Informatics nurses are having a positive impact on the health information technology environments in which they work. That’s the finding of a new survey of 576 respondents released at the HIMSS15 conference in Chicago.

The 2015 HIMSS Impact of the Informatics Nurse Survey, which follows up on research conducted in 2009, addresses several areas such as the impact that informatics nurses bring to the clinical systems process at their healthcare organizations, as well as their impact on quality of care and their role with respect to emerging technologies.

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According to the survey’s respondents, informatics nurses bring greatest value to the implementation phase (85 percent) and optimization phase (83 percent) of the clinical systems process. While implementation was also the top item identified in the 2009 study, this year’s respondents were much more likely to indicate that informatics nurses would bring value to the optimization process. In addition, those surveyed also reported that informatics nurses have a high degree of impact on workflow, patient safety and user acceptance.

When it comes to emerging technologies, informatics nurses were most likely to be identified (70 percent) as providing assistance in the area of medical device integration.  And more than half of respondents indicated that informatics nurses played a role with regard to smart devices, while respondents were least likely to indicate (21 percent) that informatics nurses played a role in predictive modeling.

Other key findings of the survey include:

*Quality of Patient Care:Respondents reported a direct positive impact on the quality of care patients receive as a result of the work of informatics nurses, with 60 percent of respondents indicating that informatics nurses have a high degree of impact on the quality of care.

*Executive Leadership:Nearly two-thirds of respondents (61 percent) work for an organization that employs an informatics professional in a leadership position. Twenty (20) percent of respondents reported working for an organization that employs a Chief Nursing Information Officer (CNIO).

The vast majority of respondents (79 percent) identified as an informatics nurse. Among this group, the three most frequently identified titles were Clinical/Nursing Informatics Specialist (18 percent), Director of Nursing Informatics (nine percent) and Clinical Analyst (eight percent). Among the non-informatics respondents, the three most commonly identified titles were Chief Information Officer (five percent), Chief Nursing Officer (five percent) and Chief Medical Information Officer (two percent).

The full results of the HIMSS survey can be found here.

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