Without the various roles and expertise of professional nurses in the development of nursing informatics, clinical information systems would not be able to have a foundation based on evidence-based practice. Evidence based practice is essential to developing clinical information systems in order to further the generation of nursing knowledge. Evidenced based practice is a process that uses the current best evidence in the care of patients as an approach to problem solving (McEwen & Wills, 2017). By nature, nurses gather data and record and collect clinical data that is objective on a daily basis. Professional nurses will gather this clinical data and identify trends seen across groups of patients (McGonigal & Mastrian, 2017). A solution to a problematic trend may be identified, implemented and seen to improve or make a positive impact on such trend which would be an example of evidence-based practice.
The use of nursing informatics through the electronic medical record, which is one of the most widely used clinical information systems in nursing today, has been heavily dependent on evidence-based practice. The EMR can be broken down to professional nurses chronicling their daily clinical challenges and queries (McGonigal & Mastrian, 2017). Documenting in an EMR includes using clinical practice guidelines which have been generated through evidence-based practice. For example, a patient can be identified as a fall risk using a basic fall risk assessment that has been previously synthesized to tailor specific criteria in identifying fall risks through daily nursing practice. This will usually would include age, previous fall incidence, medication, mobility and cognition. Once this fall risk has been identified, the nurse would open a clinical practice guideline parameter to document implemented patient centered care and focused interventions in the real-world setting (Vance, 2012). This is merely one example of knowledge brought into the CIS through research conducted by nurses. Evidence based practice was founded only to be useful in integrating into clinical information systems when is it used in clinical workflow (Bakken, Currie, Lee, Roberts, Collins & Cimino, 2008). Hence, the implementation of the CPG driven support system. Every clinical practice guideline has been developed through the use of evidence-based practice and then brought into the clinical information system of EMR.
The use of an info button is another example of evidence-based practice incorporated into CIS. The primary advantage of the info button approach from the clinician perspective is that the information provided is context-specific (Darvish, Bahramnezhad, Keyhanian & Navidhamidi, 2014). Info buttons actually serve as an additional source of evidence-based practice which can be accessed within another clinical information system, such as an EMR. They can be used to determine critical lab results and possibly their perspective treatments or they can be used to gain access to medication inquisitions. In both instances, the use of evidence-based practice is the foundation of the knowledge and information used.
Incorporating the use of informatics through clinical information systems such as electronic health records and info buttons allows for information to be computed on a daily basis. Through research, nurses become experts on analyzing and synthesizing knowledge and furthermore put the knowledge to practice with patients and family members. Clinical information systems are a vessel of nursing evidenced based practice put into clinical workflow which allows the continuous and further generation of nursing knowledge. Since clinical information systems are used widely throughout the nursing practice from bedside nurses, nurse practitioners to nurse researchers, it is imperative that the information being provided by such systems stay evident and factual, through evidence based practice.