Health Informatics in Improving the Quality of Life Among Patients

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Despite the fact that information technology has a great capacity of enhancing the quality of health care, there has been minimal evidence that the application of health informatics actually improves patient outcomes. Nevertheless, recent studies are focusing on determining the impact of information technology in health care. Post-operative ostomy care is a significant intervention that needs a wide range of initiatives taken by the health practitioner, family and patients for better outcomes. According to Broman et al (2016), health informatics are effective in improving the quality of life among patients especially those with long term conditions. Telemedicine, the utilization of medical data conveyed from one site to a different one through electronic communication to perk up a patient's health condition, is a common practice in contemporary health care (Meum 2013). Therefore, the major steps in the medical environment through the use of technology can be applied in post-operative ostomy care to help improve outcomes.

Jensen et al (2013) illustrates that patients who had access to ostomy care education showed better outcomes. Health education is a significant part of the nursing care process. There are several ways in which practitioners could take advantage of technology to deliver best quality information to patients with stomas, for instance, the use of multimedia educational schedule among ostomy patients was more effective than the utilization of a conventional curriculum as per Lo et al (2011). Considering the existing evidence that technological interventions could be successful in ensuring better delivery of health care, health practitioners should be able to apply such steps in the move to perk up postoperative ostomy consequences. For instance, the use of internet interventions to allow patient, nurses, and families to discuss on the condition and its management. The involvement of all parties concerned with the care of a client living with a stoma is the most effective way to ensure a better quality of life (Lindberg et al 2013).

Venter et al (2012) illustrates that the use of technology in health care interventions if not only achievable but, beneficial. One of the benefits mentioned is cost-effectiveness, both to the patient and the medical instate. Health informatics reduces the costs impacted on the US by medical errors and also minimize labor-exhaustive roles earlier in performed by the staff. Consequently the health care environment and the patient benefit from automated systems due to reduction of extreme costs. The use of electronic records is effective in ensuring the safety of patient details and reduces paperwork that is time consuming. Meum (2013) expands on the gains of using electronic nursing care plans to promote better health service delivery. Ostomy patients have several post-operative factors that need consideration when formulating a nursing care plan. The use of electronic care plans minimizes irrelevant interventions and focuses on patient specific time bound and achievable steps thus fostering quality of care.

A patients ability to show improved outcomes following an ostomy mostly depends on their own determination in complying with the management therapy. Health information systems provide several forums such as telephone interventions that the medical practitioner and the patient can engage in to discuss the care needed and follow-up (Young et al 201). The use of social media especially in forming support groups has also proved to be effective as shown in some studies (Frohlich & Zmyslinski-Seelig 2016; Humphreys, Rodger & Flabouris 2013). Patients living with an ostomy go through psychological stress, especially as a result of stigmatization. The provision of a forum where they can share their experience and also launch campaigns against ostomy stigmatization will not only improve the patients self-image, but also their capacity to accept their condition and comply with the therapy regimen (Van et al 2012). Therefore, patients, families and health care givers should be able to get a platform through which they can interact and contribute to the decisions pertaining care of the client (El- Tawil & Nightingale 2013).

Despite the move towards facilitating the use of existing technology to advance the quality of health care delivered, there is still the need to ensure there is better understanding of health informatics prior to their applications (Elkin, Brown & Wright 2013). The health practitioners are in a better position to manipulate information technology to improve outcomes of post-operative ostomy. Therefore, it is essential that training sessions are initiated so that the caregiver is able to fully understand the technology used in the patients management. In post-operative ostomy care, the main concentration should be on health education. The patient and their families should be able to understand complications that may result and would need medical consultation, the effective way to take care of a stoma and the significance of compliance to therapy (Qader, Ali, & King). Psychological needs should also be catered for through the promotion of ostomy support groups that can easily be created using websites or in social media (Taylor & Morgan 2011).

Conclusion

It is thus evident through the conducted studies that the application of information technology in the management of health care conditions such as post-operative ostomy care is feasible, cost-efficient, and acceptable in various medical settings. In ostomy care, health education and support groups can be enhanced through the utilization of websites and social media. The medical practitioners on the other hand should be able to understand health informatics to enhance their capacity to manipulate the systems to the benefit of the patient, this outlines the significance of educational programs such as Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) that extensively cover health information systems.

Knowledgebase Template

Use of Health Informatics for Improved practice outcomes of post-operative ostomy care knowledgebase template

Source & Database Variables of Interest (Keywords) Literature and Research Tools Research Design and Sample Size Theoretical Foundation References and SWOT Critique Key Findings

(Lindberg et al 2013), US, MEDLINE -Information

-Communication technology

-Homecare

-Family members

-Patients

- Health care professionals Agree level- 5

No tools used Literature Review None S- Wide ranging references

W-Only articles used in medical journals were mostly included ignoring other significant articles to the study.

O-Provides a basis for exploratory researches.

T- There is a capacity for bias in grading the articles.

GRADE- D The utilization of technological applications in home care is a growing research area

-Use of information communication technology can lead to better quality home care.

(Venter et al 2012), New Zealand, MEDLINE -Tele-health enabled

-Chronic care

-Long-term Conditions

-Quality of life Agree level- 4

-St George Respiratory Questionnaire

-K10 Questionnaire

-SF36 Randomized controlled trial (N- 36 Maori

N- 36 Non-Maori) None S- Used instituted research instruments.

W- Small sample size among a large population, thus the study had limited power to come up with accurate conclusions.

O- Provides a basis for other researches.

T-Lac k of extensive definition of terms.

GRADE- C The use of technology in health care is embraced by most patients and their families.

The initiative was effective as hospitalizations decreased by 19% in the control group and 25% in the telehealth group.

(El- Tawil & Nightingale2013) UK, MEDLINE -Ileostomy

-Colostomy

-Bowel Diseases

-Surgery

-Inflammatory

Bowel diseases

-Cancer Rectum

Agree level-4

Standardized online Questionnaire

Cross-sectional-population based survey None S- Extensive references

W- Study relied on patient reports.

O- Further study among caregivers, patients and health practitioners is needed.

T-No definition of terms restrains reproductions.

GRADE C Quality pre-operative counselling of ostomy patients is necessary to minimize the adverse effects on self-perception during post-operative complication.

(Young et al 2011), US, MEDLINE -Unmet need

-Quality of life

-Telephone intervention

-Colorectal cancer

-Surgery Agree level- 5

None used Prospective non-randomized control study None S- Used appropriate research instrument for the specific and suitable sample.

W- Lack of extensive references.

O- Further studies are needed in the area with a larger sample.

T- There is a possibility of bias in interpretation of the findings of interviews.

GRADE D The use of telephone interventions was found to be achievable and suitable for patients.

(Taylor & Morgan 2011), Non-US, MEDLINE -Stoma

-Ileostomy

-Reversal

-Rectal Cancer

-Bowel function

-Bowel symptoms

-Quality of life Agree level 5

No tools used Literature Review None S- Extensive coverage of various references.

W- Only focused on medical journals.

O- Provides opportunity for further study in the area.

T- Possibility for bias in categorizing the articles reviewed.

GRADE C

There is an alteration of bowel function following stoma reversal and thus nursing interventions are critical for the improvement of the quality of life of the patient.

(Van et al 2012), Canada, CINAHL -Colorectal cancer

-Patient information needs

-Scoping Review Agree level- 5

No tools used Literature Review None S- Extensive references

W- Concentrates more on the numerical representation of issues and failed to study the quality of the information presented in the articles.

O- Opens up to further research to fill in the gaps left by other researchers.

T- No definition of terms restrains replications.

GRADE D There is need for more information regarding stoma among patients. The actual information needs of the patients should be considered to ensure there is a balance in the availability, sources and timing of information.

(Elkin, Brown, & Wright 2013), -Medical Informatics

-Bioinformatics

-Publication Record

-Expert Consensus

-Ontology Agree level-3

SNOMED CT indexing Literature Review None S- Covered a wide range of references

W- The study focused on bioinformatics and failed to cover the aspect of information technology.

O- There is need to further review literatures that are uncovered.

T- Probability of biased categorization of literature.

GRADE B -Wider comprehension of bioinformatics is likely to improve self-perception in the medical field.

(Meum 2013), US, CINAHL -Nursing Documentation

-Electronic patient records

-Terminologies

-Redundancy Agree level- 5

No tools used Qualitative Case Study None S- Extensive coverage of the case study using various tools of research.

W-

O-Provides a basis for further research

T- Potential for bias interpretation of findings during observation.

GRADE C -Electronic care plans were utilized in day to day nursing care

-There is a gap between nurse-precise documentation and other sources of information

-Redundant information can be a binding factor in the socio-technical environment to enhance circulation of information.

(Qader, Ali & King 2015), Qatar, CINAHL -Ostomy Care

-Best Practice

-Comparison of Middle East and North America

- Agree level- 5

None Literature Review None S- Extensive coverage of reviewing literature W-Focused on two ostomy care guidelines that may not have provided sufficient information.

O- Provides basis for exploratory study.

T-Potential for bias in conclusions as the review mainly concentrated on two ostomy care guidelines.

GRADE C -Appraising the quality, content, and relevance of international ostomy guidelines is essential to define and indic...

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