What foundational competencies do APNs need to possess to design an evaluation strategy, validate data, and interpret findings?
Advanced Practice Nurses (APNs) have core competencies in different domains such as direct clinical service, professional leadership, ethical decision-making, expert coaching, consultation, and others. To design an evaluation strategy, validate data, and interpret findings, APNs should possess research and practice-based learning competencies. In general, APNs are expected to generate, synthesize, analyze, and apply research evidence (Hamric et al., 2013). Advanced health care professionals should reflect on their knowledge, expertise, and advanced EBP and perform an accurate analysis of current practice’s strengths and weaknesses.
APNs should collect data on treatment outcomes, conduct or support research, and ultimately promote evidence-based practice. This type of competency drives nurses following the post-graduate education in nursing to identify clinical practice guidelines aimed to improve health care delivery. For instance, nurses can collect objective data about patients just by noting the patient’s body behavior or applying different diagnostic techniques and physical exams. To validate such data, they should compare subjective and objective data and consult the latest healthcare field findings. Interpretation requires confirmation or repeal of previous findings. To interpret research findings, one should be aware of the latest research outcomes regarding particular nursing practices or health care delivery.
How can information technology and other healthcare technologies as utilized by the APNs support improved performance and outcomes in handling the COVID-19 pandemic in your institution and health care in general?
COVID-19 pandemic has exposed weaknesses of the worldwide health care systems. It also spurred an ongoing information technology introduction that helps to improve treatment quality at the time of the outbreak. The most common and obvious examples that APNs used in my hospital are web-based information dissemination platforms, telemedicine, screening and consultation services, and epidemic prediction. The official Facebook page and website have been reporting accurate statistics about coronavirus cases to provide local citizens with reliable information and guides on how to avoid contamination. Big data technology is used to monitor crowd activity and apply predictive modeling to predict the pandemic’s further development (He et al., 2021). It leads to better preparedness for facing a possible upsurge in cases or even stopping the adverse trend.
Another important technology that can be successfully applied in health care settings is robotics. Many nurses who were dealing with COVID-19 patients were as well infected despite using masks, contributing to the shortage of available health care professionals. It could be avoided by using robots for noncontact surface disinfection of rooms, temperature measurement, and food/medicine delivery. Moreover, 3D Printing technology could provide necessary test swabs and protective masks, especially in times of high demand and shortage. All similar technologies improve performance and outcomes in handling coronavirus pandemics.
Hamric, A. B., Hanson, C. M., Tracy, M. F., & O’Grady, E. T. (2013). Advanced Practice Nursing: An integrative approach (5th ed.). Saunders.
He, W., Zhang, Z. J., & Li, W. (2021). Information technology solutions, challenges, and suggestions for tackling the COVID-19 pandemic. International Journal of Information Management, 57(1), 1-8. Web.