Within the nursing profession, there are countless fields of specialization, each with varying degrees of interaction with patients. One area that incorporates minimal work with patients is nursing informatics, or the aspect of the nursing profession that couples the practice of nursing with technological and scientific information with the end goal of more efficiently collecting and analyzing data, information, and knowledge. This field is responsible for many of the advances that are currently used in electronic medical records and computerized provider order entry, and the underlying goal of each of these advances is improving overall patient safety. Many people working in the field of nursing informatics focus on improving how healthcare professionals chart patient data, as this is the primary factor in determining overall patient care. Being able to increase not only the speed but also the accuracy with which this information can be recorded and shared, nursing informatics professionals are able to improve patient care while reducing overall healthcare costs.
In the field of nursing informatics, specific work areas can include anything ranging from research on the best way to distribute information to working healthcare professionals, to the development of technologies to improve communication and record-keeping between healthcare professionals in the hopes of making patient care safer and more effective. Individuals who focus in the area of nursing informatics can hold any number of job titles, including chief information officers, educators, policy developers, or software engineers.