msn informatics

Ask The Informatics Nurse!

Do you have a question about the nursing informatics field?  Are you wondering how to get started or grow in your nursing informatics career?  Would you like to discuss nursing informatics-related processes or ideas?  If so, you can leave a comment below, or email me at

Here are two sample questions that other nurses have sent me, one of which I received via a comment and the other via email (both were edited for length and clarity).  My answers were previously sent via email.

The answer(s) and/or advice offered expresses my personal opinions and views and is intended for informational purposes only.  Please make sure to read the full Disclaimer.




Dear Informatics Nurse,

I have been thinking about nursing informatics but am hearing that the jobs are dwindling down and there isn’t a great need like before since a lot of hospitals have gone live with their EHRs. As a result, I feel reluctant to get in to NI. Can you share your thought in that please. Thanks.



Dear D.A.,

You expressed a valid concern, specifically in the area of dwindling jobs in the area of EHR project implementation. However, the field of Nursing Informatics is quite varied. Aside from full-time operational and consulting roles related to EHRs, there is a variety of roles for informatics nurses. Some, like me, are project managers and clinical documentation specialists. Others are involved in data analytics. Still others are “embedded” into specific departments (such as Periop or Radiology) and have a blended role of EHR builder/project manager/data analyst, among others.


The Informatics Nurse




Dear Informatics Nurse,

What methods/processes can be used to identify, address, and prevent staff work-arounds in relation to EMR/EHR use?



Dear M.P.,

Speaking strictly from experience, I’ve observed that they are caused by one or a combination of the following factors:

– incomplete or inaccurate gap analysis of the workflow and content
– lack of understanding of policy and regulations, on both the builders’ and end-users’ ends
– lack or absence of user-acceptance testing (UAT) that could identify potential work-arounds
– inadequate training and/or communication

The methods/processes to identify, address, and prevent staff work-arounds would therefore be along the lines of the above-mentioned factors, which may include:

– a comprehensive analysis of the workflow and related clinical documentation, taking into account current “work-arounds”
– a thorough review of existing institutional policies (and the related federal, state, and legal regulations) in order to provide a strong and solid “why” to any proposed solution(s) and/or change(s)
– user-acceptance testing with engaged end-users who can help identify weaknesses in the workflow and/or tools, including any potential work-arounds
– a good communication and training plan that involves giving the end-users the chance to provide feedback at any point in the timeline, even after the new tool/functionality/workflow has been implemented


The Informatics Nurse

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