The hierarchy of data, information, knowledge and wisdom wasspecified in detail in 1988 by R. Ackoff, a systems theorists andprofessor in the field of organizational change (Aven, 2013). Theconcept has not been considered but the four levels form the backboneof library and information science. According to Ackoff, data is inraw form, and its existence has no definite meaning. When it isconverted into information, it is given meaning by relationconnection making it useful. The information obtained is converted toknowledge that consists of the actual data aimed at making itessential to the user. Finally, wisdom is generated from theinformation which is non-deterministic and extrapolative. It beckonsto provide users with comprehension where there has been none (Aven,2013).
The world is living in a digital era where electronic device havebecome man’s best friend. The medical field has not been leftbehind in the transition process, and it seems to yield significantresults. Nursing informatics is a specialty practice that is somehowdistinct from health informatics. It has integrated the aspect ofinformation and technology into nursing practice. The topics relatedto clinical intelligence, mHealth and eHealth are also included innursing informatics since they help support and educate healthcareproviders in digitized nursing practice (Kennedy & Hussey, 2015).
With the upsurge of costs in the medical field, eHealth is not anoption since it helps save on expenses and the processing of patientdata into meaningful information that will contribute to providingknowledge and wisdom. One of the recent technologies is the use ofelectronic health records in nursing practice (Hughes, 2016).Therefore, in our review question, we ask “What are the barriersand solutions to using the electronic medical records?
Electronic medical records are digitized information about thepatient’s symptoms, annotations from the consultant and otherhealthcare professionals with details of what they observed and theirdiscussions. It serves to provide a historical perspective on thepatients’ conditions which can be used by the physicians, insurancefirms and also during litigation claims. They are cost effective toany organization when compared to the paper-based systems, andvarious departments can access the information online throughwireless network (Hughes, 2016).
Despite its numerous success, it has equally been faced bychallenges that need solutions for the system to be fully effective.Notable challenges include the cost of accessing the systems anddevices that are essential for the organization to achieve qualityservice improvement. Secondly, some of healthcare professionals finddifficulties in using the electronic medical records due toinsufficient knowledge on the subject. Finally, lack of financialawards by the hospitals to mediate quality improvement through theelectronic medical records is a problem (Ajami & Bagheri-Tadi,2013). Some of the solutions to the barriers include provision ofsupport systems to the organizations that require them and educatethe professionals about how they are used. Finally, financial rewardsshould be made available either through donors or the organizationitself to ensure quality improvement.
Converting data to information to knowledge to wisdom continuum willfirst include a database search using the keywords that one isinterested in regarding the topic. According to the Walden Library,various databases are vital in covering this subject. PubMed andPubMed central are an essential database where one can obtaininformation about the topic. ProQuest Health and Medical Collections,ProQuest Nursing and Allied Health Source, ScienceDirect and Nursingbooks from Ovid can also be used in obtaining information about thetopic. The text covers a scientific health-related issue, and that iswhy the above-stated databases are essential.
The keywords that will be used in querying the databases include thefollowing phrases “Electronic medical records” that will provideinformation about what they are and the specific functions that theyperform in the hospital setup.
“Barriers to using the Electronic medical records” provideinformation regarding hindrances the medical professionals encounterwhen they use the Electronic medical records. The final phrase thatutilized is “solutions to the barriers that medical professionalsface when using electronic medical records.” The three searchphrases help identify articles that discuss the topic thereby givinginformation required.
The reports provide information that is meaningful data about thesubject. The researchers, who are authors of the articles in theirindividual research obtained data that they discussed and presentedit as credible information in their publications. When searching forthe above-stated phrases, the results will show the outcomes ofarticles that give what is termed as data in our case since we havenot opened them to view their contents. Picking the materials that weneed and reading them will give us the information that we arelooking for in them. In converting the data into information,relationships should be identified between electronic medicalrecords, the barriers and the required solutions to the problems.This information can then be converted to knowledge.
The knowledge that is created will include significant factualinformation about the topic, contextualism in nursing informatics andthe clinical judgment associated with it. The relationships shouldalso be understood vividly to avoid errors that are linked toelectronic medical records such as the medication errors.Understanding the patterns that surround the topic is vital inconverting the information to knowledge. Wisdom is an iterativeprocess that encompasses applying the mastery of knowledge, groundedon clinical judgment, so as to produce a decision in an uncertainsituation (Matney et.al, 2013). Application of the decision, initiatediscovery of learning and meaning and triggers reflection that isintegrated back into judgment and knowledge. Converting knowledgeinto wisdom will require understanding the principles that guide theelectronic medical records and their usage. The wisdom obtained canbe used by the governing medical bodies and the private organizationsin improving the quality of service that is offered through themedical records (Matney et.al, 2013).
Ackoff’s continuum involves converting data to information toknowledge and lastly to wisdom. The continuum is essential insatisfying the user needs when tackling any topic. The issue aboutelectronic medical records, its barriers, and the vital solutions isof importance to the nursing practice. The field of nursinginformatics is critical in this digital era since it integratesnursing science with information technology and analytical sciencesto obtain, communicate and manage data-information-knowledge andwisdom in the nursing practice. Therefore, nursing informatics canprovide us with wisdom that is critical in the nursing practice(Kennedy & Hussey, 2015). In conclusion, identifying databasesthat can provide information and use the correct keywords isessential in obtaining relevant information about the topic ofinterest. Converting the information to knowledge and then intowisdom is necessary for providing us with the ability to determinelong-term consequences of something and assess them relative to thesupremacy of total control.
Ajami, S., & Bagheri-Tadi, T. (2013). Barriers to the electronichealth records (EHRs) by physicians. Acta Informatica Medica, 21(2),129.
Aven, T. (2013). A conceptual framework for linking risk and theelements of the data–information–knowledge–wisdom (DIKW)hierarchy. Reliability Engineering & System Safety, 111,30-36.
Hughes, L. (2016, April). Electronic medical records. In BaylorUniversity Medical Center Proceedings (Vol. 29, No. 2, pp.227-228). The Baylor University Medical Center.
Kennedy, M. A., & Hussey, P. (2015). Nursing informatics. InIntroduction to Nursing Informatics (pp. 11-31). Springer London.
Matney, A., Avant, K., & Staggers, N. (2013, May). The constructof wisdom in action for clinical nursing©. In ANIA 2013 AnnualConference.