The American Nurses Association (ANA) has joined the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS’) Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology’s Consumer Campaign and pledged to “engage and empower individuals to be partners in their health through information technology.” ANA represents registered nurses as both consumers and advocates of health care. As part of the Nursing Scope and Standards of Practice
registered nurses have the responsibility to be advocates for consumers of health care, especially to vulnerable populations, or those with disparities in access to care.
This means empowering consumers to access beneficial health resources that can facilitate their ability to achieve their health goals. Health IT offers secure resources that enable consumers to access their confidential health records where and when they are needed. Education is needed to inform nurses and consumers how to access these resources to improve the efficiency, safety, quality, timeliness, and patient-centeredness of the health care system. ANA is taking action to support this effort.
As a result, ANA is asking all registered nurses to take the pledge to access, educate, advocate, and empower consumers to use health IT to manage their health.