Quick Tip: Try to Solve a Real Problem Using Data

Try to solve a real problem in your unit/department with the help of data and data analytics.

WHO: This tip is especially for beginners with no formal NI experience yet.

WHY: No matter how large or small your unit/department is and no matter how well-run it is, there’s always room for improvement.

WHAT’S THE VALUE: This has value because using data and analyzing it gives you an opportunity to put into practical action a key concept in the ANA definition of Nursing Informatics – identifying, defining, managing and communicating data, information, knowledge, and wisdom in nursing practice.

It also shows that you 1) care about the area you’re working in 2) are willing to do above and beyond your “regular” duties and 3) are both creative and analytical in solving problems.

This activity also gives you a chance to work on a real-world work-based project. And if the solution is identified in the process and you are asked to lead the project, then it’s a double-win because then you’ll also have project leadership/project management experience under your belt! 

SOME EXAMPLES of a real problem that can be solved with the help of data/data analytics:1. Does your unit have high CLABSI, CAUTI, or VAP rates? Is it because protocols are not being followed, orders are not very clear, or training has not been very effective?2. Are you able to discharge patients within 1-2 hours after the discharge order is written? If not, what are the factors preventing a smoother, more efficient discharge process?