NURS 6050 Assignment The Nurse Leader as Knowledge Worker
Peter Drucker, a management consultant and author, coined the term “knowledge worker” in his book The Landmarks of Tomorrow (1959). Knowledge workers, according to Drucker, are high-level workers who apply theoretical and analytical knowledge gained through formal training to develop products and services. Is this something you’ve heard before?
Nurses are highly educated professionals. What has changed since Drucker’s time are the methods for acquiring knowledge. The amount of data that can now be generated, as well as the tools used to access it, have evolved significantly in recent years, allowing healthcare professionals (among many others) to take on the role of knowledge worker in new and powerful ways.
Information science is mainly focused on input, processing, output, and feedback of data and information through the integration of information technology with the need to understand stakeholders’ perspectives engaged in the process and using IT are required (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2017). The essence of this discussion is to describe a scenario where data can be used to solve problems in healthcare.
Access to medical records is essential for healthcare professionals in ascertaining that patients get the best care (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2017). A scenario of focus is immunizations in facilities where nurse practitioners work with different stakeholders like schools, parents and providers. These practitioners help organizations keep immunization records. The challenging part with the job occurs when families move across states without their immunization data and are not certain of a child having been immunized or not. Parents may have to connect with their past physicians or clinics, previous state’s immunization registry or the previous school. However, these struggles can be mitigated through the establishment of data sharing using a central hub or database for all information on vaccinations in the country or across states and organizations.
Presently, information on vaccine is collected using an online database called Immunization Information System (IIS) which tracks vaccines administered to patients. The database also offers information on the next vaccine (CDC, 2019). Using this hub, one can collect all data and create a central hub comprising of vaccine information from each entity. The existence of the central vaccine hub would enable providers to access records for their new patients and offer the necessary immunizations without any fear. Through the database, the professionals can monitor their patient’s vaccination history and make effective decisions and judgment concerning the types of vaccines that they can have or not.
The central hub or database can offer a host of knowledge and ideas to providers. For example, healthcare
professionals can see the coverage levels in different parts or areas and assess the potential of any disease outbreaks (Nagle et al., 2017). The professionals can also see how effective the communities have attained a herd immunity that works to stop or reduce the spread. For instance, millions of people are now vaccinated against the Coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19); either for the first dose or both. The implication is that providers are using information from a central database or hub to evaluate the vaccination status of different people and assess the percentage of those immunized against COVID-19. Community immunity or herd immunity occurs when a significant number of people in a targeted population get vaccinated against a certain disease. Through this approach, it becomes difficult for a disease to spread to unvaccinated individuals.
Nurse leaders can use clinical reasoning and judgment from this knowledge since patients would not miss the expected vaccine doses and also ensure that those who have received do not have extra and unnecessary doses. Through this knowledge, nurse leaders will have the ability to identify contraindications and notices concerning certain vaccines into patients’ systems (Nagle et al., 2017). The providers would also be aware of the locational changes of patients and the need to integrate their vaccination history for effective monitoring and tracking of conditions.
Informatics remains a critical part of effective care delivery and nurse leaders should integrate data to make informed and effective decisions, especially in connection to vaccinations. Having a central hub is essential in developing a sharing and information exchange platform for providers and patients to enhance vaccination success across states, especially at this time. The scenario demonstrates the need for healthcare providers to work collaboratively to develop acceptable models to share health information.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (2019). About Immunization Information
McGonigle, D., & Mastrian, K. G. (2017). Nursing informatics and the foundation of knowledge,
(4th ed.) Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Nagle, L., Sermeus, W., & Junger, A. (2017). Evolving role of the nursing informatics specialist.
In J. Murphy, W. Goossen, & P. Weber (Eds.), Forecasting Competencies for Nurses in the Future of Connected Health, 212–221. Clifton, VA: IMIA and IOS Press