Informatics Glossary. All of them fully defined and explained. Free
A New Global Environment for Learning (ANGEL)
A course management system designed to support classroom learning in academic settings.
A corporate policy that defines the types of activities that are acceptable on the corporate computer network, identifies the activities that are not acceptable, and specifies the consequences for violations.
To obtain or retrieve data in order to process it.
Ease of accessing the information and knowledge needed to deliver care or manage a health service; the extent to which a system is usable by as many users as possible.
The act of acquiring; to locate and hold. We acquire data and information.
A therapeutic communication technique in which the nurse employs conscious attention to what a patient is saying, reflects back feelings and phrases, and asks questions to clarify meaning.
Systems that calculate the nursing care requirements for individual patients based on severity of illness, specialized equipment and technology needed, and intensity of nursing interventions; and determine the amount of daily nursing care needed for each patient in a nursing unit.
The processes used by administration, such as the electronic scheduling, billing, and claims management systems including electronic scheduling for inpatient and outpatient visits and procedures, electronic insurance eligibility validation, claim authorization and prior approval, identification of possible research study participants, and drug recall support.
Admission, discharge, and transfer (ADT) systems
Systems that provide the backbone structure for the other types of clinical and business systems; they contain the groundwork for the other types of healthcare information systems because they include the patient’s name, medical record number, visit or account number, and demographic information such as age, sex, home address, and contact information. They are the central sources for collecting this type of patient information and communicating it to the other types of healthcare information systems, including clinical and business systems.
Advanced cardiac life support (ACLS)
Protocol for a set of knowledge, skills, and clinical interventions for the immediate or initial treatment of life-threatening medical emergencies such as cardiac arrest or stroke.
Any undesirable experiences or outcomes in a patient related to the use of a medical treatment or product.
Someone who represents another person’s interests; to act in patients’ best interest; to act and/or speak on patients’ behalf; to make the healthcare delivery system responsive to patients’ needs.
A nurse informatics specialist who is key to developing the infrastructure of health policy. Policy development on the local, national, and international levels is an integral part of this role.
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
An agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that supports health services research initiatives.
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)
A federal agency that acts as a repository for research and data regarding hazardous materials that serves the public by using the best science, taking responsive public health actions, and providing trusted health information to prevent harmful exposures and diseases related to toxic substances.
Any types of data that can be referenced as a single entity, but that also consist of more than one piece of data; collected, gathered, and reported data that are related and kept together in a way that addresses their relationship. For example, the population of a state is an aggregate of the populations of its cities, counties, and regions.
Multiple false alarms by smart technology that cause workers to ignore or respond slowly to them.
Warning or additional information provided to clinicians to help with decision making; the action of the clinician or system triggers the generation of an alert. For example, an alert could be generated if the patient’s serum potassium level is high and he is on potassium chloride; the system would alert the nurse on the screen (soft copy alert) with or without audio and/or by a printed (hard copy alert) warning. Also known as a trigger.
Step-by-step procedures for problem solving or calculating; sets of rules for problem solving. In data mining, an algorithm defines the parameters of the data mining model; it is the recipe or method with which the data mining model is developed.
Members of a pair or series of genes that occupy a specific position on a specific chromosome.
Alternative payment models (APMs)
The Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) reformed Medicare payments by making changes that created a quality payment program (QPP) to replace the hodgepodge system of Medicare reporting programs. The MACRA QPP has two paths—merit-based payment system (MIPS) or alternative payment models (APMs)—that will be in effect through 2021 and beyond. The APMs are not just incentives, but fundamental changes in how we pay for health care in the United States. It is these models, particularly those dealing with total cost of care, that have the potential to fundamentally alter the value we receive from health care.
Choices between two or more options.
American Library Association
A U.S.-based organization that promotes libraries and library education internationally.
American National Standards Institute (ANSI)
An organization dedicated to promoting consensus on norms and guidelines related to the assessment of health agencies.
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)
An economic stimulus package enacted in February 2009 that was intended to create jobs and promote investment and consumer spending during the recession. This act has also been referred to as the Stimulus or Recovery Act. There was a push for widespread adoption of health information technology, and Title XIII of ARRA was given a subtitle: Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act. Through this act, healthcare organizations can qualify for financial incentives based on the level of meaningful use achieved; the HITECH Act specifically incentivizes health organizations and providers to become meaningful users.
AMOLED (active matrix organic light-emitting diode)
Smartphone display with individual pixels being lit separately (active matrix); the next generation super AMOLED type includes touch sensors. With the active matrix, you have crisp, vivid colors and darker blacks.
Separating a whole into its elements or component parts; examination of a concept or phenomena, its elements, and their relations.
A method, process, and structure for analyzing and examining a dataset.
Theory that emerged with the expansive technological changes in recent years and the tremendous rise in ethical dilemmas accompanying these changes. Opponents of principlism include those who claim that its principles do not represent a theoretical approach and those who claim that its principles are too far removed from the concrete particularities of everyday human existence; the principles are too conceptual, intangible, or abstract; or the principles disregard or do not take into account a person’s psychological factors, personality, life history, sexual orientation, religious, ethnic, and cultural background.
A computer program that is designed to recognize and neutralize computer viruses—that is, malicious codes that replicate over and over and eventually take over the computer’s memory and interfere with its normal functioning.
The implementation software of a computer system. This software allows users to complete tasks such as word processing, developing presentations, and managing data.
Software used on a smartphone or other mobile device.
Broad or general, idealized model of an object or concept from which similar instances are derived, copied, patterned, or emulated; the original model after which other similar things are patterned; the first form from which varieties arise or imitations are made.
Arithmetic logic units
Essential building blocks of the processor of a computer that digitally perform arithmetic and logical functions.
Art of nursing
The relationship-centered aspects of nursing care, in which the focus is on communicating caring and providing emotional support and comfort to the patient.
The field that deals with the conception, development, and implementation of informatics tools based on intelligent technologies. This field attempts to capture the complex processes of human thought and intelligence.
The simulation stage in which student performance is rated or graded. The student should be provided with a detailed explanation of how they will be assessed and graded that relates to the goal, educational outcomes, and, if applicable, course/program outcomes. Detailed rubrics are recommended.
That which is not synchronous; not in real time, or does not occur or exist at the same time, having the same period or time frame. Learning anywhere and at any time using Internet and World Wide Web software tools (e.g., course management systems, e-mail, electronic bulletin boards, webpages) as the principal delivery mechanisms for instruction.
Quality or characteristic; field or element of an entity in a database.
Traditional, audio-based podcast or utility to download podcasts.
Augmented-reality games (ARGs)
Games in which a device, such as a smartphone, is used to overlay on the real world and bring people together physically and virtually to solve a series of challenges.
Processes to serve to authenticate or prove who is accessing the system.
The right of an individual to choose for himself or herself.
Image on the Internet that represents the user in virtual communities or other interactions on the Internet; three-dimensional or two-dimensional image representing one user on the Internet.
The use of voting and averaging in predictive data mining to synthesize the predictions from many models or methods or for using the same type of a model on different data; it deals with the unpredictability of results when complex models are used to data mine small datasets.
Tricking a user to load an infected physical device onto their computer by leaving it in a public area such as a copy room. The user loads the device to try to identify its owner.
Bar-code medication administration (BCMA)
A system using bar-code technology affixed to the medication, the patient ID bracelet, and the nurse ID badge to support the five rights of medication administration.
Basic input/output system (BIOS)
Binary input/output system, basic integrated operating system, or built-in operating system; a system that resides or is embedded on a chip that recognizes and controls a computer’s devices.
Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)
An assessment system initially designed to collect information on the movement of mentally impaired persons from state-operated facilities into community settings. The assessments have since been expanded to include other populations and are designed to determine the effectiveness of programs in meeting the healthcare needs of at-risk populations.
Actions performed that contribute to the welfare of others.
Voluminous amounts of datasets that are difficult to process using typical data processing; huge amounts of semistructured and unstructured data that are unwieldy to manage within relational databases. Unstructured big data residing in text files represent more than 75% of an organization’s data.
System used by computers; a numeric system that uses two symbols: 0 and 1.
The study and formulation of healthcare ethics. Bioethics takes on relevant ethical problems experienced by healthcare providers in the provision of care to individuals and groups.
The application of computer science, information science, and cognitive science principles to biological systems, especially in the human genome field of study; an interdisciplinary science that applies computer and information sciences to solve biological problems.
Interdisciplinary science of acquiring, structuring, analyzing, and providing access to biomedical data, information, and knowledge to improve the detection, prevention, and treatment of disease.
Study of processes or means to uniquely recognize individual users (humans) based on one or more intrinsic physical or behavioral attributes or characteristics. Authentication devices that recognize thumb prints, retinal patterns, or facial patterns are available. Depending on the level of security needed, organizations will commonly use a combination of these types of authentication.
The use of pathogens or other potentially harmful biological agents to sicken or kill members of a targeted population. Informatics database applications are used to track strategic indicators, such as emergency room visits, disease case reports, frequency and type of lab testing ordered by physicians and/or nurse practitioners, missed work, and over-the-counter medication purchases, that may indicate an outbreak that can be attributed to bioterrorism.
Unit of measurement that holds one binary digit, 0 or 1. The smallest possible chunk of data memory used in computer processing, making up the binary system of the computer.
An approach to education that combines traditional face-to-face instruction with technology-based (online) instruction. See also hybrid.
Interactive, online weblogs. Typically a combination of what is happening on the Web as well as what is happening in the blogger’s or creator’s life. A blog is as unique as the blogger or person creating it. Thought of as a diary and guide.
Someone who creates and maintains a blog; a person who blogs.
Increasing the power of models by weighting the combinations of predictions from those models to create a predicted classification; an iterative process using voting or averaging to combine the different classifiers.
Theories borrowed or made use of from other disciplines. As nursing began to evolve, theories from other disciplines (e.g., psychology, sociology) were adopted to try to empirically describe, explain, or predict nursing phenomena. As nursing theories continue to be developed, nurses are now questioning whether these borrowed theories were sufficient or satisfactory in their relation to the nursing phenomena they were used to describe, explain, or predict.
The central information processing unit of humans. An organ that controls the central nervous system, it is responsible for cognition and the interpretation, processing, and reaction to sensory input.
Software used to locate and display webpages. Also known as a web browser or Internet browser.
A technique whereby the user manually chooses specific data points or observations or subsets of data on an interactive data display; these data can be visualized in two-dimensional or three-dimensional surfaces as scatterplots. Also known as graphical exploratory data analysis.
Brute force attack
A technique where software creates many possible combinations of characters in an attempt to guess passwords to gain access to an network or a computer.
Basic elements or parts of nursing informatics such as information science, computer science, cognitive science, and nursing science.
Subsystem that transfers data between a computer’s internal components or between computers.
Unit of memory equal to eight bits or eight informational storage units, which represents one keystroke (e.g., any push of a key on a keyboard such as pressing the space bar, a lowercase “a” or an uppercase “T”). It is considered the best way to indicate computer memory or storage capacity.
Smaller and faster memory storage used by a computer’s processor to store copies of frequently used data in main memory.
Registered nurse–staffed facilities at which nurses typically act as case managers for callers or perform patient triage.
An ethical approach to solving moral dilemmas encountered in health care that is based on relationships and a caring attitude toward others.
A set of guidelines that outline the course of treatment and the recommended interventions that will achieve optimal results.
The nontechnical aspects of nursing interventions that communicate acceptance and concern for a patient.
Nursing interventions that communicate loving concern for the unique humanity of every patient.
Case management information systems
Computer programs and information management tools that interact to support and facilitate the practice of case managers.
An account of a nursing informatics activity, event, or problem containing some of the background and complexities actually encountered by a nurse. The case is used to enhance one’s learning about nursing informatics principles, practices, and trends. Each case describes a series of events that reflect the nursing informatics episode as it actually occurred.
An approach to ethical decision making that grew out of the concern for more concrete methods of examining ethical dilemmas. Casuistry is a case-based ethical reasoning method that analyzes the facts of a case in a sound, logical, and ordered or structured manner. The facts are compared to the decisions arising out of consensus in previous paradigmatic or model cases.
The act of taking a moment to clear one’s mind of clutter and focus one’s attention exclusively on a patient prior to engaging in a therapeutic encounter.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
An agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that works to protect public health and safety related to disease control and prevention.
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
The largest health insurer in the United States, particularly for home healthcare services, and for the elderly, for healthcare services.
Central processing unit (CPU)
An old term for processors and microprocessors that execute computer programs, thought of as the brain controlling the functioning of the computer; the computer component that actually executes, calculates, and processes the binary computer code instigated by the operating system and other applications on the computer. It serves as the command center that directs the actions of all other components of the computer and manages both incoming and outgoing data.
Multifunctional telehealthcare platforms for receiving, retrieving, and/or displaying patients’ vital signs and other information transmitted from telecommunications-ready medical devices.
System for validating that a nurse possesses certain skills and knowledge or is competent to complete a task. Competence and skill level are determined by or based on an external review, assessment, examination, or education.
Certified EHR technology
An electronic health record (EHR) that meets specific governmental standards for the type of record involved, either an ambulatory EHR used by office-based healthcare practitioners or an inpatient EHR used by hospitals. The specific standards to be met are set forth in federal regulations.
A transition to something different.
Real-time electronic communications; users type what they want to say, and their messages are displayed on the screens of all participants in the same chat. Internet Relay Chat (IRC) is the Internet protocol for chat.
Chief information officers
People involved with the information technology infrastructure of an organization. This role is sometimes called chief knowledge officer.
Chief technical officers
People focused on organizationally based scientific and technical issues and responsible for technological research and development as part of the organization’s products and services.
Chief technology officers
Another name for chief technical officers.
Long-term disease, such as congestive heart failure, diabetes, and respiratory ailments.
Civil monetary penalties
Fines laid out by the Social Security Act, which the Secretary of Health and Human Services can assess for many types of noncompliant conduct.
The technique of dividing a dataset into mutually exclusive groups.
Classification and regression trees (CART)
A decision tree method that is used for sorting or classifying a dataset. A set of rules that can be applied to a new dataset that has not been classified; the set of rules is designed to predict which records will have a specified outcome.
Process of analysis by which clinical data are used to help make decisions and develop predictive analytics.
Collections of related patient records stored in a computer system using software that permits a person or program to query the data to extract needed patient information.
Clinical decision support (CDS)
A computer-based program designed to assist clinicians in making clinical decisions by filtering or integrating vast amounts of information and providing suggestions for clinical intervention. May also be called a clinical decision support system (CDSS).
Clinical documentation systems
Arrays or collections of applications and functionality; amalgamations of systems, medical equipment, and technologies working together that are committed or dedicated to collecting, storing, and manipulating healthcare data and information and providing secure access to interdisciplinary clinicians navigating the continuum of client care. Designed to collect patient data in real time and to enhance care by putting data at the clinician’s fingertips and enabling decision making where it needs to occur—at the bedside. Also known as clinical information systems (CISs).
Recommendations that serve as a guide to decisions and provide criteria for specific practice areas.
Application of informatics and information technology to deliver healthcare services. It is also referred to as applied clinical informatics or operational informatics.
Clinical information systems
Arrays or collections of applications and functionality; amalgamations of systems, medical equipment, and technologies working together that are committed or dedicated to collecting, storing, and manipulating healthcare data and information and providing secure access to interdisciplinary clinicians navigating the continuum of client care. Designed to collect patient data in real time and to enhance care by putting data at the clinician’s fingertips and enabling decision making where it needs to occur—at the bedside. Also known as clinical documentation systems.
Patients’ results and consequences from clinical interventions.
Clinical practice council
Group that uses the information generated by the clinical information systems to design clinical education programs. Also called nursing practice council.
Clinical practice guidelines
Informal or formal rules or guiding principles that a healthcare provider uses when determining diagnostic tests and treatment strategies for individual patients. In the electronic health record, they are included in a variety of ways such as prompts, pop-ups, and text messages.
Clinical research informatics
The use of informatics in the discovery and management of new knowledge relating to health and disease. It includes management of information related to clinical trials and also involves informatics related to secondary research use of clinical data. Clinical research informatics and translational bioinformatics are the primary domains related to informatics activities to support translational research,
The complete alteration of the clinical environment; widespread change accompanies transformational activities, and clinical transformation implies that the manner in which work is carried out and the outcomes achieved are completely different from the prior state, which is not always true in the case of simply implementing technology. Technology can be used to launch or in conjunction with a clinical transformation initiative; however, the implementation of technology alone is not justifiably transformational ability. Therefore, this term should be used cautiously to describe redesign efforts.
Web browser–based login-accessible data, software, and hardware; could link systems together and reduce costs.
Data storage provided by networked online servers that are typically outside of the institution whose data are being housed.
Nursing terminologies that are given a specific and standardized designation so that they can be easily entered into computerized nursing documentation systems, searched for, and easily retrieved.
To classify, reduce to code, or articulate.
That which uses one’s capacity to think. The process of cognition is important to generate knowledge. Conscious intellectual or mental activity such as thinking, reasoning, and remembering, it includes imagination or the ability to imagine and the ability to learn.
Any process or task (activity) that involves the capacity to think, reason, imagine, and learn.
Field of study made up of the disciplines of neuroscience, linguistics, artificial intelligence, and psychology. This multidisciplinary study of cognition and information sciences investigates human information-processing mechanisms and processes and their engineering applications in computing.
Interdisciplinary field that studies the mind, intelligence, and behavior from an information processing perspective.
Cognitive task analysis (CTA)
Examination of the nature of a task by breaking it down into its component parts and identifying the performers’ thought processes.
A technique used to evaluate a computer interface or a software program by breaking down and explaining the steps that a user will take to accomplish a task.
Cognitive work analysis (CWA)
A multifaceted analytic procedure developed specifically for the analysis of complex, high-technology work domains.
The sharing of ideas and experiences for the purposes of mutual understanding and learning.
Fields or attributes of an entity in a database.
Area of concentration or discipline that studies human communication.
Technology programs used to transmit messages via e-mail, telephone, paging, broadcast (such as MP3), and Internet (such as instant messaging, Voice-over-Internet Protocol, or Listservs).
Collections of individual communications networks and transmission systems. In health care, they include call light systems, wireless phones, pagers, e-mail, instant messaging, and any other devices or networks that clinicians use to communicate with patients, families, other professionals, and internal and external resources.
A device that captures and assists in the transmission of information from peripheral equipment. A processor organizes the data, appropriately encrypts the data to assure confidentiality, and transmits the encrypted data to appropriate decision makers. Data can be transmitted via traditional phone lines, through the Internet, or over wireless networks. Typically the hub will be a small box, to which peripheral equipment is connected.
Community risk assessment (CRA)
A comprehensive examination of a community to identify factors that potentially affect the health of the members of that community. Often used in public health program planning.
Compact disk read-only memory (CD-ROM)
Disk that can hold approximately 700 megabytes of data accessible by a computer.
Compact disk-recordable (CD-R)
Compact disk that can be used once for recording.
Compact disk-rewritable (CD-RW)
Compact disk that can be recorded onto many times.
The ability to work with each other or other devices or systems; for example, software that works with a computer.
A statement or description of goals, skills, or behaviors to be achieved.
Conforming or performing in an acceptable manner; correctly following the rules.
Comprehensive Health Enhancement Support System (CHESS)
A computer-based system designed to help underserved breast cancer patients manage their disease.
The action complement of bioinformatics and, therefore, biomedicine; it is the actual process of analyzing and interpreting data.
A machine that stores and executes programs; a machine with peripheral hardware and software to carry out selected programming.
Computer-aided software engineering (CASE)
Systematic application of computer software tools and techniques to facilitate engineering practice.
Computer-assisted instruction (CAI)
Any instruction that is aided by the use of a computer.
That which uses the computer to interact; the computer is the base tool.
Computer-based information systems
Combinations of hardware, software, and telecommunications networks that people build and use to collect, create, and distribute useful data, typically in organizational settings.
Branch of engineering (application of science) that studies the theoretical foundations of information and computation and their implementation and application in computer systems. The study of storage/memory, conversion and transformation, and transfer or transmission of information in machines— that is, computers—through both algorithms and practical implementation problems. Algorithms are detailed, unambiguous action sequences in the design, efficiency, and application of computer systems, whereas practical implementation problems deal with the software and hardware.
Computerized physician (provider) order entry systems
Systems that automate the way that orders have traditionally been initiated for patients. Clinicians place orders within these systems instead of using traditional handwritten transcription onto paper. These systems provide major safeguards by ensuring that physician orders are legible and complete, thereby providing a level of patient safety that was historically missing with paper-based orders. They provide decision support and automated alert functionality that was previously unavailable with paper-based orders.
Computerized provider order entry (CPOE)
An electronic process or system that automates the way that orders have traditionally been initiated for patients. It allows a healthcare provider to enter orders electronically and to also manage the results of those orders.
Framework used in research to chart feasible courses of action or to present a desired approach to a study or analysis; built from a set of concepts that are related to a proposed or existing system of methods, behaviors, functions, relationships, and objects. A relational model. A formal way of thinking or conceptualizing about a phenomenon, process, or system under study.
Electronic communications system or software that supports and facilitates two or more people meeting for discussion. High-end systems offer telepresence (a lifelike experience allowing people to feel as if they were present in person—it would be as though the nurse were physically there with the patient—so people can work, learn, and play in person over the Internet or have an effect at a remote location).
The mandate that all personal information be safeguarded by ensuring that access is limited to only those who are authorized to view that information.
A component of cognitive science that uses computer modeling through artificial neural networks to try to explain human intellectual abilities.
Ability to hook up to the electronic resources necessary to meet the user’s needs. The ability to use computer networks to link to people and resources. The unbiased transmission or transport of Internet Protocol packets between two end points.
Outcomes or products resulting from one’s decision choices.
Consolidated health informatics (CHI)
A collaborative effort to adopt health information interoperability standards, particularly health vocabulary and messaging standards, for implementation in federal government systems.
A person hired to provide expert advice, opinions, and recommendations based on his or her area of expertise.
Context of care
The setting, services, patient, environment, and professional and social interactions surrounding the delivery of patient interventions.
Coursework or training completed after achievement of a baccalaureate degree, often for the purpose of recertification.
Person who gleans lessons or learns from success as well as failures, or who constantly searches for information to add to his or her knowledge base.
A legal term used by many governments around the world that gives the inventor or designer of an original product sole or exclusive rights to that product for a limited time; the same laws that cover physical books, artwork, and other creative material are still applicable in the digital world.
Core business systems
Systems that enhance administrative tasks within healthcare organizations. Unlike clinical information systems, whose aim is to provide direct patient care, these systems support the management of health care within an organization. They provide the framework for reimbursement, support of best practices, quality control, and resource allocation. There are four common types of core business systems: (1) admission, discharge, and transfer (ADT); (2) financial; (3) acuity; and (4) scheduling systems.
The branches of study and knowledge that form the foundation of nursing informatics, including nursing, computer, and information sciences. Some, including the editors of this text, believe that cognitive science should also be included in the list of NI core sciences.
The strength to face difficulty.
Course management system (CMS)
Software system designed for both faculty and students that supports educational episodes, including tools for grading, learner assessment, content presentation/interaction, and communication. These systems provide for the support of learning activities throughout course delivery; proprietary examples include ANGEL, Blackboard, WebCT, Learning Space, and eCollege.
A healthcare provider that conducts certain transactions in electronic form (a “covered healthcare provider”), a healthcare clearinghouse, or a health plan that electronically transmits any health information in connection with transactions (billing and payment for services or insurance coverage) for which the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has adopted standards; identified in the Administrative Simplification regulations.
Programs that support and facilitate innovation and creativity (an intellectual process relating to the creation or generation of new ideas, concepts, or new relationships between currently existing ideas or concepts); they allow users to focus or concentrate more on creating new things in today’s digital age and less on the mechanics or workings of how they are created or developed.
Information generated by individuals on social media.
Person who can translate between science and clinical care and between science and the self-caring citizen.
Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature
A comprehensive nursing and allied health literature database.
Raw facts that lack meaning.
Data are the central focus.
Software that contains a listing of tables and their details, including field names, validation settings, and data types.
A collection of related records.
One involved in the direct procurement of raw facts (data); raw facts (data) collector.
Collection of data focusing on a specific topic or organizational unit or department created to facilitate management personnel making strategic business decisions. Could be as small as one database or larger, such as a compilation of databases; generally smaller than a data warehouse.
A process of utilizing software to sort through data so as to discover patterns and ascertain or establish relationships. This process may help to discover or uncover previously unidentified relationships among the data in a database.
An extremely large database or repository that stores all of an organization’s or institution’s data and makes this data available for data mining. A combination of an institution’s many different databases that provides management personnel flexible access to the data.
A collection of related records stored in a computer system using software that permits a person or program to query the data so as to extract needed information; it may consist of one or more related data files or tables.
Database management system (DBMS)
Software program/s and the hardware used to create and manage data.
Collections of interrelated data.
The simulation stage comprised of a student-centered discussion, during which the participants and observers reflect on performance during the scenario and make recommendations for future practice.
Output of cognition; outcome of our intellectual processing.
Recommendations for interventions based on computerized care protocols. The decision support recommendations may include such items as additional screenings, medication interactions, or drug and dosage monitoring.
Decision support/outcomes manager
Person charged with reviewing the effects of interventions suggested by the computerized decision support system.
Decision support system
Computer applications designed to facilitate human decision-making processes. Usually are rule based, using a specified knowledge base and a set of rules to analyze data and information and provide recommendations to users.
A set of decisions represented in a tree-shaped pattern; the decisions produce the rules for the classification of a dataset.
Loss of quality; for example, in telecommunications, it is the loss of quality in the electronic signal.
Computer’s interface that resembles the top of a desk, where the user keeps things he or she wants to access quickly, such as paper clips, pens, and paper. On the computer’s desktop, the user can customize the look and feel to have easy access to the programs, folders, and files on the hard drive that the individual uses the most.
The gap between those who have and those who do not have access to online information.
Digital health record (DHR)
An electronic record of patient assessments that are collected over time, typically by a telemonitoring device. For example, daily assessments of weight and blood pressure can be captured electronically and graphically displayed to allow for the detection of subtle trends.
A writing implement that can also digitally capture handwriting or drawings. This device is battery operated and generally comes with a universal serial bus (USB) cradle that permits uploading captured materials to a desktop, laptop, or palmtop computer. The user can use it as a ballpoint pen and write on regular paper just as he or she would with a normal pen or can capture the output digitally after writing on digital paper.
Digital video disk/digital versatile disk (DVD)
Optical disk storage format that can generally hold or store more than six times the amount of data that a compact disk can.
Digital video disk–recordable (DVD-R)
Disk on which a user can record once.
Digital video disk–recordable and rewritable (DVD-RW)
Disk on which a user can record many times.
A collection of related attributes that provide information about the data or the context of the facts. In a multidimensional database, a set of similar entities is known as a dimension; in a relational database, each field is considered a dimension.
A thoughtful, intentional, goal-oriented communication of specific, useful information or knowledge.
Education provided from a remote location.
To capture and save information for later use.
Communication in the form of written or typed text, audio, video, graphics, photographs, pictures, or any blending of these means used to describe some characteristics or elements of an object, system, or practice. For example, nursing documentation generates information about a patient (individual, family, group, community, populations) that describes the care and/or services that have been provided and allows for the communication necessary between nurses and other healthcare providers.
A series of alphanumeric characters that forms part of the Internet address or URL (e.g., denotes Pennsylvania State University’s address).
Dots per inch (DPI) switch
An actual switch on a computer mouse that allows you to adjust the mouse’s sensitivity to movement to result in faster or slower mouse pointer speeds. Slowing the speed can enhance precision while speeding it up can facilitate large data transfers.
Double data rate synchronous dynamic random-access memory (DDR SDRAM)
A chip that allows for greater bandwidth and twice the transfers per the computer’s internal clock’s unit of time; one of the transfers occurs at the start of the new unit of time and the other transfer occurs at the end of the unit of time.
A means of viewing data warehouse information by going down to lower levels of the database to focus on information that is pertinent to the user’s needs at the moment.
One’s feeling of being bound or obligated to carry out specific tasks or roles based on one’s rank or position.
Dynamic random-access memory (DRAM)
Type of RAM chip requiring less space to store the same amount on a similar static RAM (SRAM) chip; however, DRAM requires more power than SRAM because DRAM needs to keep its charge by constantly refreshing.
Dynamic system development method (DSDM)
An agile software development strategy based on the rapid application development model, which is iterative and used in the system development life cycle and project management.
Dynamic webpage shells
Webpages that can be custom scripted to provide realistic case scenarios during a simulation experience.
Electronic brochure. Patient education material that is typically tied to an agency website and may include such information as descriptions of diseases and their management, medication information, or where to get assistance with a healthcare issue.
Healthcare initiatives and practice supported by electronic or digital media. The most typical use is for patient and family education where information is communicated electronically.
Electronic learning or learning that is facilitated by electronic means such as computers and the Internet. E-learning, online, and Web-based education has caused a significant shift in student–teacher relationships in nursing education.
Electronic mail. To compose, send, receive, and store messages in electronic communication systems.
Program that manages email functions.
Personalized collections of evidence from coursework, experiences outside of the classroom, and reflective commentary related to this evidence that can be shared with others electronically; categorized electronic presentation of one’s skills, education, and examples of work and/or career achievements.
Auditory tones that are combined to represent relationships among data elements, such as the relationship of systolic blood pressure to diastolic blood pressure.
Educational Resources Information Center
A comprehensive educational resources database. An international database of educational literature.
Sage, leader, and/or guide who assists in the process or practice of learning.
Learning while having fun; an activity where the learner is engaged and entertained while they learn; a combination of “education” and “entertainment.”
Initiative developed to address the growing need for managing health information and to promote technology as a means of improving health information exchange, health literacy, and healthcare delivery.
Any exchange of information that is transmitted electronically.
Electronic data interchange (EDI)
Specific set of standards for exchanging information between or among computers (computer to computer).
Electronic health records (EHRs)
Computer-based data warehouses or repositories of information regarding the health status of a client, which are replacing the former paper-based medical records; they are the systematic documentation of a client’s health status and health care in a secured digital format, meaning that they can be processed, stored, transmitted, and accessed by authorized interdisciplinary professionals for the purpose of supporting efficient, high-quality health care across the client’s healthcare continuum. Also known as electronic medical records (EMRs).
Electronic mailing list
Automatic mailing list server such as LISTSERV that sends an e-mail addressed to the list to everyone who has subscribed to the list automatically. Similar to an electronic bulletin board or news forum.
Electronic medical records (EMRs)
See electronic health records (EHRs).
Electronic medication administration record (eMAR)
A system that uses bar-coding technology in order to submit and fill prescriptions. Typically, handheld scanners read bar codes and transmit them to the pharmacy.
Electronically erasable programmable read-only memory (EEPROM)
A nonvolatile storage chip used in computers and other devices to store small amounts of volatile data (e.g., calibration tables or device configuration).
Specialized devices that contain an operating system designed to perform a dedicated function or special purpose. Smart devices can connect to the Internet, while dumb devices cannot. Embedded devices have extensive applications in the consumer, business, and healthcare marketplaces. Examples of embedded devices are banking ATMs, appliances such as dishwashers, security systems, answering machines, vehicular navigation systems, portable music players, cable TV boxes, routers, glucometers, and portable EKG machines.
New technologies that are likely to impact health care in a significant way, such as nanotechnology or biotechnology.
Knowledge that is derived from our experiences or senses.
Promotion of self-actualization; achievement of power or control over one’s own life.
The simulation stage in which a student enacts an assigned role during the established timeframe in a prepared simulation area.
Target users or consumers of software and computer technology. Software or computing applications should be designed for the end user, the person who will ultimately be using them.
To capture the attention of the student and motivate or energize them to actively participate in the educational activity.
Electronically linking healthcare providers, health plans, government, and other interested parties to facilitate electronic exchange and use of health information among all stakeholders.
See covered entity.
Entity–relationship diagram (ERD)
Diagram that specifies the relationships among the entities in the database. Sometimes the implied relationships are apparent based on the entities’ definitions; however, all relationships should be specified as to how items relate to one another. There are typically three relationships: one to one, one to many, and many to many.
Person who assumes the risks of beginning an enterprise or business and accepts responsibility for organizing and managing the organization.
Nursing terminology in which words or phrases are represented in a list or a simple hierarchy; gives an explicit and exhaustive listing of all the objects that fall under the concept or term in question.
The field of study identifying things that come upon the people. Incidence, prevalence, and control of disease. Case finding.
Study of the nature and origin of knowledge; what it means to know.
Erasable programmable read-only memory (EPROM)
Type of computer memory chip that retains its data when its power supply is switched off and can be erased with ultraviolet light.
In the United States, this term is used to describe the physical characteristics of equipment—for example, the optimal fit of a scissors to a human hand. In Europe, it is synonymous with human factors—that is, the interaction of humans with physical attributes of equipment or the interaction of humans and the arrangement of equipment in the work environment.
Ethical decision making
The process of making informed choices about ethical dilemmas based on a set of standards differentiating right from wrong. The decision making reflects an understanding of the principles and standards of ethical decision making, as well as philosophical approaches to ethical decision making. It requires a systematic framework for addressing the complex and often controversial moral questions.
A difficult choice or issue that requires the application of standards or principles to solve. Issues that challenge us ethically.
Ethical, social, and legal implications
Consideration and understanding of the ethical, social, or legal connections or aspects of an issue that relate to a moral question of right and wrong.
Experts in the arbitrary, ambiguous, and ungrounded judgments of other people. Ethicists know that they make the best decision they can based on the situation and stakeholders at hand.
A process of systematically examining varying viewpoints related to moral questions of right and wrong.
A system of ethical evaluation that involves consideration of which actions lead to being an excellent and happy person.
Occurrences that might be significant to other objects in a system or to external agents; for example, creating a laboratory request is an example of a healthcare event in a laboratory application. An event is defined and could be a triggering event for the task or workflow; a task or workflow can have several triggering events.
Artifacts, productions, attestations, or other examples that demonstrate an individual’s knowledge, skills, or valued attributes.
Evidence-based practice (EBP)
Nursing practice that is informed by research-generated evidence of best practices.
Units of measure for computer memory equal to one quintillion bytes of computer memory.
Carries out software’s or a program’s instructions.
The part of the genome formed by exons.
The reading of changes in the genes of the genome to identify mutations relating to a trait or illness.
A section of a gene that is transcribed into RNA and translated into protein.
Decision support systems that implement the knowledge of one or more human experts.
Exploratory data analysis (EDA)
Approach or philosophy that uses mainly graphical techniques to gain insight into a dataset. It identifies the most important variables. Conducted during the exploratory phase, EDA provides guidance into the complexity or general nature of the various models that should be considered for implementation during pattern discovery.
System design feature that allows for future expansion without the need for changes to the basic infrastructure.
Extensible Markup Language (XML)
Computer language that began as a simplified subset of Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML). Its major purpose is to facilitate the exchange of structured data across different information systems, especially via the Internet. XML is considered an extensible language because it permits its users to define their own elements, allowing customization to enable purpose-specific development.
Most widely used teaching method among nurse educators, where the teacher and the learners meet together in one location at the same time.
Failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA)
A systematic evaluation of a process to determine how and why it failed to produce the desired results.
Doctrine that permits the limited use of original works without the copyright holder’s permission; an example would be quoting or citing an author in a scholarly manuscript.
Federal Health Information Exchange (FHIE)
A federal information technology healthcare initiative that enables the secure electronic one-way exchange of patient medical information from the Department of Defense’s legacy health information system, the Composite Health Care System (CHCS), for all separated service members to the Veterans Affairs’ (VA) VistA Computerized Patient Record System (CPRS). The point of care in veterans affairs.
Input in the form of opinions about or reactions to something such as shared knowledge. In an information system, feedback refers to information from the system that is used to make modifications in the input, processing actions, or outputs.
The extent to which a simulation mimics the processes of a real environment; in the context of ethics, the right to what has been promised.
Columns or attributes of an entity in a database.
Study in which end users evaluate a prototype in the actual work setting prior to its general release. Also called field test, alpha test, or beta test.
Systems used to manage the expenses and revenues accrued while providing health care. The finance, auditing, and accounting departments within an organization most commonly use financial systems. These systems determine the direction for maintenance and growth for a given facility. Financial systems often interface to share information with materials management, staffing, and billing systems to balance the financial impact of these resources within an organization. These systems report the fiscal outcomes so that these outcomes can be tracked against the organizational goals of an institution. Financial systems are one of the major decision-making factors as healthcare institutions prepare their fiscal budgets. They often play a pivotal role in determining the strategic direction for an organization.
A tool commonly used by organizations to protect their corporate networks when they are attached to the Internet. A firewall can be either hardware or software, or a combination of the two. It examines all incoming messages or traffic to the network. The firewall can be set up to allow only messages from known senders into the corporate network; it can also be set up to look at outgoing information from the corporate network.
Apple Computer’s version of a high-performance serial bus used to connect devices to a computer.
Hardware and software programs or data written onto ROM, PROM, and EPROM.
Small, removable storage devices.
Special type of EEPROM that can be erased and reprogrammed in blocks instead of one byte at a time. Many modern PCs have their BIOS stored on a flash memory chip so that it can easily be updated if necessary.
Organization and classification of online content by users; derived from “folk” and “taxonomy.” Users tag information with key words to make it easier to index and search vast amounts of information.
Foundation of Knowledge model
Model proposing that humans are organic information systems constantly acquiring, processing, generating, and disseminating information or knowledge in both their professional and personal lives. The organizing framework of this text.
Guru who is a forward thinker and looks to the future.
A structured activity undertaken for enjoyment.
The rules, instructions, directions, and constructs that the player or learner interacts with while playing the game. It is imperative that the rules are clearly stated in the instructions or directions so the player knows what is expected of them and the game itself has rules that it too must obey. The mechanics determine how the players or learners interact with the rules and how the game responds to the player’s or learner’s moves or behaviors within the game, thus connecting the player’s or learner’s actions to the purpose of the game.
How the player or learner interacts with or plays the game.
A body of genes. Hans Winkler is credited with merging “genesis” and “soma” (genome) to create this term.
Genomic data commons (GDC)
The data-sharing platform promoting precision medicine in oncology.
The study of the genome.
Unit of measure used to express bytes of data storage and capability in computer systems; 1 gigabyte equals 1,000 megabytes.
Unit of measure used to express speed and power of some components such as the microprocessor; 1 gigahertz equals 1,000 megahertz.
Favorable outcome in ethics.
A wearable computer from Google that can take pictures, play video, and display text messages without anyone else knowing. Currently, it costs approximately $1,500.
Government Accountability Office (GAO)
The highest audit institution of the federal government that provides auditing, evaluation, and investigative services for the U.S. Congress.
Federal legislation in the United States that controls how financial institutions handle the private information they collect from individuals.
Graphical user interface (GUI)
(pronounced “gooey”) Software that provides a user-friendly desktop metaphor interface that is made up of the input and output devices as well as icons that represent files, programs, actions, and processes.
A board that plugs into a personal computer to give it display capabilities.
A term used to reflect the age disparities in computer connectivity; there are fewer persons older than age 65 who use computer technology than members of younger age groups.
Gulf of evaluation
The gap between knowing one’s intention (goal) and knowing the effects of one’s actions.
Gulf of execution
The gap between knowing what one wants to have happen (the goal) and knowing what to do to bring it about (the means to achieve the goal).
Computer-savvy individuals most commonly thought of as malicious people who hack, or break, through security to steal or alter data and information; can also be any of a group of computer aficionados who band together in clubs and organizations or who use their skills as a hobby.
Half-life of knowledge
The time span from when knowledge is gained to when it becomes obsolete.
Computers that are small enough to be used while holding in one’s hand or easily carried in a pocket; synonymous with PDA (personal digital assistant).
Sets of closely linked alleles on a chromosome that tends to be inherited together.
Describes the common patterns of human DNA sequence variation and is expected to be a key resource for researchers to use to find genes affecting health, disease, and responses to drugs and environmental factors.
Sense of touch; The science of applying tactile sensation or touch to human-computer interactions allowing for users to use special input/output devices such as joysticks, data gloves, etc. to feel or sense and manipulate or control a virtual, three-dimensional object’s attributes of texture, shape, surface, temperature, and/or weight.
Magnetic disk that stores electronic data.
Permanent data storage area that holds the data, information, documents, and programs saved on the computer, even when the computer is shut off. The actual physical body of the computer and its components.
Physical or tangible parts of the computer. Computer parts that one can touch and that are involved in the performance or function of the computer, such as the keyboard and monitor.
Physical or mental injury or damage. Unfavorable outcome in ethics.
The health status differences between different groups of people, especially minorities and nonminorities; the gaps between the health status of minorities and nonminorities in the United States are ongoing even with the advances in technology and healthcare practices.
Health information exchange (HIE)
Organization that prepares and organizes people and resources to manage healthcare information electronically across organizations within a community or region.
Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
Law signed by President Bill Clinton in 1996 addressing the need for standards to regulate and safeguard health information and making provisions for health insurance coverage for employed persons who change jobs.
Health information technology (HIT)
Hardware, software, integrated technologies or related licenses, intellectual property, upgrades, or packaged solutions sold as services that are designed for or support the use by healthcare entities or patients for the electronic creation, maintenance, access, or exchange of health information.
Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act
Title XIII of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which was enacted in February 2009. Under this act, healthcare organizations can qualify for financial incentives based on the level of meaningful use achieved; the HITECH Act specifically incentivizes health organizations and providers to become “meaningful users.”
Health Level 7
An accredited standards-developing organization that is committed to developing standard terminologies for information technology that support interoperability of healthcare information management systems.
The acquisition of knowledge that promotes the ability to understand and to manage one’s health.
Health management information system (HMIS)
An information system that is specially intended to support and help with the planning, resource allocation, and management of health programming to make healthcare more effective and efficient; an information system that plans and manages health programs, rather than the actual delivery of health care.
Infections that patients acquire while being treated in a healthcare facility.
Information that is related to health and well-being of a person, especially information related to therapeutic (care) interactions between people and healthcare providers.
A qualified person delivering appropriate health care professionally to an individual, group, family, community, or population in need of healthcare services; includes hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, nursing homes, long-term care facilities, home health agencies, hemodialysis centers, clinics, community mental health centers, ambulatory surgery centers, group practices, pharmacies and pharmacists, laboratories, physicians, and therapists.
Microsoft’s online personal health record system.
An evaluation in which a small number of evaluators (often experts in relevant fields such as human factors or cognitive engineering) evaluate the degree to which an interface design complies with recognized usability principles (the “heuristics”).
High-definition multimedia interface (HDMI)
An adapter that has expanded connectivity and transfer. HDMI is replacing analog video standards as an audio/video interface that can transfer compressed and uncompressed video and digital audio data from any device that is HDMI compliant to compatible monitors, televisions, video projectors, and audio devices.
A high level of realism generated by the equipment used in simulations.
Drugs known to cause significant adverse side effects when administered inappropriately; drugs subject to frequent administration errors.
Home health agency (HHA)
Organization that delivers part-time and intermittent skilled services, including nursing and other therapeutic services, in the patient’s home.
Home health care
An alternative site for healthcare services typically focusing on post–hospital discharge patient needs.
Home telehealth care
Home healthcare clinical and educational services provided via telecommunications-re