On critical thinking beyond bedside intervention

Health Informatics is the merging of information science and health care. It deals mainly with the use computers, mobile devices, fax machines, and other resources to maximize the data collection, storage and retrieval for purposeful information. The information may be used for health and biomedicine. The health informatics tools not only use electronic devices, the institution that will be employing this technology will be guided by standard clinical guidelines, medical terminologies like International Classification for Diseases (ICD10) and Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine (SNOMED), and cost effective yet advanced communications systems available like Skype. The emerging use of new technologies had brought about advances in which data and records are shared with other fields or areas that support and enhance patient care, medical history, previous medical exam reports, x-ray and laboratory test results, doctors’ diagnoses, and a list of past treatment plans. This information is very crucial to providing quality healthcare. All forms must be completed, identified, and signed by respective personnel prior to the entry of these information.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Okinawa Soba

Before I became a Nurse, I worked mainly with financial institutions from retail banking, commercial banking and consumer loans. I had the privilege to be pulled out from the monotony on normal assignment as management trainee to conduct test on the company system whether for random quality assurance or test environment prior to implementation. My first job as a loan staff under retail banking group is to re-price, release and renew loans manually. At first it was very tedious and I felt like its taking forever to finish one account. I never thought that would be very helpful later when I was tasked to test the loans module on “Systematics” for Far East Bank and Trust Company, “i-loans” and “i-collect” for Associates Finance, and New Application System (NAS) and Computer Assisted Collection System (CACS) for the collection module under “Systematics” for CitiFinancial Corporation. While working on my second degree, I accepted an outsource project abroad. I was assigned to plan the entire project, design the requirements as specified by the clients, write the technical report, modify errors, integrate necessary adjustments and conduct/evaluate user testing prior to implementation of the website. I conducted quality assurance tests, reviewed and coordinated design and development team to integrate the whole project’s graphics, content, capacity, search engine optimization and user interface.

My work with a medical tourism facilitator gave me a real drive what health informatics is all about. I worked as a Patient Medical Trip Case Manager and I spent most of the time online to coordinate with the hospitals abroad to ensure accuracy, clarify diagnoses, professional fees, accommodation and obtain any supplementary information needed to update a patient’s file. I sent clients from the United States to the other parts of the world like India, Korea, Turkey, Mexico and Costa Rica. Clients mostly had no insurance and were seeking equally outstanding medical procedures abroad. My clients’ profile include bariatric; cosmetic; cyber-knife; organ transplant; Ortho related like pectus excavatum, hip replacement and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL); Fertility related like Intro-Vitro Fertilization, gestational surrogacy and among others. I also assisted in other areas of the business like marketing, lead management systems, business reporting and customer experience improvements. All done online, so the use of SugarCRM, SalesForce, Dropbox, Skype, Webinars, video conferences made everything possible.

Now, with regards to critical thinking I would never appreciate my job if becoming a nurse was never done on the clinical setting first. I would rather put my fingers next to pulse point than clicking a mouse. I would never know how to teach clients abroad regarding their pre and post treatment if I haven’t done this in a hospital ward, in a dialysis clinic or in a community setting. I would rather run to a patient who eventually “yawns” to check his blood pressure during dialysis than merely escalating problems to the attending physicians overseas. Nursing intervention with adequate intelligence and compassion were given more weight without compromising anything.

In my own opinion, health informatics is not a branch of specialization but rather part of the skills of a qualified health professional to cope up with today’s advanced technology.

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