For almost a decade, one of the buzzwords in nursing education has been TIGER. As information technology continues to evolve and revolutionize the way nurses do their jobs, TIGER was developed to help provide a foundation for nursing as it moves into the future.
TIGER is the Technology Informatics Guiding Education Reform Initiative, and it was designed to address skills that all nurses will need in the 21st century. All nurses are going to have to be at least competent in informatics, from basic computer skills to advanced-level information technology and literacy expertise.
More than 100 nursing leaders representing 70 organizations met to define a unified, collective vision for the future. On Nov. 1, 2006, the TIGER Summit participants defined steps that the nursing profession can take to better prepare the nursing workforce to use technology and informatics with the goal of improving the delivery of patient care.
Phase II of the TIGER initiative, which ran from 2007-2009, saw work groups focusing on the specifics of what nurses need to know, with emphasis on nine topics crucial to the future of nursing:
- Standards and Interoperability
- Healthcare Information Technology National Agenda/Policy
- Informatics Competencies
- Education and Faculty Development
- Staff Development/Continuing Education
- Usability/Clinical Application Design
- Virtual Demonstration Center
- Leadership Development
- Consumer Empowerment/Personal Health Record
The work of those groups has led TIGER to initiate a virtual learning environment project in order to improve the adoption of IT, as well as to create an international presence for the organization.
Among other Phase II recommendations were:
- The development of a U.S. nursing workforce able to use electronic health records (EHR) with the goal of improving delivery of healthcare
- Working with clinicians in the development of a Nationwide Health Information Technology infrastructure
- Promoting and furthering the use of standards-based, interoperable, patient-centered technology to improve the delivery of healthcare by making it safer, more timely, more accessible and more efficient.
TIGER is continuing its efforts to refine and improve its mission, most recently with the 2014 report, “The Leadership Imperative: TIGER’s Recommendations for Integrating Technology to Transform Practice and Education.”
The report’s forward was written by Dr. Angela Barron McBride, a registered nurse and the author of the textbook “The Growth and Development of Nurse Leaders.”
In the forward, McBride writes that the question for TIGER and the nursing profession in general is how to bring about real, long-term change.
The answer, she writes, is “nurse leaders knowledgeable about how information technology can help redesign practices so that they are standardized, evidence-based and clinically integrated, and reinforce the values of a caring culture.”
The goal is to reform clinician education curriculum through the integration of IT, information literacy and informatics, and to develop and implement learning innovations, as well as to foster faculty development and to ensure universities and providers have the necessary health IT education infrastructure.
The TIGER Initiative Foundation, “The Leadership Imperative: TIGER’s Recommendations for Integrating Technology to Transform Practice and Education”