consider a scenario that would benefit from access to data and how such access could facilitate both problem-solving and knowledge formation


In the modern era, there are few professions that do not to some extent rely on data. Stockbrokers rely on market data to advise clients on financial matters. Meteorologists rely on weather data to forecast weather conditions, while realtors rely on data to advise on the purchase and sale of property. In these and other cases, data not only helps solve problems, but adds to the practitioner’s and the discipline’s body of knowledge.

Of course, the nursing profession also relies heavily on data. The field of nursing informatics aims to make sure nurses have access to the appropriate date to solve healthcare problems, make decisions in the interest of patients, and add to knowledge.

In this Discussion, you will consider a scenario that would benefit from access to data and how such access could facilitate both problem-solving and knowledge formation.



Be sure to review the Learning Resources before completing this activity. Click the weekly resources link to access the resources.


To Prepare:

· Reflect on the concepts of informatics and knowledge work as presented in the Resources.

· Consider a hypothetical scenario based on your own healthcare practice or organization that would require or benefit from the access/collection and application of data. Your scenario may involve a patient, staff, or management problem or gap.


Post a description of the focus of your scenario. Describe the data that could be used and how the data might be collected and accessed. What knowledge might be derived from that data? How would a nurse leader use clinical reasoning and judgment in the formation of knowledge from this experience?


Respond to at least  two of your colleagues * on two different days, asking questions to help clarify the scenario and application of data, or offering additional/alternative ideas for the application of nursing informatics principles.

*Note:  Throughout this program, your fellow students are referred to as colleagues.

Scenario Description:


In my hypothetical scenario, I work as a nurse in a hospital setting, specifically in the surgical department. One common problem we encounter is post-operative infections among surgical patients. Despite following standardized protocols for surgical site care, we still experience a higher-than-desired rate of surgical site infections (SSIs). This issue not only impacts patient outcomes but also increases healthcare costs and lengthens hospital stays.


Data Collection and Access:


To address this problem, we could collect various types of data related to surgical procedures and post-operative care. This data might include:

– Patient demographics (age, gender, comorbidities)

– Surgical details (type of surgery, duration, surgical team)

– Pre-operative and post-operative care protocols

– Infection rates and types of pathogens involved

– Use of antimicrobial prophylaxis


This data could be collected from electronic health records (EHRs), surgical logs, infection control databases, and patient charts. By leveraging healthcare informatics systems, nurses and other healthcare professionals can easily access and analyze this data to identify trends, patterns, and potential areas for improvement.


Knowledge Formation:


From this data, valuable knowledge can be derived to inform evidence-based practice and improve patient outcomes. For example, analysis of the data may reveal specific risk factors associated with SSIs, such as prolonged surgical duration or inadequate pre-operative skin preparation. This knowledge can then be used to develop targeted interventions, such as implementing enhanced pre-operative skin antisepsis protocols or optimizing surgical team communication during procedures.


Clinical Reasoning and Judgment:


Nurse leaders play a crucial role in utilizing clinical reasoning and judgment to interpret the data and guide decision-making processes. They must critically analyze the data, considering factors such as patient safety, feasibility of interventions, and potential barriers to implementation. Nurse leaders may collaborate with interdisciplinary teams to develop and implement strategies aimed at reducing SSIs, such as staff education, protocol revisions, or quality improvement initiatives.


Overall, access to data and the application of nursing informatics principles are essential in addressing healthcare challenges like SSIs. By leveraging data-driven insights and clinical expertise, nurse leaders can drive continuous improvement and enhance the quality of patient care.



Colleague Response:


Your scenario highlights an important issue in surgical care, and your approach to addressing it with data collection and analysis is commendable. I’m curious, have you considered incorporating patient-reported outcomes into your data collection efforts? Patient feedback on their surgical experience and post-operative care could provide valuable insights into factors contributing to SSIs, such as wound care instructions or post-discharge follow-up. Additionally, involving patients in quality improvement efforts can enhance patient engagement and satisfaction with their care.


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