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Systems Applications in Use by Nurses

Nursing Informatics have proven to be beneficial to a nurse’s work. The moment the nurse begins the day’s work in the hospital she/he is able to interact with different system applications that is related and relevant to patient care management.

This article will deal on the different system applications that nurses are currently using.


As mentioned, nurses are currently using different information systems that can provide important data to inform patient care. In the hospital setting, nurses get to work with the Clinical Information System or CIS that can monitor patient’s status, process doctor’s orders, administer medications, and document patient care.

The Clinical Information System basically converts the unique manufacturer data communications protocol into a standardized hardware and software system. it may sound gibberish to a layman’s understanding but to put simply, it has the ability to filter, store, and select information sent for inclusion into the clinical medical record on the clinical computer  system.

Considering that nurses are ever present in the bedside of the patients, they are the most common users or encoders of these data.

Advantages of CIS includes:

  • Intelligently integrates and process physiologic and diagnostic information and store it to secured clinical repository
  • Creates trends analysis with graphical representation of results
  • Offline simulation can be performed to test the condition of the patients
  • Provide clinical decision support system
  • Provide access to vital patient information
  • Providing feedback and quick evaluation of the patient condition and provides alert

Systems applications in use by nursesComputerized Provider Order Entry (CPOE)

With CPOE, nurses no longer struggle to read physician handwriting. This is the automatic processing of  drug, food and disease checking. It starts when the user enters the drug order and a computer system will automatically process the point  of order.

Advantages of CPOE:

  • Reduces verbal orders
  • All providers can enter orders directly online – all systems have integrated rules and alerts, and even allergy check to send information to the user.
  • Decreases chances for transcription error
  • Reduces delays in patient care

Automated Medication Dispensing Cabinets (AMDC)

Gone are the days when nurses need to carry medication trays to the rooms of the patients. Today, we see them pushing around a mobile cabinet with a computer system to dispense, track, and document the medications being administered.

AMDC is a centralized medicine and drug distribution system that are integrated with the other system such as Nursing Informatics system, pharmacy information system, billing and accounting department. It is a big drawer compose of 10-20 trays. On the top of the drawer is the computer.

The assistant pharmacist is the one that refills the AMDC. Studies have shown that through this technology, medication errors committed by nurses have declined.

Electronic Medical Record (EMR)

One vision of health care technology is to develop a paperless hospital in the future. This is now happening through the use of Electronic Medical Record (EMR). It is a computerized representation of the health information of an individual patient generated from a clinic  institution or information system (HIS) of a health care institution that took care of the patient.

Advantages of EMR are seen to improved quality of care, improve standardization, increase access to health information, and a good return of investment.

Electronic Health Record (EHR)

EHR provide a more informed view or diagnosis of a patient’s health and history. When an individual patient’s EMR come from various health care institutions, the EHR would be generated if the health care institution will connect to form a network.

Key Features of EHR:

  • Wide scale computer based patient record
  • Complete collection of individual’s health related data
  • Database format
  • Data for EHR stored in clinical data repository
  • All data from all different system
  • Data can be integrated to obtain a different level of information
  • Each element or data has to be defined
  • Closed and secured system

 Advantages of EHR:

  • Alert clinicians if an order they are entering could cause a problem
  • Notification system that alerts health care providers to issues specifically related to a patient on opening of a patient’s electronic chart including crisis notes, adverse reactions and advance directives
  • Template for automatic creation of reports
  • Clinical reminder to alert actions like exams, immunization, patient education and lab tests that need to be performed
  • Remote data viewing to see patient record at other institutions


With all these technologies, it is important that nurses uses critical thinking in handling computer systems. Remember, the human person is still the primary encoder and decoder of information being generated by the computer.

Therefore, nurses must continue to have presence of mind and theoretical foundation of nursing care before they begin to seek the help of these systems applications.