Application: Using the Data/Information/Knowledge/Wisdom Continuum
Have you ever gone online to search for a journal article on a specific topic? It is amazing to see the large number of journals that are available in the health care field. When you view the library in its entirety, you are viewing untapped data. Until you actually research for your particular topic, there is little structure. Once you have narrowed it down, you have information and once you apply the information, you have knowledge. Eventually, after thoughtful research and diligent practice, you reach the level of wisdom—knowledge applied in meaningful ways.
Are there areas in your practice that you believe should be more fully explored? The central aims of nursing informatics are to manage and communicate data, information, knowledge, and wisdom. This continuum represents the overarching structure of nursing informatics. In this Assignment, you develop a research question relevant to your practice area and relate how you would work through the progression from data to information, knowledge, and wisdom.
• Review the information in Figure 6-2 in Nursing Informatics and the Foundation of Knowledge by Dee McGonigle and Kathleen Garver Mastrian.
• Develop a clinical question related to your area of practice that you would like to explore.
• how can we prevent aspiration pneumonia in patients with ventilators?
• Consider what you currently know about this topic. What additional information would you need to answer the question?
• Using the continuum of data, information, knowledge, and wisdom, determine how you would go about researching your question.
o Explore the available databases in the Walden Library. Identify which of these databases you would use to find the information or data you need. (Medline and Cinahl is what I use the most from our library)
o Once you have identified useful databases, how would you go about finding the most relevant articles and information?
o Consider how you would extract the relevant information from the articles.
o How would you take the information and organize it in a way that was useful? How could you take the step from simply having useful knowledge to gaining wisdom?
Write a 3- to 4-page paper that addresses the following:
• Summarize the question you developed, and then relate how you would work through the four steps of the data, information, knowledge, wisdom continuum. Be specific.
o Identify the databases and search words you would use.
o Relate how you would take the information gleaned and turn it into useable knowledge.
• Can informatics be used to gain wisdom? Describe how you would progress from simply having useful knowledge to the wisdom to make decisions about the information you have found during your database search.