As a result of practice convergence and adoption of a unified EHR, numerous informatics departments across a Magnet recognized healthcare organization established a shared service framework with a universal purpose of providing a world-class healthcare experience. With over 100 informaticists, multiple needs were identified throughout the department. Informaticists voiced a desire for a shared decision-making model advocating for expression and management of higher level of professional autonomy. Shared decision-making had been well adopted in clinical settings throughout the organization, however, had been underutilized within the informatics division.
Thus, the informatics professional governance (IPG) council, a shared governance structure, was developed as a proposed solution to the departmental needs across the multi-campus, multi-state healthcare organization. As an extension of the leadership team, this model includes divisional assessment of departmental functions impacting roles and responsibilities and collaboration and efficiency of practice support through convergence of unique skillsets. To ensure adequate and diverse representation across the enterprise, the council incorporates core informaticists from each region, informatics management, and informatics administration. Shared governance offers a vehicle to engage staff and foster team collaboration as peers challenge each other to achieve a common goal.1
Skillful leadership and contributions from all staff members of the department is imperative to the success of the shared governance framework, as it allows everyone’s voice to be heard while exerting professional ownership and accountability. Empowerment involves recognizing the power already present in a role and allowing that power to be expressed legitimately.2 The IPG council provides structure, support, and transparency to peers across the department by encouragement of active voice and participation, healthy exchange of ideas, and solution-oriented decision making. The formal process of gathering input through utilization of a standardized form, frequent and transparent communication, and reporting back to divisional leadership improves professional practice and collaboration with leaders. Through team-building opportunities to foster constructive working relationships and a professional practice environment, the findings show council members and peers are empowered to serve as dedicated decision-makers positively impacting professional environment, while building interdepartmental rapport and improving workplace satisfaction.
Learning outcome: Empower clinical informatics peers to merge clinical expertise, collaborate, and converge on outcomes for issues resolution, promote team building to foster relationships, and improve the professional practice environment.
References 1) Shepherd, M. L., Harris, M. L., Chung, H., & Himes, E. M. (2014). Using the Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability, Reinforcement Model to build a shared governance culture. Journal of Nursing Education and Practice, 4(6), 90.
2) Porter-O’Grady, Tim EdD, RN, FAAN Is Shared Governance Still Relevant?, JONA: The Journal of Nursing Administration: October 2001 - Volume 31 - Issue 10 - p 468-473