Author Archives: Lorelei

Why Diabetics Should Eat Lots of Shrimp

Shrimp is one of the best food choices a diabetic can make. Here are some of the main reasons:

Shrimp Has LOTS of Omega-3 (Omega-3 Fatty Acids) and This Is Extremely Important To the Diabetic

Diabetics have damaged cell membranes. They are “insulin resistant” which means they don’t respond normally to insulin when it signals the cell to uptake glucose. Glucose can’t get across these damaged membranes at the normal rate, and therefore, this sugar builds up in the bloodstream reaping havoc with your body.

Repairing these membranes involves eliminating certain things from your diet, especially trans fat which gets subsituted into your cell membranes where the healthy omega-3’s should go. This damages your cell membranes and makes them too “stiff.” Even if you eliminate trans fat, if you don’t get enough omega-3, you won’t be able to repair and maintain those damaged cell membranes. Shrimp is one of the very best sources for omega-3.

Shrimp Has the Best Kind of Omega-3

There are several different types of omega-3.

First, there is a difference between plant derived omega-3 (ALA) and animal derived omega-3 (DHA and EPA). Humans can not use the plant version (ALA) without first converting it and we can only convert about 10% of what we eat. The rest is wasted. Also, diabetics and older people convert at even a lower rate. Therefore, it is best to eat the animal form of omega-3 which we can more easily use.

Second, the omega-3 in shrimp and other crustaceans (a type of arthropod) is attached to a phospholipid molecule. This is exactly what is found in the membranes of humans and is easier for the body to absorb than when it’s attached to triglyceride molecule like you find in fish.

Shrimp Is Very High In Protein, Very Low In Fat, and Contains Virtually No Carb

Each bite of succulent shrimp is packed with protein and hardly any fat. Plus, it has virually no carb. Since diabetics need to lower their carb intake and increase their protein intake, this makes the composition of shrimp meat perfect for the diabetic.

You Don’t Need To Worry About the Cholesterol Thing

Shrimp got a very undeserved bad rap regarding cholesterol. Yes, it is true that shrimp meat contains cholesterol BUT it is extremely low in saturated fat which is actually what raises cholesterol in humans. In fact, eating shrimp actually raises the good cholesterol.

Shrimp Tastes Great – What a Treat!

Most diabetics have to give up or at least drastically reduce some of their favorite foods. However, here’s a food that is simply wonderful in taste and is almost always thought of as quite a treat that is simply perfect for the diabetic to eat. Thank you Mother Nature!

Advantages to Computers in the Food & Beverage Industry

Computers have revolutionized the food and beverage industry as they have nearly every other industry. Computers have had positive, measurable effects on the front end and back end of hospitality operations. Computers systems have improved employee performance, and food and beverage quality and consistency. Within the food and beverage industry there is no longer a question of should technology be used, but rather a question of which technology to use? In the food and beverage business, computers are here to stay.

In the hospitality industry, customer service is an absolute critical factor for success. Computers are helping in this area in several ways. In many restaurants, the wait staff can process various forms of payment at guest tables, which allows guest to leave directly from their table without the need to stop at a centralized checkout station. This has removed long unsightly lines, which annoy customers, and disrupt the flow of traffic in food and beverage businesses. This service is made possible by either small hand held computers which handle credit card transactions using wireless technology, or via remote point of sale systems that interact with a central computer system. This improves the customers dining experience, which should be the goal of any food service business.

A key management concern of any food and beverage business is the profit margin. In this vital area of business, computers have also proven to be an indispensable tool. Computer systems help manage the entire food service process from ordering the ingredients needed to produce menu items, to forecasting the amount of items to prepare for each dining period based on historical patterns. This helps to reduce wasted food, which is very expensive and comes out of the businesses profit. It also helps in preparing menu items before hand, which reduces customer wait time. Computer can also forecast with high accuracy rates the volume of business to be expected which allows managers to properly staff their business. This is vital because having too much staff on hand can consume unnecessary amounts of payroll, and not having enough staff on hand will cause customer service problems.

Computers are also being used in very innovative ways by some food and beverage businesses. For instance, Darden Restaurants that owns and operates the Red lobster and Olive Garden chains uses computers to help choose new building sites. This computer system uses a software program called the Darden Site Analyzer. The software gathers critical information needed to select a site, such as demographics, distance to other restaurants and customer information specific to the Darden business model. The program then analyzes the site and provides a series of reports to help Darden make the final decision. Darden plans to improve the software so that it can evaluate things such as whether a new Darden restaurant will negatively effect other Darden restaurants in the same area.

Computer systems have become a vital part of all aspects of the food and beverage industry, they help with purchasing decisions, inventory control, employee scheduling and training, and customer acquisition and retention. A leading indicator of this growing trend is the fact that many hospitality training programs now include computer and technology courses in the curriculum.

Each year innovators are creating more unique ways that technology can be used to enhance the overall commercial dining experience. Computers make out of home dining a more enjoyable experience for the consumer and a more profitable manageable experience for business managers and owners.

(c) 2006, Marcus Barber

The Diet of Prehistoric Humans

Even though there was a complete lack of scientific evidence to support Mr. Key’s saturated fat/cholesterol theory of heart disease, the government and professional medical associations eventually agreed that Americans should eat less red meat, whole dairy products, eggs and all other foods high in saturated fat. And although since then, 50 years and millions of dollars have been spent on scientific studies trying to link consumption of animal fat with increased rates of heart disease, all studies show there is no such link.

Perhaps it was the failure of scientists to demonstrate a link between consumption of animal fat and heart disease that many other arguments have been made in favor of diets that limit the amount of meat in the diet. Many go far beyond health and nutrition and include a wide range of topics such as the environmental impact of feeding a population on meat, or the suffering of animals.

One of the most obviously flawed of these arguments is the claim that our early ancestors ate very little meat.

If you’re of European descent, your early ancestors were almost entirely dependent upon the consumption of animal flesh for about half of the year.

Before the advent of agriculture, human beings were hunter-gatherers. They depended on gathering food from their wild habitat.

For the ancient hunter-gatherers of Europe, the first frosts of autumn brought an end to the supply of fresh fruits and vegetables. Nuts and seeds would have been plentiful in the autumn season. However, these foods are soon depleted by rodents, birds and other mammals in stiff competition for food when cold weather causes foods of plant and insect origin to disappear from the landscape.

Not only is it nearly impossible to obtain foods of plant origin during cold winter months when the snow covered ground is frozen solid and streams are covered by a thick layer of ice, but also, early spring is the most difficult time of year to obtain food from plants because all nuts and seeds have been thoroughly depleted and sporadic freezes delay the onset of the growing season. After the ground thaws, roots can be dug and some edible sprouts grow rapidly in mid spring, but most fruits aren’t available until at least early summer.

The importance of the hunt for large mammals by our early ancestors is clearly supported in the archaeological evidence they left behind. One of the most common images left on the walls inside caves of prehistoric man is that of the hunt of deer, bison, mammoth and other large mammals.

The hunt for large mammals took on a religious tone. This is the natural result of a people who depend heavily upon animals for their own lives. They depended upon these large animals for food, depended upon their hides for warm clothing, used the bones of animals for tools, and even used animal parts as ornaments to grace their bodies.

The same religious tones surrounding the hunt for mammals is evident in the aboriginal peoples of Northern Asia, Australia, Africa, the Americas and other prehistoric peoples around the globe.

Meat and the flesh of other animals was one of the primary, and for some prehistoric cultures, the only plentiful source of food. So the claim that the diet of our prehistoric ancestors consisted of little meat and saturated fat is simply ridiculous. For thousands of years humans depended upon meat for nourishment, often eating nothing else for months at a time.

The next claim grain pushers make is that the meat of wild animals eaten by prehistoric people was very lean, and did not provide large amounts of fat, like modern cows.

But the truth is that among prehistoric human cultures, both the fat and high cholesterol liver were highly prized parts of animals they hunted. They ate the liver raw soon after the kill. And they removed every last bit of fat from the animal and rationed it, adding it to all meals, even meals of vegetable origin. Unlike most people in modern America, they knew the value of animal fat and the important role it played in human nutrition. The leanest cuts of meat became food for their dogs.

As an example of the extra effort they put into getting plenty of animal fat in the diet, the Inuit of North America made pemmican. They dried and crushed the lean meat and added fat in a fifty-fifty mix so that every mouth-full included as much fat as it did lean meat.

Every one of the thousands of large animal bones I ever found while digging on sites occupied by prehistoric humans, had been cracked open to remove the fat in the bone marrow. This fat was part of the ingredients of pemmican.

We are the first culture of people that ever intentionally avoided animal fat, the first people to trim fat off meat and discard it. Ancient people and those living traditional cultures would have thought you had gone mad if they saw you cut the fat off meat and throw it away.

Throughout history and around the world, all previous cultures prized animal fat as a vital part of the diet. To improve the nutritional value of food, they added animal fat to many foods that didn’t have animal fat to begin with.

Furthermore, the tradition of adding animal fat to foods continued right up until the 1980’s when they put the final touches on the process of replacing expensive animal fat with cheaply produced vegetable oil, a process that began in the beginning of the 1900’s, a process that is directly correlated with increasing rates of heart disease.

Not only did our hunter-gatherer prehistoric ancestors know more about which natural foods provide optimum health than we do today, even wild animals know more about which natural foods are most healthful to their bodies.

We’re out-of-touch with nature and out-of-touch with our bodies. And we’re causing misery to both.

Modern medicine has increased the average life expectancy by heroics that enable most babies, no matter how weak and sickly, and no matter how badly deformed at birth, to live at least into middle age. Using antibiotics, it has eliminated millions of deaths caused by virus and bacteria. Moreover, using modern techniques, they can keep the sick and dying alive for decades, even if they have to hook them up to tubes and machines. But heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, and even tooth decay were practically nonexistent in ancient humans, largely because the diet of prehistoric humans was far more nutritious than the diet of most people today.

The truth is that the unnatural high carbohydrate(sugar) diet was born with the invention of agriculture and the development of grain. And the reason grain became the primary source of food for the masses is that grain madepossible the formation of large and powerful centers of human population called civilization.

Civilization was impossible when humans were hunter-gatherers because local wild plants and animals were soon depleted. Once depleted, the group had to move to a new location for food. The larger the group of

people, the more often they were forced to move to new lands in search of food. Therefore, large and powerful groups of people living the hunter-gatherer life style were impossible.

But grain not only made it possible for the development of large powerful centers of human population, grain also ushered in obesity, osteoporosis, cancer, and the other “Diseases of Civilization”. (And ushered out freedom of the individual and family group)

This isn’t theory and conjecture. Introduction of these diseases to remote traditional cultures around the globe was well documented by Dr. David Livingston, Dr. Weston Price, and many other doctors in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.

Before grain became a large part of the diet, even though these remote traditional cultures had never even seen a tooth brush, most people never had a single dental cavity.

One by one, remote disease-free healthy peoples living traditional cultures on every continent and the islands were introduced to the high carbohydrate(sugar) grain based diet. And within a decade, obesity, osteoporosis, cancer, tooth decay and the other “Diseases of Civilization” became part of the culture.

The Benefits of Having a Healthy Heart

The heart plays a vital role in keeping the body alive. The heart is a pump that pumps life through the body. The heart has two main functions. It pumps blood to the lungs to retrieve oxygen and then pumps that oxygen into the blood and transports it around the rest of the body.

The heart is actually muscle and you have to keep training the muscle to maintain its conditioning. As the saying goes if you don’t use it you will lose it, and this also applies to the heart.

When the heart is in top condition the body works like a highly maintained car engine, it runs perfectly. A heart that is healthy and well taken care off is more able to cope with demands and stress that is put on the body. As the body has been designed to move it is the constant of physical activity that keeps your heart fit.

A healthy heart can provide you and your body with many benefits as follows:

• By acquiring the habit of doing physical exercise everyday you can greatly reduce your risk of heart disease and coronary heart attack. These exercises do not have to be intensive are done for a long period. As little as 15 minutes a day of exercise that makes you breathless will greatly improve the health of the heart.

• A heart that is healthy and strong will enable the body to function more effectively. This will enable the body to take on more strenuous activities and the common daily tasks are done with efficiency and comfort.

• A trained and healthy heart works more efficiently than one that is out of condition. This means the it beats at a lower rate when the body is resting. Over time this means the heart works less and does not wear out.

• The great thing about your heart is that it has the ability to heal and repair itself. For example, if it has already been damaged by heart disease it can be repaired through the proper healing processes and activities.

As you can see the heart plays a very important role and as it is a muscle of the body you have to keep training it to keep it healthy. The best way to do this is to look at your current lifestyle and see if any improvements can be made. For example, you could cut down on high fat foods and introduce more fresh fruit and vegetables into your diet. If you do not take any exercise then maybe you should consider joining a gym or go for a jog a couple of times a week to keep you and your heart in shape.

Always seek medical advise before changing your diet or taking physical exercise if you have a health condition.

Heart Disease – What Is The Difference Between Organic Heart Disease And Degenerative Heart Disease?

Although Heart Disease is the main cause of death in the Western World it is amazing how little the general public actually know about it.

For example very few people realize that there isn’t just one type of Heart Disease. In fact there are at least ten different types and these fall into two distinct categories – Organic and Degenerative.

The major difference between Organic and Degenerative Heart Disease is their causes.

Organic refers to a situation where the organ (the heart) is damaged by a specific event. This can also be referred to as “acute”, which simply means that it happened suddenly or over a short period of time. Degenerative Heart Disease (sometimes referred to as “chronic”) is caused by gradual deterioration over a long period of time.

There are two types of Organic H.D. – Congenital and Rheumatic .

Defects that occur at birth are classed as Congenital Heart Disease. These may affect the heart itself : it may not have developed normally during pregnancy, the wall of the heart may be damaged (hole in the heart), or the blood vessels may be underdeveloped. These defects may be hereditary or more likely have been caused by external factors such as drugs or infection during pregnancy. They are normally diagnosed at birth or in early childhood but it is not uncommon for the symptoms to occur for the first time in adulthood..

Rheumatic Heart Disease can be the result of a bout of rheumatic fever. Occurrences have decreased considerably due to the use of antibiotics to treat rheumatic fever.

There are at least eight specific diseases, which fall into the category of Degenerative Heart Disease. The common factors within this category are that the disease has progressed gradually and that there is no specific event that has caused it.

The vast majority of people who are diagnosed with Heart Disease have some form of degenerative heart disease. This is the form of disease that is the target of the awareness campaigns and is the type that we can help to prevent by our lifestyles choices.

5 Advantages of a Home Made Ice Cream Maker

Ice cream is one of the worlds’ favorite comfort foods. It just seems to make everything better, don’t you agree? You can mix it with fruits, custard, wafers, chocolates, nuts, brownies, cheeses and other stuff that people like, to give it different wonderful flavors. There are even eccentric flavors such as squid, wasabi, chicken, and bacon! Ice cream has been enjoyed by the elite from as early as second century B.C., and as its goodness became known, more and more people hungered after it which gave birth to its massive production in the 1800s.

Surprisingly, not a lot of people know that you don’t have to look for a gelateria or sherbet shop every time you want some dessert. Through developments in technology, you can now make your own frozen dessert according to your tastes. Ice cream makers are available in the market and can be purchased in almost any appliance shops or online store. Some think that these machines are expensive but the truth is they have many advantages that can outweigh their prices.

  1. One of the main advantages of having a homemade ice cream maker is the ability to create healthy desserts anytime. Unexpected guests may always visit one’s home and it can be a real treat to serve them delicious homemade desserts such as sorbets, sherbert and yogurt. You can always lug one of these over to a friend’s house to have an impromptu party, as most of them can be easily cleaned and stored after without hassle.
  2. Another good thing about these machines is that they can be used to make different ice cream flavors effortlessly. Right after you create one mix, you can go ahead and pour it into a freezer bowl and make another one. Even a cheaper model can make tons of flavors since most of these machines can create desserts in as little as 20 minutes.
  3. Aside from portability and ease of use, the homemade stuff is healthier than most frozen desserts bought in the store. You may not be so sure whether the ice cream that you are about to buy from the grocery has been defrosted and frozen back several times which can lose its flavor and health benefits. Having a homemade ice cream maker gives you the option to create your own flavor and to put ingredients which you think are beneficial to you.
  4. If you are looking for a quality machine for a fraction of the price, you may also look into buying a durable ice cream maker online. A durable one can last a long time and it can be very good investment if you are planning to use it very often. Some of the trusted brands in the market are Cuisinart, Hamilton Beach, Lello and KitchenAid. They can be easily purchased online where you can also read feedback from users so you can assess if their features are apt for your needs.
  5. Last but not the least, having a homemade ice cream maker saves you time than going out and looking for the flavor that you want. You do not need to be a professional to create new flavors. All you need to do is to look for a recipe and gather all the ingredients and you can make as much ice cream as you want.

Making healthy desserts should not be too hard if you have all the things that you need. Whether you have a pricey ice cream maker or a cheaper model, enjoying healthy desserts is always possible at the comfort of your own home.

Foodservice and Restaurant Merchandising 101

Visual food merchandising is one of the hottest trends in the restaurant, foodservice and hospitality industry today, which is the fine art of presenting your products in a way that gets your customers to buy, as well as bringing your products to life with eye-catching displays of freshness, color, quality and abundance.

A great food merchandising program paired with cross-merchandising strategies will help to increase your restaurant or foodservice operations’ sales significantly, as well as boost customer satisfaction and return business.

The benefits of eye-catching food merchandising displays and cross- merchandising techniques are immediate. Sales will increase between 15 percent to 300 percent if you have done a proper job with your merchandising program Your staff’s morale will also be raised from the improved surroundings and satisfied customers.

Running a foodservice operation takes much more than just displaying the usual information like the “daily special”. As an operator, you must consider what will lure your customers into your operation in the first place. Here are some basic merchandising rules and tips to follow:

1. Make it look appetizing

You should build your food displays so that customers can see them from all angles of your facility. Use nothing but the freshest ingredients and colorful food items to catch their attention. Display your food items using uniquely shaped plates and dishes with different textures. Use terra cotta and other environmentally conscious colors, and incorporate natural wood and bamboo to create a more modern, clean and sleek image.

For example, the addition of a simple, thick, wooden board placed inside a standard glass display unit for sandwiches emphasizes to customers that the sandwiches have just been freshly made. Without the board, the sandwiches look start and naked, and allows customers to wonder how long they have been sitting there, since a glass and steel display unit tends to evoke a sense of coldness and emptiness. The cutting board helps to add warmth and life to the display unit.

2. Place products on a slant and use color

Food is always displayed better when placed on a slant and not lying flat. Show your customers your products! Tilted European-style wooden racks are a great merchandising tool to display breads, pies, pastries, and other products, creating an inviting display to tempt your customers to buy.

Color is one of the most important factors when dealing with food displays. Many food products tend to come from the brown and beige palettes, so is necessary to brighten up your operation with greens, reds, oranges and yellows, to also create a fresh and healthy look. Consider looking at what items you might already have on hand in your kitchen, pantry and stockrooms that might add mouthwatering color and substance to your display.

3. Use cross-merchandising techniques to use higher sales

For cafeterias and market-style operations, cross-merchandising is an excellent opportunity to upsell by placing the right foods together. Soups, sandwiches and potato chips should be placed in the same area, while coffee and tea should be served right next to desserts. Side orders and salads could be split. For example, small containers of salad could be packaged and placed on ice next to the grill, as well as stationed next to the sandwiches. Also try different varieties of cream cheese next to bagels, or fresh fruit and whipped cream next to cake and ice cream. Coffee and tea is a great partner to bakery items. Sales of beautifully packaged coffee will soar when placed next to bakery items.

4. Use the cash-wrap area

The cash-wrap area is prime real estate for merchandising. Proper merchandising of additional retail products at the cash-wrap area will help you increase average checks. Use your cash-wrap area for last minute sales of coffee, soda, desserts, candies and chocolate bars, and create an irresistible display of goods that customers cannot refuse.

5. Proper signage points the way to increased revenues

Proper signage can help you tell customers what you need to tell them when you are unable to offer them personal attention. It is very important to be clean, concise and to the point when designing the signage for your operation. Make it as easy as possible for customers to purchase food items by providing proper signage that inform your customers about your products so they will buy them. Signage can be displayed in all shapes and sizes, and should be used accordingly. Use branded mini cards to label and price your products, and write short descriptions of the item detailing the ingredients you used or your cooking method. If you insist on handwriting your signs, be sure to make them legible and graphically appealing.

Nutraceutical Ginseng Benefits and Side Effects

Nutraceuticals are defined as foods which provide significant medical and health benefits to the user. One of the most commonly used nutraceuticals is ginseng as it contains many health benefits. The two main types of ginseng today, American and Asian, and they have different active ingredients, with panaxosides for the American variety and ginsenosides for the Asian variety. Siberian ginseng contains different active components than the two main types but have the same anti-stress properties. Nutraceutical effects of ginseng differs in quality between products due to the variation of active ingredients between them. Some nutraceutical ginseng benefits are mitigated when additives such as the mandrake root (induces vomiting) or banned drugs such as phenylbutazone are mixed into the ginseng formulation by unscrupulous manufacturers.

Nutraceutical ginseng is available in many forms such as the roots, extracts, ginseng solutions, capsules and also as additives in cosmetics, soda and tea. Many people claim that continually taking ginseng benefits their sexual libido, increases their energy and enhance their work environment by increasing physical and mental performance. Ginseng has also been reported to decrease blood sugar of diabetics and increase the High Density Lipoprotein or good cholesterol in the body. Taking ginseng supplements daily also causes an increase in hemoglobin and protein levels in the body.

However, as much as ginseng benefits the user tremendously, there are some side effects that need to be taken into account. Although one of the nutraceutical ginseng benefits is the lowering of blood sugar, this may cause problems when the user is taking diabetic drugs at the same time as it may lead to hypoglycaemia. Regular ginseng supplements have also been noted to cause nervousness and excitability and thus affects the overall concentration level of the person. Ginseng side effects also include headaches, allergy, insomnia, and causes digestive problems for some people. An estrogen-like effect has also been observed of ginseng so its use in pregnant women and children should be avoided. Some users have also reported that ginseng increases their asthma problems and increases blood pressure.

In the scientific literature, the nutraceutical ginseng benefits and side effects have been widely studied and this herb has one of the most extensive reviews and studies done on it. Researchers have noted several possible pharmaceutical drug interactions with ginseng which can include aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), corticosteroids, estrogen enhancing drugs and hypoglycaemic drugs which are used to treat diabetic patients. It is thus a requirement to advise your health care professional if you are including ginseng in your daily diet for its various enhancements.

In conclusion, nutraceutical ginseng benefits definitely outweighs its side effects. Yet it is advisable for the user to study its drug interactions and side effects before considering to include ginseng into their regular diets.

Organic Interior Designs

Organic design of interiors uses natural elements for creating those designs by minimal usage of synthetic materials. An organic decorator should be aware of the type of natural elements available in the market and in nature which can be used to replace those synthetic decorators. It will be quite challenging for usual indoor decorators to turn to eco-friendly interior decorators.

Now a days green or organic interior decoration is not very much accepted by the people around the world. But more than 70% of the people around the world would like to live a life which is close to nature. The reason i am telling is because, when looking the travel statistics around the world people are choosing destinations which are close to nature for their holidays. People love nature and likes to have fresh intake of oxygen. Fresh air is not available in big cities and in artificially ventilated interiors. So people are traveling to those ecological and nature friendly places spend at least some days in a year. Which type of room would you love to live in through out your lifespan whether it is an artificially created room or in a room which is filled with natural light and with a breeze of natural air.

Many people think that green interior decorating is being utilized by those who don’t want to spend much money on their interiors. People who are willing to spend much money on their interiors think that their interior will feel unusual if their turn to organic interior decorating. It is a fact that people used to return to those indoors which are organically designed than those with synthetically designed indoors. Moreover people living inside organic designed interiors have got less friction and differences among them when compared to people living in synthetically designed interiors. Organic interior design can create that ambience inside a room which can create a sense of tranquility and serenity inside the rooms.With some simple measures and changes synthetically designed rooms can be changed to organic. Organically designed interiors are decorated in such a way that it should provide that much need calm and rejuvenation for mind and soul. After all what we need for our homes or office interiors is peace of mind.

Organic interior design has become relevant in today’s world because of the amount of pollution happening in our cities. Every day people are adding more air conditioners to their rooms. Many research have proved that emissions from these air conditioners is one of the reason for climate change. Organic interior decorators around the world are having the opinion that people are gradually thinking about organic interior designs for their rooms.

Inviting Mother Nature into the home through home design is an exceptional way to get back to basics while infusing a house with warmth, color, purpose and practicality. We were originally organic to begin with, so why not keep up the tradition of peace, harmony and health.

Allure the pacifying Mother Nature into your indoors through organic interior design is an exceptional way to get back to basics while incorporating a home or office interior with warmth, color, purpose and practicality. Our ancestors lived an organic life, so why not keep up the tradition of peace, harmony and health.

Nursing Informatics – Integrating Health Care With Information Technology

What is Nursing Informatics?

Nursing Informatics is the integration of clinical nursing with information management and computer processes. It is a relatively new focus in health care that combines nursing skills with information technology expertise. Nurse informatics specialists manage and communicate nursing data and information to improve decision making by consumers, patients, nurses and other health care providers.

The nursing process has four main steps: planning, implementation, evaluation, and assessment. However, because information management is integrated into the nursing process and practice, some nursing communities identify a fifth step in the nursing process: documentation. Documentation and patient-centered care are the core components of the nursing process. Automated documentation is vitally important, not just for nursing, but for all patient care. Up-to-date, accurate information at each step of the nursing process is the key to safe, high quality patient-centered care.

The successful implementation of information systems in nursing and health care requires the following: First, it is necessary to have well designed systems that support the nursing process within the culture of an organization. The second requirement is having the acceptance and integration of information systems into the regular workflow of the nursing process and patient care. Finally, it is important to have resources that can support the previously mentioned factors. One of the most effective and valuable resources a healthcare organization can add is a Nurse informatics specialists.

Nursing Informatics Specialists

Nursing Informatics Specialists are expert clinicians with an extensive clinical practice background. These individuals have experience in utilizing and implementing the nursing process. These nurses have excellent analytical and critical thinking skills. They also understand the patient care delivery workflow and integration points for automated documentation. Having additional education and experience with information systems is also important for this occupation. Finally, Nursing Informaticists are excellent project managers because of the similarity between the project management process and the nursing process.

To be competitive in this field one should become familiar with relational databases by taking a class about database structure. They should also become competent and comfortable with MS Office, especially Excel, Access and Visio.

Why these jobs are Important to Healthcare?

Nurse and health informatics bring a great deal of value to patients and the health care system. Some examples of how they provide value include:

  • Provide Support to the nursing work processes using technology
  • Increasing the accuracy and completeness of nursing documentation
  • Improving the nurse’s workflow
  • Automating the collection and reuse of nursing data
  • Facilitating analysis of clinical data
  • Providing nursing content to standardized languages

HIMSS and RHIO

To provide some background on the field of healthcare/nursing informatics, there are some governing bodies for this field. The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) is the main governing body for health care and nursing informatics professionals. This group, formed in 2004, has the following four goals: NI awareness, education, resources (including websites), and RHIO (Regional Health Information Organization).

RHIOs are also known as Community Health Information Networks (CHINs). These are the networks that connect physicians, hospitals, laboratories, radiology centers and insurance companies.They all share and transmit patient information electronically through a secure system. Those organizations that are a part of RHIOs have a business interest in improving the quality of healthcare being administered.

Steps to a Job in This Field

To enter into the nursing informatics field, typically you need a minimum of a four year degree. There are specific health informatics degrees available. Earning your Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN) is also a requirement before sitting for the ANCC certifications test for Nursing Informatics. Some individuals start with just a two year degree or diploma, but continue on to earn their BSN before becoming certified. Although there are several different routes for getting into the field, the most favored manner is to earn a Master’s in Nursing Informatics from the start, however, most individuals start their career prior to earning their master’s degree.

Most nurses who are in the informatics field start in a specialty area, such as the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), Perioperative Services (OR), Med-Surg, Orthopedic Nursing, or Oncology, just to name a few, and work in that specialty field for an extended period. Working in a specialty area helps nurses get to know the normal working processes and routines as well as understand the patient care process in their specialty. They usually are experts at their specialty and then develop interests in computerized documentation or some other technological healthcare focus. They then tend to gradually move into an information systems clinical support role.

If you have an interest in nursing and technology, this might be a career that can match both of these skills into one rewarding job.