Sunday, June 15, 2008

26th Annual Nursing Computer and Technology Conference

The 26th Annual International Nursing Computer and Technology Conference was held June 4-7 at Bally’s Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. Good attendance, great speakers, and wonderful weather made it a delightful time. Ramona Nelson, PhD, RN, FAAN, ANEF was the recipient of the Recognition Award for the Advancement of Computer Technology in Healthcare. A well deserved recognition for someone who has been involved in informatics and touched many lives in her career. While Ramona will be retiring from active teaching, she will still be very busy consulting and writing.

There were four outstanding keynote speakers. All spoke of the evolution of clinical computing and the need for clinician education as well as the need to adapt technology to the workflow of nurses. MP3 files of their presentations and hopefully video to include their slides will be posted on the Rutgers CPD website. They’re not posted as of June 15, 2008, but please visit the site for more information

The Opening Plenary Session speaker was Joyce Sensmeier, MS, RN, who is VP for Informatics at HIMSS. She spoke on the Tiger Initiative: Implications for Nursing Service and Nursing Education. Two websites of note are the Tiger Summit and the accompany SIG wiki Joyce spoke of the need to codify and promote informatics competencies in nursing students, faculty and staff.

Janet Grady, DrPH, RN, spoke on “Using Innovations in Technology to Advance Nursing Practice and Education. She presented a number of education initiatives and examples from the Nursing Telehealth Applications Initiative . Two of special interest were a program to help teenage diabetics visualize variations in their blood glucose levels and a “Virtual Clinical Practicum ® ” between Mount Aloysius College and Walter Reed Army Medical Center as well as Brooke Army Medical Center.

After the networking dinner there was a bus tour through Las Vegas to see the lights and sites that included a stop at the light show on Freemont Street. This was the main gambling area of “Old Las Vegas” and is now a pedestrian only area with nightly light shows on a huge screen running the length of the street. Very impressive!

On the second day of the conference the opening keynote speaker was Carole A Gassert, PhD, RN, FACMI, FAAN who presentation “Technological Solutions to Nurse Workflow Inefficiencies” addressed the study by the American Academy of Nursing supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The study involved a “drill down” approach to determine clinical technology needs. The data is still being analyzed and will be published soon. The Academy website is at .

The endnote speaker was Judy Murphy, RN, FACMI, FHIMSS from the Aurora Health System in Wisonsin with her talk entitled “What Nurses/Students/Faculty Will Need to Know When Practicing in an EPR Envirioment: Future Predictions”. Judy spoke of the challenges and barriers to adopting health information technology in the clinical environment and the types and prevalence of technologies being fielded. A key point was the need to appropriately plan and educate before implementing technology and to always remember that technology is only a means to improving quality patient care, not an end unto itself.

My presentations were well received and a couple of the attendees have begun to create a Personal Learning Environment using Pageflakes and have begun investigating social networking sites.

Next year’s Rutgers conference will be in Washington, DC. Check the Rutgers website for abstract submission information, dates, and a final venue location.


Sarah Stewart said...

Glad your presentation went well. I have just been to a social networking conference which was interesting. I looked at how social networking could be used for mentoring. I was so relieved to get it done - I was very nervous, although I have no idea why.

Can you clarify the term 'health informatics' for me. I tend to think of that term just about databases, patient records and so on. Does blogging, wiki etc fit into the informatics as well?

Bill Perry said...

Hi Sarah,

I like the wikipedia definition of health informatics ( which says "the intersection of information science, computer science, and health care. It deals with the resources, devices, and methods required to optimize the acquisition, storage, retrieval, and use of information in health and biomedicine. Health informatics tools include not only computers but also clinical guidelines, formal medical terminologies, and information and communication systems."

Nursing informatics has been described as the intersection of nursing science, computer science and cognitive science.

The focus is how healthcare providers collect, process, store, retrieve and use information for patient care, as well as communication, collaboration,education and research.