HIMSS14 Takeaway: The Increasing Role of the RN in IT Decision Making


As I wrote about previously, I went into the 2014 HIMSS Annual Conference & Expo with certain expectations from the clinical perspective, and the show did not disappoint.

For instance, the pre-conference symposium about nursing informatics, which highlighted the 10th anniversary of that event, showcased the evolution of the nursing role from liaison to educator to innovator and now, decision-maker.

Nursing professionals have joined the C-suite, as chief nursing officers (CNO), CIOs and CEOs. This has given the clinical perspective a clear seat at the table when it comes to strategic and operational decisions, including those related to information technology.

With the adoption of electronic health records increasing in recent years and plans for meeting Meaningful Use targets in place, nursing—and in particular, nursing informaticists—is playing an increasingly important role in how technology is used in the care delivery process. This is a role that I expect will continue to expand, especially when driving toward a best-practices approach. 

I was also interested to hear how clinicians are thinking about ICD-10, particularly because sometimes we only see the obstacle and lose focus of the big picture. What I took away from the show is that organizations—with the help of clinical leadership—are tackling ICD-10 head-on, looking at how it impacts workflows on a day-to-day basis and implementing timelines to keep focus.

These are just a few of the high-level observations I have of my first HIMSS experience. I except clinical leadership to continue to increase its influence in major decisions, which should help ensure that IT investments are made with both provider productivity and patient care in mind.