Healthcare IT

Posted: September 6th, 2013

Healthcare IT






Healthcare IT

Information needs similarities

In the publication Perceived Information Needs and Communication Difficulties of Inpatient Physicians and Nurses, Cimino introduces a concept of” common ground” to refer to shared information among staff. In the survey that was done, both physicians and nurses share some information needs. Both had the need for Internet and knowledge based systems especially the WebCIS system, which was used by all physicians and a bigger percentage of the nurses. The main usage for WebCIS was the reporting of laboratory results. While around 92% of the physicians used unique specialty reports, a less number of nurses used this resource. Nearly no nurses used the diagnosis system although most of the physicians used either the info buttons or alert systems.


The major differences in the information needs between nurses and physicians lay in their professional areas. Physicians had the need for up to date medication lists and the time that they were administered, outpatient notes and laboratory needs. Nurses, on the other hand, had more use for patient diagnoses than all other types of information. In the institution –specific information needs, physicians required the current providers and their contacts while nurses required the institutions protocols and policies for various function such as blood banks. Lastly, another major difference in the information needs among physicians was their interest in information relating to prescriptions, disease management and medical formulas. The nurses focused on the drug domain and required information in side effects and dosages (Melnyk & Fineout-Overholt, 2011).

Drug information

Integrated information systems draw their information from a variety of sources. The most common sources include medical files and population surveys. Patients who show up at the hospital have their complaints recorded and tests are done to establish the problem after which the treatment commences. The key data inputs here include patient weight and height, drug indications, drug claims and eligibility inquiries. Process in drug information including ensuring tat the drugs are effective and safe through various qualification processes. The best method of disseminating this information is through brochures within the nursing department (McKnight, 2012).

Patient diagnoses

In performing patients’ diagnoses, the type of data that is collected and recorded by nurses includes patient current medical status and blood samples. This data input will be used later for the evaluation of the outcomes. The data items will be necessary for determining overnight inpatient conditions. The processes in-patient diagnoses include classification of a patients’ condition that will allow a medical decision to be made for instance naming the ailment or using knowledge-based systems to produce results. The best way of ensuring this information reaches physicians is through conferences among practitioners where these new methods can be discussed in detail.

Disease management information

The types of data that are collected for disease management information include population statistics, the historical trend of the diseases and other demographic issues. The different processes here include the provision of the public with disease management information. There is also a close partnership with the government and private sector institutions to come up with ways to contain diseases. This kind of information can be disseminated through newsletters and reports.


McKnight, Lawrence K., Stetson, Peter D., Bakken, Suzanne, Curran, Christine, & Cimino, James J. (n.d.). (2012). Perceived Information Needs and Communication Difficulties of Inpatient Physicians and Nurses.  American Medical Informatics Association. Accessed on 2 July 2012. Retrieved from

Melnyk, B. M., & Fineout-Overholt, E. (2011). Evidence-based practice in nursing & healthcare: A guide to best practice. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

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