Recognizing nursing informatics.
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In our climate of economic uncertainty, readily accessible and reliable information is essential for cost effective decision making and forward planning in an efficient and effective manner. Information systems are widely used in the business industries to achieve the above. The state hospitals in South Africa have also realized the need for functional information systems. Where does this leave the division of nursing? This division usually comprises at least one third of the hospital establishment with very specific and often complex needs. The nurse managers at all levels have to plan, predict, forecast, monitor, and control in a similar manner to the business industries. What makes their decisions more critical is that they are dealing with human lives. A nursing informatics section with specially trained nurses will have to become an integral part of nursing, to enable nursing to keep abreast of the increasing demand for accurate and timely information for effective decision making. This paper will evaluate the importance of recognizing the need for an informatics section to evolve within the division of nursing, rather than within the general department of medical informatics.
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