Nurses and Informatics

  • Kathryn J. Hannah
  • Marion J. Ball
  • Margaret J. A. Edwards
Part of the Health Informatics book series (HI)


We have entered the information age! Banks and stock markets move and track billions of dollars around the world every day through information systems. Factories and stores buy, build, sell, and account for the products in our lives through information systems. In schools, computers are being used as teaching tools and as instructional resources for students in such varied disciplines as astronomy, Chinese, and chemistry. The airline industry uses information systems to book seats, calculate loads, order meals, determine flight plans, determine fuel requirements, and even fly the planes and control air traffic. The information age has not left the health industry untouched. Moving beyond standard data processing for administrative functions common to all organizations such as human resource, payroll, and financial, information systems now play an important role in patient care by interpreting electrocardiograms, scheduling, entering orders, reporting results, and preventing drug interactions (by cross-referencing drug compatibility and warning appropriate staff). In addition, information systems are now being more widely used in support of population health and public health activities related to health protection (e.g., immunization), health promotion (e.g., well baby clinics), disease prevention (e.g., smoking cessation or needle exchange programs), and health monitoring or surveillance (e.g., restaurant inspection or air quality monitoring). Nurses have always had a major communication role at the interface between the patient/client and the health system. This role is now labeled information management, and nurses are increasingly using information systems to assist them to fulfill this role in clinical practice, administration, research, and education.


Medical Informatics Needle Exchange Program Health Care Informatics Photograph Courtesy Baby Clinic 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References Cited

  1. Anderson, J. Editorial. Journal of Medical Informatics 1976; 1: 1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Graves, J.R., and Corcoran, S. The study of nursing informatics. Image 1989; 21: 227231.Google Scholar
  3. Greenburg, A.B. Medical informatics: Science or science fiction. Unpublished (1975).Google Scholar
  4. Greenes, R.A., and Shortliffe, E.H. Medical informatics: An emerging academic discipline and institutional priority. Journal of American Medical Association 1990; 263 (8): 1114–1120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Hannah, Kathryn J. The computer and nursing practice. Nursing Outlook 1976; 24 (9): 555–558.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Mandil, S. Health informatics: New solutions to old challenges. World Health 1989;Aug—Sept; 2: 5.Google Scholar
  7. Rogers, M.E. An Introduction to the Theoretical Base of Nursing Practice. Philadelphia: F.A. Davis, 1976.Google Scholar
  8. Roy, Sister Callista. Introduction to Nursing: An Adaptation Model. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1976.Google Scholar
  9. Turley, J.P. Developing informatics as a discipline. In: Gerdin, U., Tallbers, M., and Wainwright, P. (eds.) Nursing Informatics: The Impact of Nursing Knowledge on Health Care Informatics. Amsterdam: IOS Press, 1997: 69–74.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kathryn J. Hannah
    • 1
    • 2
  • Marion J. Ball
    • 3
    • 4
  • Margaret J. A. Edwards
    • 5
  1. 1.Health InformaticsSierra Systems Consultants, Inc.CalgaryCanada
  2. 2.Department of Community Health Science, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  3. 3.Department of EpidemiologyUniversity of Maryland School of MedicineUSA
  4. 4.First Consulting GroupBaltimoreUSA
  5. 5.Margaret J.A. Edwards and Associates, Inc.CalgaryCanada

Personalised recommendations