingen, Hillegersberg & Waarts, 2000).

3.      Two Real-Life Computerized Management Systems

i.                    Microsoft Dynamics GP10

ii.                  Systems, Applications & Products (SAP)

a.      Summary of the Advantages and Disadvantages of the Two Systems

        i.            Microsoft Dynamics GP10

Microsoft Dynamics GP10 was released in 2010 and it is one of the Microsoft’s ERP systems. Microsoft Dynamics GP10 is a dynamic product line that comes in four variant offerings, which are AX, GP, NAV and SL. Great Plains Software, an autonomous organization located in Fargo, North Dakota was the first organization to develop Dynamics GP. However, Microsoft acquired Great Plains Software in 2010 for $1.1 billion. Dynamics SL. handles accounting and other fundamental project management. It is worth noting that Microsoft understands the importance of market segmentation and this is the reason why Dynamics SL targets, health care institutions, construction management corporations, distribution firms and government contractors. This is because their businesses are not complex which implies that the Dynamics SL is effective in serving these clients (Microsoft, 2011).

            On the other hand, Dynamics NAV is meant for mid-size firms. In addition to incorporating accounting and fundamental project management, it is also cost effective. This means that mid size organizations, which have limited resources, have access to ERP solution. Consequently, according to Microsoft, more than fourteen thousand customers across the world use Dynamics GP. It offers a complete ERP solution to clients (O’Leary, 2004). As noted by Microsoft (2011), Dynamics GP “Microsoft touts this system as requiring lower implementation, and long term maintenance costs, than similar SAP or Oracle products.” It offers information functionalities, manufacturing services, sales and marketing, supply chain, project management, human resources and financial services. This makes the work of human resource department easier by reducing employee turnover. It is worth noting that employee turnover is a very expensive venture for any given organization in the long term (Microsoft, 2011).

Larger and multinational corporations use Dynamics AX, which is referred to as the Microsoft’s Cadillac program. This is because it offers a complete ERP solution for an organization irrespective of its size. In addition to offering all GP functionalities, it gives organizations an all round intelligence reporting. In the United States, organizations are striving to adopt the green movement and Dynamics AX makes this easier. Moreover, it gives firms chances of acquiring up to date information on environmental sustainability (Microsoft, 2011).

b.      SAP

SAP was developed in Germany by SAP and it is among the leading ERP software providers for businesses in the world. SAP ensures that every business has a product that suits it regardless of its size. SAP has in the excess of nineteen thousand organizations using its services in more than one hundred and twenty countries in the world (SAP, 2012). The SAP ERP Central Component (ECC) replaced SAP’s R/3 system. SAP aims at helping organizations in optimizing their business operations because this would lead to increased productivity and profitability. SAP ERP system has four modules, which are Corporate, Human Capital Management, Financials and Operation Services. Financial and core accounting processes are handled by the Financials. Through Financials, firms are able to track profits, receivables, revenues and expenses accurately. This ensures that organization reduce losses which could happen through misappropriation of funds and other resources by fraudulent employees (SAP, 2012).

The interests of the human resource department lie under Human Capital Management. Promotions, training and recruitments are all covered by this system. In addition, it manages payrolls and this ensures that employee satisfaction is enhanced. It is worth noting that workforce analysis plays a critical role in the success of any organization and this means that it has to be taken seriously. On the contrary, service, sales, manufacturing, research, development and purchasing are catered for by Operations. Lastly, travel management, environmental safety and health, project portfolio, enterprise, real estate functions and all asset management functions lie under Corporate Services (SAP, 2012).

c.       The Best Choice System

SAP is ideal for the project because it covers all necessary requirements for running a medical facility efficiently. The system has advanced features that are ideal for improving quality, efficiency, safety while reducing health disparities. The fact that it stores data for all operations in the health facility makes work easier for departmental heads thus improving efficiency. At the same time, any data is retrievable from any computer terminal as long as the user has a password.  

d.      SAP Features

SAP SOP is used for producing forecasts in production plant level or distribution center. It is worth noting that estimated future data, existing and historical play an important role in forecasting. SAP SOP is made up of two application components which are standard sales/operations planning and flexible planning. Cumulative historical data is used in forecasting in demand planning under the Standard SAP SOP. SAP ERP system has several strategies that it uses in the creation of the demand program. Fulfillment of requirements available in the warehouse lies under make-to-stock production. Moreover, subassembly planning is an assembly of planning which is based on make-to-stock production. Order-related production focuses on producing finished products and assembly of make-to-stock production (Hayes, Hunton & Reck, 2001). The primary strength for this system is that it consolidates data and is accessible via a password. Consequently, it ensures that unauthorized person cannot access the data because of the confidentiality required in nursing. Consequently, this system ensures that patients’ personal data is safe at all times. In addition, it offers a wide range of products to serve the interests on any organization according to their sizes. Ideally, the firm is medium seize which means that it could work with well with the system. Moreover, the system meets the three stages of meaningful use, which are

  • Improved efficient delivery of services
  • Engaging family and patient
  • Marinating privacy and confidentiality of patient’s health information

Implementation of the system in the health care sector would ensure that patients’ needs are met in real time because increased accessibility of data. Additionally, the system addresses needs for different departments thus resulting in increased coordination between different segments of the health care facility. In essence, electronic health records (EHR) are vital in increasing patient trust towards the organization.

e.       The System’s Impact on Patient Care and Documentation

Ideally, data mining when using paper documentation poses numerous challenges to any organization. However, implementing SAP system of data management would ensure that any needed information about a patient of retrieved in real time thus saving time spend on searching for missing files and costs. On the other hand, patient’s information would be available for all authorized persons, which means that any medical practitioner could serve return patients. Importantly, medical institutions keep patients’ records for use in the future. Subsequently, with SAP it would be easier to document and store patients’ data safely. Patients would not have to wait for hours before their medical history is retrieved from the institutions database (SAP, 2011).

f.        How Using the System to Access Information Will Influence Service Delivery

Accuracy is an important attribute in the nursing profession. Subsequently, the system would ensure that accurate data on any patient is traced within the shortest time possible thus reducing the time spent at the hospital. Patients would be happy to work with the institution because they understand the quality of the firm’s services. In essence, the system reduces chances of error during service delivery because of availability of any previous data that is useful in giving a patient the best medical care (SAP, 2011).

4.      Organizational Benefits

a.      Quality Improvement (QI)

Management of data is essential in tracking errors and working to correct them in order to improve service delivery. The system tacks all essential data in the running of the institution. It could track errors in misappropriation of funds and analyze how the money was spent. Consequently, any responsible person for the misappropriation would be traced and necessary actions taken to discipline such behavior. Ideally, the system provides information for the entire period that it is in use. Data analysts are required to track information over a given period to check the presence of any irregularities. In matters of financial information, the firm could hire external auditors to analyze the firm’s financial books and give a recommendation on their findings.

On the other hand, patient information would be used to check whether they are consistent. Since each entry has a date, the information is useful to track a patients’ well being after leaving the hospital in order to offer the best services. In essence, all patients’ information is accessible in one digital file accessible by entering the patient’s name. Consequently, it is easier to track and correct any patient’s informational errors and offer the quality service.

b.      Security Standards and Methods

The system offers each authorized person to choose a password to use when accessing data stored in the computer. This guarantees privacy and integrity of the institution. Moreover, the system locks away any unauthorized people by a strong firewall that keeps hackers at bay. In addition, the system provider continuously upgrades the system in a bid to ensure that they stay ahead of hackers. Additionally, the software providers provide a backup mechanism for retrieving any data that is lost by crashing of computers. Consequently, the stored data remains in secure hands and once deleted, it cannot be found by any unauthorized persons (Hayes, Hunton & Reck, 2001).

c.       How the System Protects Patients’ Privacy

As noted earlier, only authorized persons have access to any data stored in the system. In addition, nurses understand the importance of keeping privacy of patients’ information, which implies that they would not share their passwords with any other persons. At the same time, the software provider offers a reliable firewall that keeps hackers away thus reducing the chances of unauthorized people accessing the data. Consequently, patient information safety is guaranteed (SAP, 2011).

d.      Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) protect privacy of any identifiable health data concerning a given patient. In addition, any electronic data storage system must meet the privacy requirements (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 2015). However, SAP is ideal because no one can access the data except those authorized by the institution. Consequently, patient’s information would be in safe hands while stored in the system. In essence, SAP provides backup security, which bars any attempted unauthorized access to the system thus, relieving all stakeholders. In addition, the system notifies the authorized personnel of such occurrences, which help in building a secure storage system. Importantly, it is possible to change passwords for employees leave the facility thus denying them access to the stored information.

e.       How the System Reduces Costs

Paper documentation is bulk, which implies that any organization using this system requires large stores for keeping all the important paper works. On the contrary electronic data management requires minimal space because all information is stored in digital sources such as hard disks. Consequently, adopting the system reduces costs for data storage in terms of space needed for storing data. In addition, the number of people required for data retrieval is many when using paper documentation. However, digital data storage requires minimal workforce that saves money for the organization. On the other hand, the time taken to retrieve electronic data is minute which saves time for the organization. Consequently, the time saved could be used in other duties that are beneficial to the organization. Electronic data improves service delivery, which means an improved performance of the facility. Consequently, this leads to improved revenue for the organization because it serves large numbers of patients within a short time. Electronic data does not entail any waste materials because paperwork is eliminated. Subsequently, the firm saves on waste management given the reduced paperwork, which implies that the firm saves revenue on this front.

5.      Importance of Involving All Nurses in the Project

Although only experts in the field would implement the project, all staff members must be involved in the project. In essence, people tend to resist change because they see it as unnecessary thus failing to look in to the benefits that come with any change in their line of work, involving all the nurses in the project would ensure that the implementation phase goes smoothly and all tasks are completed in the allocated time. Communication is vital during the implementation phase because it ensure that all stakeholders perform their duties to the fullest. Consequently, the implementers must provide necessary information to the nursing team for them to know what they need to do to ensure success of the project. In addition, their views towards the project are necessary because it would reveal areas that need attention, which might have passed the team members.

6.      Conclusion

In essence, electronic data management is essential for the running of medical providers because it ensures easy access to information and patients’ data. In addition, nursing requires accuracy in serving clients better. However, paper documentation could compromise accuracy because of the amount spend to retrieve important data. Implementing electronic data management ensures that patients’ information is secure by using SAP. SAP offers comprehensive data management, which is ideal for the hospital. Ideally, it helps human resource, financial department and storage of patient data. In addition, the system is secure and it guarantees privacy of patient personal information thus complying with HIPAA requirements. Although SAP and MS Dynamics offer different services to the user, it has been noted that each program has its merits and demerits. However, the two programs have invented programs, which are suitable for different sizes and sizes of health care institutions. In essence, it is of paramount importance to note that it is cheaper to implement and use MS Dynamics. On the other hand, customers have used SAP for a longer time and many of them report more satisfaction. Organizations, which aspire to remain in the competitive world of business, do not have a choice other than using information technology to streamline their operations. The organizations have to invest enough resources that would ensure that IT is efficient and effective. Consequently, this cannot be achieved without training enough personnel on the usage of latest IT software available in the market. This is because new technologies are continuously being invented. Majority organizations across the world have realized the need of embracing IT in their operations. However, managers have to learn in order to understand programs that best suit their organizations in terms of their needs. This is because software has been invented and they target a given segment of the clientele.




7.      References

Barnard, A., Nash, R. &O'Brien, M. (2011). “Information literacy: developing lifelong skills through nursing education.” Journal of Nursing Education, 44(11): 505-510.

Dixon, W. & Massey, F. (2007). Introduction to Statistical Analysis. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Everdingen, Y., Hillegersberg, J. E., & Waarts, E. (2000). ERP adoption by European midsize companies. Communications of the ACM, 43(4): 27-31.

Foley, J., & Stein, T. (2011). Oracle aims at applications midmarket. Information Week: 30.

Hayes, D., Hunton, J. & Reck, J. (2001). Market reaction to ERP implementation announcements. Journal of Information Systems, 3: 3-18.

Microsoft (2011) Facts about Microsoft. Retrieved 10 Feb 2015 from

O’Leary, D. E. (2004). "Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Systems: An Empirical Analysis of Benefits." Journal of Emerging Technologies in Accounting, 1:63-72.

SAP (2011). SAP Business Suite. Retrieved 10 Feb 2015 from

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. (2015). Improving the health, safety, and well-being of America. Retrieved 10 Feb 2015 from