Over the years, there has been a need for the delivery of safe, evidence based, patient focused, and high quality patient care, which should be supplemented with reliable and efficient diagnosis as well as treatment alternatives. Technology and informatics have the solutions to most of these needs, and hence, brings up the necessity for the integration of information technology and informatics in nursing education as well as the nursing practice so that health services can be delivered if a low cost, safe, and timely manner. The TIGER initiative is geared towards improving patient healthcare by integrating information technology into healthcare education, service delivery as well as forming collaboration among various health personnel and information technology/informatics personnel with the common goal of improving service delivery to the patient.
The Technology Informatics Guiding Education Reform (TIGER) initiative was formed with the major vision of the integration of information technology and health informatics in the operations of nursing organizations with the intention of providing high quality healthcare (Hebda & Calderone, 2011). Additional reasons for the integration are for the nursing field to part of the in the design of an affordable, responsive & functioning informatics tools, increased of health care safety, encouragement of cooperation between, education, informatics, health practice, & research, and the promotion of the culture of health IT (Walker, 2010). This major vision led to the formulation of nine collaboratives that would follow up the performance of the TIGER initiative. The nine collaboratives include; Consumer & Personal Health Record, Usability & Clinical Design, Leadership, Competencies, Virtual Learning Environment, Standards & Interoperability, Staff Development, Education & Faculty Development and Health Policy (Walker & Newbold). These collaboratives involved 1500 nurses, and this exercise came up with 40 recommendations Walker (2010). The TIGER virtual learning environment was initiated later as follow-up to the collaborative recommendations, which aimed at the provision of health IT over the internet.
According to Skiba & DoLong, in order for nurse leaders to work jointly towards the achievement of a common objective successfully, they need an action plan, a vision, and the TIGER initiative (2008). TIGER is an initiative that seeks to form a common objective for different organizations that represent the government, health industry, informatics organizations, and academic institutions just to mention a few (Skiba & DoLong, 2008).
Since President Bush instructed that all American citizens should possess a health electronic record (EHR) in 2004, the Health Information Technology (HIT) was initiated (Walker, 2010). The goal was set, whereby the health electrification exercise should take place before 2014. The HIT aims at improving the quality of health care, lowering health care costs, and efficiently meeting business, and clinical requirements (Murphy, 2010). Therefore, for the 2014 HIT target to be reached there is a need for proper handing over of the HIT and TIGER particulars and objectives to the personnel that occupies healthcare leadership positions (Murphy, 2010). For the handing over of the information and skills to be successful, the leaders within the nursing profession have to embrace technology and nursing informatics as critical components to the support of decision-making, nurse-patient relations, and nursing functions in general (Walker, 2010).
The TIGER initiative compliments the efforts of the HIT since it give nurses the ability to use technology and information systems solutions within the nursing practice to ensure a patient focused, timely, efficient effective and safe service delivery (Skiba & DoLong, 2008). The TIGER initiative also advocates for knowledge leadership. The elements of knowledge leadership are (a) the outline of the vision, which is formulated by the stakeholders, (b) The communities addressed in the outline should be consulted for exchange of ideas and to increase creativity, (c) The set objectives need the support of the stakeholders for the vision to be achieved. (d) Culture plays a role in TIGER, through the execution and manifestation of leadership, and (e) Coaching of stakeholders using a non-judgmental style (Skiba & DoLong, 2008).
Fairchild emphasizes that nursing education should involve the community and should be experience-based (2012). Fairchild saw the need for cooperation between practicing health personnel and health academe using a rural setting to identify the needs of healthcare personnel in a rural environment, as well as to enforce a learning style that involves the community and is experience based (Fairchild, 2012). Through the college and health student in rural setup collaboration arrangement, Fairchild was able to identify the learning needs a health care provider requires for a rural setting, which include computer and internet literacy, data management skills, critical thinking, team playing, chronic ailment management and communication skills (2012). Fairchild’s findings support the TIGER initiative because the initiative seeks forge collaborative learning in HIT and informatics between nursing students and practicing nurses (2012).
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Fairchild, R. M. (2012). Hold That Tiger! A Collaborative Service-Learning Academic-Practice Partnership with Rural Healthcare Facilities. Nurse Educator.
Hebda, T. & Calderone, T. L. (2011). The TIGER Initiative-A Model for the Integration of Informatics Competencies. Touch Briefings.
Murphy, J. (2010). The Journey to meaningful use of electronic health records. In Walker, P. H. (2010). The TIGER Initiative: A Call to Accept and Pass the Baton. Nursing Economics.
Skiba, D. J., & DoLong, D. (2008). Using TIGER vision to move your agenda forward. Nursing Management.
Walker, P. H. (2010). The TIGER Initiative: A Call to Accept and Pass the Baton. Nursing Economics.
Walker, P. H. & Newbold, S, K. TIGER on the move: Vision Action Collaboration. American Academy of Nursing News & Opinion.