Informatics Column

Informatics, sometimes equated with computerization, has become a well-recognized specialty in healthcare. Informatics, however, is not focused on computers or the related technology. The field of informatics focuses on the capturing, processing, analyzing, storing, and retrieving of data, information, knowledge, and wisdom with the goal of providing quality care to individuals, families, groups, and communities. To develop and implement effective healthcare information systems nurses need to take a proactive approach in determining how these systems can be best used in the delivery of healthcare. This requires that all nurses be aware of what informatics makes possible, as well as what informatics activities are occurring at regional, national, and international levels. This column, which will be posted two times a year, will address these topics.