Clinical Nurse Informaticists
The Clinical Nurse Informaticist (CNIs) group consists of specialized advanced practice registered nurses who have acquired the knowledge of bridging the science of information systems (informatics) with patient care, or where technology and caring come together. UCSF CNIs support all nurses at the three UCSF campuses: Parnassus Heights, Mount Zion and Mission Bay. The CNIs provide support to patients and families by supporting the nurses who care for them.
The CNI role focuses on the relationship between the direct patient care nurses and the information technology (IT) teams within the health care system. Nurse methodology often does not match IT alignment, therefore a CNI has taken the innovator approach to understanding both worlds and bring them together for better knowledge sharing, workflow, and, ultimately, patient care. In the emerging realm of electronic medical records (EMR), this role has become a requisite within the clinical setting to help nurses evolve into the electronic age.
CNIs require a solid technical understanding and background, and strong organizational skills, as well as health care policy understanding to encompass all areas in the nursing field. To ensure the nurse’s needs are met, the CNIs maintain a close connection with direct patient nurses. CNIs accomplish this by rounding on the multiple nursing units, in addition to working regular shadow shifts to gather data, both on the accomplished workflows, and workflows in need of restructuring. The CNI assesses technologies and workflows by evaluating feasibility, design, and usability and brings these assessments back to Nursing Leadership and the IT team. CNIs also participate in system testing, education and training, implementation, and post-implementation evaluation. Well-informed decisions for technology selections with strong nursing input and training is paramount to the success of the implementation, as well as continued sustainability. Together, the CNIs, with the analysts and training team, continue to grow and evolve towards streamlined technology for safer, innovative patient and family care systems.
UCSF Clinical Nurse Informaticist
- Craig M. Johnson, RN-BC, FNP, MSN