Nursing Informatics

The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) / Reading and Sharing Nursing Informatics

With the signing into law of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) on February 17, 2009, a portion of the law created the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act. The HITECH Act provided stimulus money to increase the use of electronic health records across the country in what many felt were aggressive timelines. The term “Meaningful use” was created by both the Health Information Technology Policy and Standards Committees to determine how organizations would receive reimbursement for their implementation.

Nursing Informatics

System Life Cycle: Needs Assessment / Reading and Sharing Nursing Informatics

The term of system life cycle describes the ongoing process of developing and maintaining an information system.

  • Needs assessment
  • System selection
  • Implementation
  • Maintenance

Needs Assessment

  • The purpose of the needs assessment is to determine the gap between an organization’s current state and the overall needs of the organization with consideration to the strategic plan.
  • evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of the organization related to efficiency, quality, and financial strengths should be considered
  • understanding an organization’s current state workflow process as well as long-term goals related to efficiency, quality, and financial out-comes by creating a gap analysis can assist the decision-making group

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Osteoarthritis (OA) / Reading and Sharing

Osteoarthritis (OA) is primarily a disease of cartilage. Cartilage is a tissue with viscoelastic and compressive properties. It is predominantly composed of type II collagen and proteoglycans. In a normal condition the extracellular matrix undergoes a dynamic remodeling process in which low levels of degradative and synthetic enzyme activities are balanced. When OA is present, the matrix degrading enzymes will become overexpressed. This results in loss of collagen and proteoglycans from the matrix (Ling & Bathon, 2012). Once the articular cartilage breaks down, the progressive formation of osteophytes (bone spurs) protrude into the joint space decreasing joint movement.

Clinical manifestations of OA usually consist of pain, stiffness and functional impairment. Movement or exercise may aggravate the joint pain. The affected joint may have a decreased range of motion and may appear enlarged. OA often occurs in weight-bearing joints such as hips, knees, cervical and lumbar spine although the interphalangeal and distal interphalangeal joints may also be involved.

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Osteoporosis / Reading and Sharing

Osteoporosis, defined by Ferris (2018), is “a skeletal disorder characterized by a progressive loss of bone mass and a decline in bone quality that results in increased bone fragility and a higher fracture risk” (p.925). As a musculoskeletal disorder characterized with bone fragility resulting in the increased risk for fractures, it is a condition that results in the reduction in the density of the bones, thereby leading to reduced bone strength (Rossini et al., 2016). This is what leads to the ease of bone fractures in patients suffering from osteoporosis. It is important to note that at the beginning stages of the condition, osteoporosis might not have any signs or symptoms, and, as such, it might pass unnoticed until one suffers a major fracture or becomes susceptible to more fractures. However, the common signs that are associated with osteoporosis include the occurrence of painful structure even with minimal stress, and a hunched back appearance that is as a result of several fractures to the spine (Rossini et al., 2016). Chronic back pain is also another symptom that can be associated with osteoporosis.

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The incidences and prevalence rates of osteoporosis, especially among women and the elderly, is a reason for concern. The International Osteoporosis Foundation estimates that nearly 200 million individuals worldwide are affected by osteoporosis (International Osteoporosis Foundation, 2016). In Japan, Europe and the USA, the foundation indicates that 75 million individuals have been diagnosed with Osteoporosis (International Osteoporosis Foundation, 2016). The condition affects more women than men. According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation (2016), 1 in 3 women that are aged above 50 years will be affected by an osteoporotic fracture as compared to 1 in 5 men. The National Osteoporosis Foundation estimates that at least 10 million Americans suffer from Osteoporosis (National Osteoporosis Foundation, 2016). Another 44 million Americans are at risk for osteoporosis as a result of having low bone density. In terms of costs healthcare spending on treating osteoporosis and osteoporosis bone related fractures is estimated to be $19 billion (National Osteoporosis Foundation, 2016).

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