Custom «The Use of Social Informatics in Advanced Nursing Practice» Essay Paper Sample

The Use of Social Informatics in Advanced Nursing Practice


In recent years, the sphere of nursing care and research has been experiencing an increased development of IT, funding and resource priority in technological matters. This has subsequently led to the development, utilization and testing of a broad range of web-based interventions in health care practice. This proposal introduces a specific type of web-based intervention identified as social information that could be used to improve the quality of healthcare practice.

The rapid development of technology is one of the critical challenges facing the healthcare administration. In the current situation, various industries including healthcare are experiencing the integration of advanced technological innovations. There is no doubt that technological innovation has improved the quality of life and life expectancy for citizens. In addition, it has significantly changed the delivery and cost in terms of providing healthcare services.

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Literature Review

Swan points out that provision of ubiquitous healthcare monitoring has been a challenge to improving access to healthcare services (114). Conventionally, patients have been treated only in clinical or hospital settings. However, Swan envisions a change in this aspect where gadgets, such as phones, and social media are utilized in tracking patients and keeping them informed. It is anticipated that mobile and cloud computing will continue developing and become dominant in the provision of eHealth services.

In essence, such spheres of information technology as digital media, the internet, robotics, virtual reality and others are already widely inculcated in healthcare services. Their use ranges from preventing, promoting, treating and maintaining to improving health care services (Mea 75). In particular, users and patients can greatly benefit from eHealth. Among these benefit, there are accessibility (can be used anywhere), scalability, cost-efficiency, and personalization. In addition, there is a possibility to tailor intervention requirements according to the needs of the users.

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Today, technology has made it easy for patients to involve themselves in essential decision making in the whole process of treatment rather than being mere recipients of care. Consequently, assistive technologies, such as social informatics, have ensured that the patient harbors relevant knowledge with respect to their condition so that they can manage them effectively. They also empower them in working collaboratively with their social and health care providers. Therefore, this proposal will analyze the way social informatics could be applied in nursing practice and its effectiveness on provision of healthcare services.

Schmitt, Sims-Giddens, and Booth (22) observe that as technology continues to expand communication and connectivity, the number of nurses and patients who are engaging in social media are also increasing on a daily basis. Nurses play a critical role in identifying, interpreting and transmitting knowledge and information within the field of healthcare. Social media have been found to be an effective platform for nursing students in regard with professional communication, understanding of skills, patient privacy, healthcare policies, writing competencies and ethics. Nonetheless, it should be considered that there are barriers in integrating social media within the nursing practice and education. For instance, there is a need for quality resources in assisting the practitioners and the educators in integration of social media as a reliable pedagogical technique.

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In addition, it should be considered that establishing and implementing social media informatics and model electronic systems is not only a complex endeavor, but it is also a time consuming and costly procedure. Electronic systems that are thoroughly designed, demonstrate effective business plan, follow common standards, have sufficient training and incentive to encourage the practitioner in participating are all necessary in successful implementation of this program (Hurst, Ford, and Gleeson 21). On the other hand, poor technological systems, lack of standardized means of using them and incompetency in using such will ultimately lead to ineffective implementation and integration of social informatics and technology (Coxon 433).

Description of the PICOT Elements


Among those who will benefit from this intervention program, there are the youth and middle aged population. The reason is that most children and old individuals may not affectively utilize online platforms for their healthcare needs having little exposure to the same.

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The nurse has a responsibility to introduce the specific group of clients on the various programs that can be found on social informatics. Further, the nurse has a role of informing and educating these clients on how to use these platforms for their health benefits. Nurses have a role of designing relevant strategies and programs that are focused on preventing, promoting, treating, maintaining and improving health care services for patients. Furthermore, they should also incorporate these strategies and programs in social informatics in order to make it easily accessible to a diverse range of patients. In addition, patients also need to be educated and informed accordingly by the nurse practitioners on how to access and utilize healthcare services in such media devices.


The patient intervention program through use of social informatics will be compared with lack of its use. In the second case, patients will be visiting healthcare providers in healthcare settings for all their health issues.

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It is projected that the use of social informatics will be effective in improving patient’s health. The reason for this is that they will be able to detect numerous health issues in proper time and act on them accordingly instead of having to visit the physician even for conditions, which could be self-managed. In addition, this program will even be more beneficial to people who live in rural areas where health care services may be hard to access. Further, the work log for these healthcare providers will be significantly reduced since many clients will now be capable of dealing with some of their health issues on their own. In other words, they may not always visit the health practitioner for every small health issues.


The time for implementing this intervention program will cover a one-year period. This will ensure that sufficient information is gathered concerning the efficacy of use.

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PICO Question

Can the use of social informatics improve health care services by nurse practitioners? Is there a variation in the quality of health care services when social informatics is utilized and when not utilized? What is the role of nurse practitioners in the use of social informatics for health care services?

Application of Social Informatics in Healthcare Practice

Eysenbache conducted a study on the role of eHealth in the 21st century. The researcher established that indeed, technology had a profound impact on the provision of healthcare services. These benefits included but not limited to accessibility, scalability, cost- efficiency, personalization and ability to tailor intervention requirements according to the needs of the users (11).

Apparently, there is a need for new approaches and tools, which should be updated in aligning with increased globalization, as well as in meeting the increased healthcare needs. Warner (89) postulates that in the modern society, patients are not expected to be simply the recipients of care. Instead, it is expected that they take part in their healthcare processes. Warner continues to observe that by use of novel IT systems, self-care programs could be particularly designed in controlling the diseases. In addition, the systems are poised to improve self- efficacy, resourcefulness and confidence among patients. Apart from that, social informatics and IT systems provide patients with the convenience of sharing information and knowledge in regard with particular health issues by using the online platforms.

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Merell (44) articulates that the use of social informatics in providing enhanced health care services is presumed to grow as healthcare and social services provide individuals with choice, control and autonomy. Further, technology is poised to provide enhanced healthcare delivery, especially in long-term perspective. Presently, technology has also facilitated involvement of patients in decision making regarding their treatment plans. Consequently, this has made the whole process of treatment inclusive. Due to social informatics, patients are able to access sufficient information concerning their condition. This makes them become responsible in managing their health processes. In addition, patients are also empowered and encouraged to work collectively and collaboratively with care givers.

Merell continues to observe that patients are now given more autonomy and control on the health care services provided to them. Through social informatics, it is now easy to design self- management programs in specifically reducing the severity of health symptoms. Further, the assistive technologies have now improved resourcefulness, confidence and the patient’s self-confidence (225). Consequently, it has also become common for patients to share information and knowledge in regard with specific conditions or provision of mutual support through these digital platforms. According to the author, a time is coming where healthcare providers will be using eHealth with ePatients as users. An example provided by the author is the development of Patient View. This tool has been designed with an aim of providing information through online services. Through this tool, patients are able to access their test results, diagnosis and treatment with various healthcare conditions. Such information could not only be shared amongst patients but can also be accessed in any location.

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Warner also observes that patients should not just be mere recipients of care. Rather, they should be involved in the decision making process in their treatment programs (26). This author also claims that health care providers could design self-management programs with a focus of controlling the severity of symptoms, as well as improving the confidence, resourcefulness and self-efficacy among patients. On the other hand, patients can share knowledge and information concerning specific health conditions or support one another mutually through digital platforms.

Luck et al. (p.55) explain that social informatics has been a powerful driver for improving eHealth and community health services. The authors note that social informatics can help in highlighting the existence of opportunities and problems for the purposes of improvement. Further, it can lead to actions that are aimed at supporting policy changes and in improving the effectiveness of eHealth programs. However, the authors also noted that social informatics has faced a significant institutional and technical barriers, as well as privacy concerns in health informatics. This information was discovered from an assessment on the current issues that were facing accessibility, use of social informatics, barriers associated with it, and the potential solutions to these challenges.











On a similar note, Bennett K., Bennett A., and Griffiths explain that in the current period, there are several challenges that are limiting access to eHealth (78). Among these, there is the workflow challenge, which arises from several factors such as the inadequacy of the present processes and reliance of paper for data storage. The authors envision a future where healthcare givers could be able to enter patient information on a cloud scheduling system. Such information will be processed by some type of workflow for automatic determination of the most suitable test, and the patient is instantly notified of the possible options. Other challenges that are limiting access to eHealth services are semantically integrating a variety of health care records such as environmental sampling and census data. There are also some challenges in load balancing and scalability management while analyzing massive data. The authors provide a recommendation of addressing these issues through utilization of virtualization technology, which makes it easy for applications to be moved from one physical server to another. This will subsequently lead to improved scalability, reliability, and load balancing. It will also lead to business continuity, hardware maintenance, and enhanced utilization of memory and processors, as well as disaster recovery.

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Ruggiero et al. (335) also demonstrate that data mining algorithms are increasingly being applied in discussion forums provided by eHealth social networks. These algorithms have facilitated easy identification of epidemiological patterns including but not limited to i) behavior of patients in response to safety events, and, ii) the side effects or efficacy of drugs that did not show up during trials hence reducing the time taken in clinical trials. Other areas where improvement has been achieved using social informatics include iii) evaluation and involvement of real world natural experiments and, iv) sharing of health information on treatment, progression, symptoms and outcome data.


There is no doubt that if the use of social informatics is effectively applied by nurse practitioners and other clinicians, they will see not only an improvement of eHealth but regular community health care services. Through social informatics, potential healthcare problems and opportunities will be highlighted for the purpose of improvement. Social informatics is poised to improve the general healthcare delivery across the healthcare continuum. The nature and structure of healthcare services in some nations may pose a challenge to the process of healthcare delivery. However, technology is set to streamline such challenges and enhance the provision of care. The increased utilization, as well as implementation of information system in health care operations will subsequently result into cost efficient clinical trials, which employ new methods. In essence, increased funding towards incorporation of information technology and social informatics in health care delivery is poised to improve service delivery in healthcare.

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