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Giving Thanks…for HIT?

· Kim Tucker,

Thanksgiving is the time of year when we should reflect on the many blessings in our lives…family, friends, health and home. And while I am certainly thankful for all these things…I am thankful for healthcare information technology. Ok, stop rolling your eyes and thinking that this woman is a bit off kilter. There are two reasons why I am thankful for HIT. One is personal and one is professional.

Personally, as someone who deals with a chronic illness day in and day out, I am grateful that I am beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel for electronically collecting and using data that may help to improve my care and expand treatment options. While improvements were happening in our paper world, they are moving faster now and with more evidence to support them. We can now analyze data from an individual’s genetic information to data gathered across a larger cohort of patients.

Professionally, I am thankful that I’m seeing my 8 year vision of improving point-of-care practice for clinicians and patients being fulfilled. Even better, I am working with solutions that are making my visions into reality.

When I was working as an informatics nurse specialist in a hospital environment back in 2005, I struggled with trying to implement point-of-care documentation and workflows that worked well for the bedside clinician with limited success. Then I was offered the opportunity to apply my knowledge and experience to help evolve the early generations of point-of-care solutions and have been working in this field ever since.

Now, as I approach my 4th decade as a registered nurse, I’m thankful that I am able to see my years of working on the vision of a single pocket-size device strategy for clinicians go from concept to reality. I am privileged to be able to go to client sites and see how our solutions have improved care delivery in a way that makes the clinicians happy rather than resigned to one more piece of technology.

To hear a bedside nurse say that the solutions your organization provides are her “BFF” and she can’t imagine working without them brings me great joy. It lets me know that while I can’t provide direct patient care anymore, my work as an informatics nurse can have a positive impact on the patient care that others provide.

As a nurse, I couldn’t be more thankful. What are you thankful for this season?

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