Information and communication technologies include computers, telecommunication, digital networks, and television. Using informatics in healthcare systems can improve the quality of healthcare through the effective use of information systems. Nursing Informatics (NI) is a component of health informatics, and it has become a widely used tool in the nursing profession. Information technology has begun to be employed in the field of women’s health. The perinatal period is one of the topics related to women’s health, as well as to that of their newborn infants. Information technology in patients’ health education process empowered patients, and enhanced their self-management skills. However, applications of health informatics in perinatal care for women and their newborn infants have not been reported widely in research studies and projects. Thus, there is a gap of knowledge related to this topic on the Internet.
Health Informatics/ Nursing Informatics: General View
Information and communication technologies- computers, telecommunication, digital networks, and television etc.- enhanced the dissemination of information and knowledge through multiple disciplines, such as education, medicine, business, research, and entertainment in many countries of the world (Arunachalam, 2002). E-Health technology is a term used to describe different activities that include any electronic exchange of health- related data, voice, or video. It is defined as an emerging field in the intersection of medical informatics, public health and business. It refers to health services and information delivered or enhanced through the Internet and related technologies (Cashen et al, 2004). However, health informatics (health information system) is defined as the systematic application of information management and technology (IM &T) to the planning and delivery of high- quality and cost- effective health care (Norris, 2002). It is also the application of information processing involving both hardware and software that deals with the storage, retrieval, sharing, and use of health care information, data, and knowledge for communication and decision- making (Jenkins et al, 2006). The application of computer information systems in the health sector means: a goal system of data gathering, the development of professional terminology, prompter documentation, a way of measuring the work done, support for statistical and analytical work, a facility for financial evaluation, support evidence based studies research, support of the education process in the overall healthcare of patients (Habjanic et al, 1999).
Nurses are the members of the health care team who are most responsible for the education of patients, a role they fulfil in addition to their task of direct patient care in order to improve the quality of patient care.
An informatics nurse can play a key role in the area of patient education and consultation (Meadows, 2002).