The Missing Link: Nurse Informatician

Lt. Col. Myong Woo is the first Army nurse informatician in theater to provide quality assurance for nurses, commanders, and health services systems management personnel. Currently, she is assigned to the Task Force Medical in Afghanistan with a dual role as the theater Chief Medical Information Officer (CMIO).

Her primary efforts are targeted at improving user interaction with the deployed system at the data mining and aggregation endpoint. This means that her role as theater CMIO is to understand all the factors contributing to system interoperability and ensure that health data captured across the battlefield is available to medical experts and decision makers.

Today, there are multiple systems and applications in theater that perform different functions and are integrated to some degree. This requires Woo to have a very good foundation in informatics, which enables her to understand the intricacies of each system’s architecture to help to meet the information needs of the medical decision makers.

Woo is currently working on monitoring the workflow process to advise the surgeons and decision makers across theater regarding the number of blast and concussion injuries that have been reported

She is also making certain that all clinical documentation is included in the electronic medical records. Certain clinical notes are written by hand on paper flow sheets which are not a part of the current EMR workflow and are not yet being scanned into service member’s EMR. Today, copies of these health artifacts are placed into enveloped to travel with the patient. However, Woo can’t confirm what happens to this documentation afterwards so minimizing loose paper work is her goal.

At the end of her tour, she is going to provide MEDCOM with a report regarding the results of her work along with recommendations on how to sustain the nurse informatician position within the theater. If the assessment indicates that this role needs to be sustained, the strategy will be to work that goal out at the top and make it a permanent position. According to Woo, this will probably take a couple of years since they will need to justify the position.


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