Edmund J.Y. Pajarillo, Ph.D., associate professor in the College of Nursing and Public Health, had been a patient service manager for the Queens Regional Office of the Visiting Nurse Service of New York Home Care for a year when, in 1998, he was promoted to the position of regional compliance officer, a job he held for the next nine years. It was that experience that became the inspiration for his doctoral dissertation—“Contextual Perspectives of Information for Home Care Nurses: Towards a Framework of Nursing Information Behavior (NIB).”
“Early in my career I supervised a nurse who was writing unsatisfactory reports that resulted in denials in service reimbursement,” he recalled. “She was doing things the way she’d been trained, but her training was no longer appropriate at that particular time. Her ability to access and process information appropriately was seriously outdated and flawed. So when I began working on my Ph.D., every paper I wrote focused on this issue.”
In the decade since he wrote his dissertation, the importance of NIB has continued to command Dr. Pajarillo’s attention. Summarizing his research interests, he has written, “Nursing informatics, leadership and mentoring are pillars of my clinical scholarship. The three complement each other.”
It is toward patient safety that all of his work is directed. “As informational needs arise, how do nurses think about information?” he asked, rhetorically. “What sources— paper, human or electronic—do they look to for answers? And how do they process information when they receive it? How do they apply it to patient care? If they cannot identify informational gaps or determine the best ways to fill them, then they may jeopardize care and be unable to help the patient.”
To Adelphi, he brings a wealth of research and clinical experience obtained both here and in his native Philippines. As director and program proponent of the Consortium of Peer Researchers & Authors, he has helped to establish a collaboration between U.S.-based faculty and the College of Nursing at the University of the Philippines to partner in global research and scholarly initiatives and broadened awareness of nurses and nursing students about the relevance and use of nursing informatics. Currently he is a visiting professor of the Thailand Red Cross College of Nursing, conducting collaborative research with its faculty. Last year he was named a fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine.
At Adelphi, his work with both baccalaureate students and graduate students reflects his research on information or evidence-driven practice. “I do a lot of systems analysis work, drilling into the students’ education the emphasis on critical thinking,” he said. “I challenge students to become analytical when looking at healthcare processes and designs. I emphasize the importance of informatics to ensure patient safety and quality of care.”