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Summer 2005

Health Systems Management program meets nursing challenges

UDM’s graduate Health Systems Management program provides nurses greater expertise in managing nursing data systems.

Almost every day, the media covers stories about health care trends. Many highlight how hospitals in Detroit and across the nation are implementing plans to computerize patient information to improve the quality and efficiency of their health care systems.

Or, they describe the use of disease management programs to control costs and improve outcomes for individuals with the costliest and most prevalent chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.
But more attention has focused on the nursing shortage, which is expected to rise to 20 percent by 2020.

Nurses are challenged on many fronts in their profession. But the University of Detroit Mercy is responding with the Master’s of Science degree in Nursing in Health Systems Management, a cutting-edge program that provides nurse leaders with the knowledge and skills to manage organization and system-level factors that can improve patient outcomes.

“Since nursing provides the bulk of patient care, the profession must be very involved in the implementation of computerized documentation systems,” says Julia Stocker, assistant professor and coordinator, Health Systems Management Program.

UDM is planning on expanding its program in the area of nursing informatics to help supply nurse leaders with the expertise in the creation, implementation, and management of nursing data systems.

“The demand for nurses with expertise in computer systems, data management and analysis, and change management for implementation of such systems is expected to rise dramatically,” adds Stocker.

UDM’s Health Systems Management program also provides nurses with expertise in patient outcomes management. As health care focuses more on the delivery of quality and efficient care, the bottom line – or patient outcome – has become more and more emphasized.

“The use of computerized health records will be key in assisting nurses to manage patient outcomes,” says Stocker. “UDM’s Health Systems Management program will continue to be a forward-thinking program that will help nurses to lead in the evolving health care system.”