Jodi Found RN, BScN, MN
Director of Education
How and why did you become interested in nursing informatics?
My interest in informatics came following a professional development workshop 10 years ago at Saskatchewan Polytechnic, the guest was Dr. Lynn Nagle. I had never heard the term informatics, but after listening to Dr. Nagle, I felt a sense of urgency as I realized its potential for the nursing profession and more importantly, for patients. My overwhelming thoughts were ‘this is how we are going to achieve the Alma Ata Declaration of health for all’! I am forever grateful to Lynn for her vision, determination, and dedication to ‘nursing informatics’.
Saskatchewan Polytechnic’s nursing program, formerly SIAST, had an Informatics Committee- I signed up that same day! This group worked to help advance the informatics agenda, provide faculty development and position competencies into nursing curriculum, to name a few. Several weeks later I began my Master’s degree (a requirement of my new employment) and spent the next few years critically reviewing the current literature and resources in ‘nursing informatics’, which culminated with a comprehensive review in nursing informatics and a publication.
I believe the profession and the heath system need all RNs to have an understanding of foundational nursing informatics competencies to help improve healthcare. Utilizing nursing informatics skills, knowledge, and attitudes with 21st century tools is one way to unlock some untapped potential for the safety, health and satisfaction of the patient, but also bring value to the profession and improve efficiencies in the system overall. It is simply amazing how the work of nursing is lost in heaps of paper. Additionally, advancing nursing knowledge requires the profession to advocate for standardized terminologies. Norma Lang’s famous quote- “If we cannot name it, we cannot control it, practice it, teach it, finance it, or put it into public policy” (Clark & Lang, 1992, p. 109). I encourage you to view the video posted on the ICN website to provide some context at http://www.icn.ch/news/whats-new/dr-norma-lang-looks-back-at-the-beginning-of-icnp-1804.html
Describe what your current role involves
I am a full-time Nursing Advisor/Faculty at Saskatchewan Polytechnic’s undergrad nursing program and the current Education Chair and Secretary for the Saskatchewan Nursing Informatics Association (SNIA). In addition, I am the current Director of Education for the Canadian Nursing Informatics Association (CNIA). I have been involved with various national informatics projects over the years, including CASN’s competency development ‘think tank’, CASN’s Canada Health Infoway’s Digital Health Peer Network, and the National Nursing Data Standards symposium. These roles allow me to help contribute, encourage, mentor, and inspire other nurses and nurse students to learn more about digital health.
Which areas of nursing informatics do you find most interesting?
I have an appreciation for all areas of informatics, but am not as keen about the technology as I am about the benefits. As a teacher, it is always about the pedagogy first! Sometimes I think technology can be appealing for technology-sake and this can be costly and potentially dangerous. The technology has to meet the need and assist in the workflow-not the contrary. Nurses need to be at the table when the system is making decisions about what technology nurses will use. I think, most pressing is the issue of data standards across the profession to demonstrate that nurses make a difference every day and patients and the system value nurses work! What is it that we measure? What should nurses be charting? Can this data be interoperable within EHRs? Can nurses work be researched? How are we advancing nursing knowledge?
What advice do you have for others who are interested in nursing informatics?
I would encourage all nurses to develop their competency in nursing informatics and to remind all nurses that, although one can specialize in many areas of nursing, all nurses ought to develop basic skills, knowledge and attitudes in nursing informatics. Information, computer, and health literacy can improve the health of all patients, especially the most vulnerable and isolated populations. Nurses can acquaint themselves with some of the resources locally and nationally. Many jurisdictions have their own informatics organizations, such as https://www.snia.ca/, which is also a Professional Practice Group under the Saskatchewan Registered Nurses Association and also a jurisdictional representative of the CNIA.
Why did you join CNIA?
I became a member of the CNIA to keep connected with a wonderful company of nurses with the same interests as myself. Additionally, being a member helps me to keep up-to–date and become involved with what is going on nationally and internationally. I also hope that my involvement makes a difference to the profession, my colleagues, patients, and students locally and beyond!