Wednesday, March 03, 2010

ITCH 2011

I've just heard about the Information Technology and Communications in Health (ITCH) which will be held February 24 - 27, 2011, Inn at Laurel Point, Victoria, BC Canada.

I'd not heard of this conference before but the current call for papers looks interesting.

Health Informatics: International Perspectives is the working theme for the 2011 international conference. Health informatics is now a global phenomenon, supporting the organization and delivery of healthcare across the globe, both in developing and developed countries. Health Informatics: International Perspectives will provide a unique opportunity to focus on international comparisons. There are major lessons to be learnt by both developed and developing communities as health informatics becomes ever more central to the organization and delivery of healthcare across the globe.

Topics presented will range from the design, development and use of specific information communication technologies from a national and international perspective. Submissions are also welcomed addressing, but not limited to, the following areas of interest:
* Health Informatics in Developing Countries
* Initiatives in International Health Informatics
* National & International Strategies and Policies
* Health Records
* Nursing Informatics
* Technologies as Agents of Change
* Informatics in Primary Care
* Public Health Informatics
* Ethics and Privacy
* Safety and Quality Management
* Mobile Technologies and Telehealth
* Clinical Informatics
* Human-Computer Interaction
* Standardization and Interoperability
* E-Learning and Education
* Consumer Informatics
* Healthcare Modeling and Simulation

Persons interested in presenting should submit completed papers to the ITCH 2011 Steering Committee no later than June 30, 2010.

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Tuesday, February 09, 2010

New Health Informatics Specialist Workforce Development Strategy for England

A new Health Informatics Specialist Workforce Development Strategy for England is being developed, based on research and intelligence gathered from across the NHS and other key stakeholder groups and organisations. The aim is to have a draft ready for consultation in May/June 2010.

To help inform the content and to test out ideas and assumptions, two workshops are to take place aiming to bring together a cross-section of stakeholders from a wide range of groups, disciplines and levels. The workshops will be open to those working in and working for the NHS with a vested interest in informatics workforce development. Places will be limited to 50 and will be offered on a “first come, first served” basis.

Who should attend?

The workshops are aimed at: Health Informatics specialists working in and for the NHS, at all levels (Information Management, ICT, Health Records, Clinical Coding, Libraries and Knowledge Management, Education, Training and Development staff, Clinical Informaticians, Project and Programme Managers - including senior managers and leaders from all disciplines).

They are also keen to involve other stakeholders from non-Informatics professions, such as Directors of Finance, Directors of Commissioning, Human Resource and Workforce Planning leads, Public Health Intelligence staff, other Healthcare Scientists and professional bodies.

They would very much welcome your input into this strategy and welcome your attendance at either of the workshops. Please follow the links below to register.

Thursday 25th Feb, Friends House, Euston Road, London, to book your place, please use this link-

Thursday 4th March, National Railway Museum, York, to book your place, please use this link -

If you have any queries, please contact


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Revised IMIA Education Recommendations Published

Revised IMIA Education Recommendations Published

The International Medical Informatics Association (IMIA) have recently published revised recommendations on Education in Biomedical and Health Informatics. It can be downloaded from the Schattauer web site

The 16 page document is the culmination of several years work by experts from around the world and provides the first update since the IMIA guidelines were first published in 1999. It includes a review of major publications in the field and tries to draw together developments from significant fields and applies these to identify the knowledge and skills needed in the area. The recommendations focus on the educational preparation needed for specialists in Biomedical and Health Informatics, but also suggests areas and competencies for Continuing Professional Development courses and initial education for clinicians.

I am not aware of any programme which achieves everything that is recomended, but dows provide a useful basis for those developing or revisiong educational provision in the area.

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Clinical Education and Development Lead to develop and lead the ‘Embedding Informatics Clinical Education’ (eICE) programme

Clinical Education and Development Lead to develop and lead the ‘Embedding Informatics Clinical Education’ (eICE) programme

NHS Connecting for Health (or whatever their acronym is this week) are re-advertising the vacancy for a one year secondment to the post of Clinical Education and Development Lead to develop and lead the ‘Embedding Informatics Clinical Education’ (eICE) programme of work. The post will now be a secondment and they are happy to consider applicants who want to apply on a part time basis whilst maintaining other commitments.

The full advertisement and application form is available on NHS Jobs (job reference 930-CR5081) at

The job description says "The successful post holder will design and implement a health informatics clinical education strategy for the NHS and will therefore probably come from either a strategic workforce development or a clinical education background. The post holder will be a strong communicator, influencer and tactician and have a strong track record in managing small teams to deliver high quality outcomes. He or she will need to demonstrate both credibility and passion about the importance of informatics in clinical practice."

If it wasn't only available as a "secondment opportunity for NHS employees" and wasn't based in Leeds I might have been interested in applying for this one.

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Monday, August 17, 2009

Health informatics survey

Are you involved in health informatics teaching or research?
Can you contribute your views to a new survey?

The aim of the survey is to validate the rationale and methods of a literature review of theory in health informatics. The survey is directed primarily at the UK academic community in health informatics, though other health informatics practitioners are also welcome to participate.

The survey has 25 questions and should take no more than 10 minutes to complete. Three participants will be randomly selected to win a 250 MB USB stick.

The survey is available online here and will remain open until mid September 2009.

If you have any queries about the survey please contact

Dr Philip Scott
Senior Lecturer
School of Computing
University of Portsmouth

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

NHS CLINICAL INFO-MART 13th January 2010 Bristol

The UK Faculty of Health Informatics is organising a NHS CLINICAL INFO-MART

This will be an opportunity to share innovations and experiences in the field of clinical informatics that make a difference to patient care

Tuesday 13th January
Waterside, Watershed, Bristol

The UK Faculty of Health Informatics, in conjunction with Bristol Royal Infirmary’s Paediatric Intensive Care Unit and the University of the West of England, would like to invite you to participate in a new opportunity to share Best Practice in the clinical informatics arena in a NHS Clinical Info-Mart.

At our first Info-Mart we plan to cover 5 main areas of huge interest, potential and often frustration for NHS staff. These are:

1. E-prescribing in secondary care
2. Clinical incident reporting systems
3. The development and use of community based information systems spanning across mental health, long term conditions and social care
4. Clinical Audit databases that are intuitive and interoperable
5. Tools and approaches to improve the accuracy of Clinical Coding

Although other relevant topics are likely to be discussed.

The features of the proposed info-mart are distinct from existing conferences and trade exhibitions in that it is:

* Clinically focused – the issues that we are trying to share or find solutions and lessons learned are led from a clinical viewpoint rather than a technical or sales perspective
* Focused on real experience of what already works – too often NHS staff have felt frustrated by Suppliers promoting technical developments that haven’t actually yet been deployed. This info-mart is designed to share what has already been tried and tested in different parts of the NHS across the UK from a clinical/service perspective
* Free of charge – the event is funded by the UK Faculty of Health Informatics and your personal details used when registering will not be shared with any other suppliers i.e. no follow-up sales calls or invitations to demonstrations
* Provides access to established Communities of Practice – if you want to progress ideas or issues more you will be able to sign up for free membership of an on-line community based on the Department of Health’s Informatics Directorate’s eSpace platform to keep in touch with other people that you have met on the day.

Format and structure:

Although the info-mart will be open all day from 9.30am until 5pm, unless you are a presenter or exhibitor you only need to attend when you wish to or are free to.

Presentations on each of the 5 main themes will take place at the following times in a separate auditorium adjacent to the info-mart as follows:

10am until 11am E-prescribing – solutions that work within secondary care settings
11am until 12 noon Clinical incident reporting systems
12 noon until 1pm The development and use of community based information systems spanning across mental health, long term conditions and social care
2pm until 3pm Clinical Audit databases that are intuitive and interoperable
3pm until 4pm Tools and approaches to improve the accuracy of Clinical Coding

The event is designed for NHS staff working in Medical, Nursing, Pharmacy, AHP, Social Care, Informatics, Senior Management, Communications or Education and Training roles

Organisation and next steps:

The event has been organised by 5 members of the UK Faculty of Health Informatics.
If you would like to discuss any specific aspects of the event then please contact:

Peter Murphy – Consultant Anaesthetist, Bristol Royal Hospital for Children,

Rod Ward - Senior Lecturer, UWE Tel: 0117 32 88477,

Dr Steven Sale - Consultant Anaesthetist, Bristol Royal Hospital for Children,

Tony Solomonides – Reader, UWE,

Bruce Elliott – Co-ordinator of the UK Faculty of HI/ Programme Manager – HID NHS CFH, Tel: 0778 6705 955,

If you would like to share your experiences at the event or wish to attend please contact by 31st October 2009.

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Friday, June 19, 2009

Education in health informatics seminar

Today I attended an interesting seminar themed around Education in Health Informatics jointly organised and hosted by the University of the West of England and ideal training services.

The day was chaired by Peter J Murphy a consultant anaesthetist at the Bristol Children's Hospital, and executive member of the UK Faculty of Health Informatics who set the scene by comparing his experiences at a paperless hospital in the US with the current situation in the NHS - and outlining the challenges inherent in preparing the workforce of today and tomorrow for work in a more technologically advanced environment.

The first speaker was Kevin Foreman representing the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at UWE. He described the university and its plans for expansion before moving on to discuss the varied partnerships. He was able to give a personal history related to health informatics research and education over the last 10 years and emphsised it's importance for the NHS workforce and university developments.

Di Millen, the Head of Informatics at NHS Connecting for Health discussed the need for clinical education and career frameworks in health informatics. She emphasised the role of informatics in quality and safety improvement. She revisited the Learning to Manage Health Information - a theme for clinical education document which was relaunched in March. She also gave an overview of the Prefessionalising Health Informatics web site and the recently launched Career Pathways and Career Development strategy from Connecting for Health.

The next speaker was Jane Hadfield, Assistant Director, Learning and Development, North Bristol NHS Trust. She discussed the importance of using informatics to empower patients to make choices and for business intelligence. She discussed the differences in approach which may be suitable for staff from Generation X and Generation Y The tools in use at NBT including the Managed Learning Environment and NHS Elite to prepare staff for new IT systems was also outlined.

After coffee I gave a presentation and demonstration of the use of the Cerner Academic Education Solution with nursing students at UWE.

The next speaker was Andy Raynes from Ideal Training who gave an overview of the company and then focused on the Care Information Systems User Competencies and Qualifications (CIS UCQ™) which they offer. It offers individuals and organisations a flexible portfolio of courses which are externally validated and quality assured. At the end of his presentation Kevin Foreman and Chris Brimble, Managing Director of IDEAL presented an award as "CIS UCQ student of the year" to Sue Tabberer who is now enrolled on the BSc Professional practice at UWE.

The final presentation of the morning was Tony Solomonides a reader in the Bristol Institute of Technology, UWE who gave a historical perspective on the development of the MSc Health Informatics at the university.

Kevin then concluded the morning with some reflections on the issues raised.

The afternoon consisted of presentations from consultants such as Ben Breeze from PerotSystems and Jill Denene from the Community and Mental Health Business Unit at BT related to the implementation of the RiO software into mental health trusts in the south of England.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Next week (28 June – 1 July) will see the NI2009 conference (10th International Congress in Nursing Informatics) taking place in Helsinki Finland.

The programme looks interesting covering:

Nursing Informatics – Connecting Health and Humans

• Individualized Care with Interoperable Information Systems
• Improvement in Health Care Governance
• Innovative Education Transforming Future Health Care
• Increasing Nursing Knowledge through Data Warehouses

The Congress Program will consist of the following 10 themes:

1. Clinical Workflow and Human Interface

2. Patient Safety

3. Consumer Health Informatics and Personal Health Records

4. Education for Consumers and Professionals

5. Evidence Based Practice and Decision Support

6. Health Information Technology

7. National eHealth Initiatives across the Globe

8. Patient Preferences and Quality of Care

9. Strategies and Methods for HIT Training

10. Terminology, Standards and NMDSs

Unfortunately I will not be attending, however my colleagues will be reporting via a variety of media and I will try to keep up with developments via blogs, Facebook, twitter etc. Full details are available on the Health Informatics Blogs Portal.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Education in health informatics seminar – Friday 19 June 2009, UWE, Bristol

You are warmly invited to join us on Friday 19 June at the University of West of England for a seminar on education in health informatics.

Responding to both the current and future needs of education in health informatics remains a considerable yet exciting challenge. New healthcare technology is available in many Trusts and PCTs nationally. Clinical and non clinical staff need to be equipped with the appropriate knowledge and skills to support organisational change and realise the true benefits of eHealth.

We are delighted to announce that Di Millen, Head of Informatics at NHS Connecting for Health, will be presenting on the recent relaunch of ‘Learning to Manage Health Information – a theme for clinical education’. For more information, please see:

Jane Hadfield, Director of Human Resources, North Bristol Trust will discuss informatics in workforce development.

We also have speakers from Ideal and UWE who are working collaboratively to address local educational challenges.

Now that the new contract has been signed with BT for the provision of RiO in the South, many PCTs and MHTs will be planning their RiO implementaion project. We would urge you to stay for the afternoon RiO workshop.

The afternoon programme will cover key aspects involved in planning and running your RiO roll out. Jill de Bene, Southern Delivery Director, Community & Mental Health Business Unit, BT is supporting the event and will offer guidance on effective working with your LSP.

To book your place or to request further details, please contact Matthew Bartlett on 01483 453508 or email

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Centre for Health Informatics Open Evening

The Centre for Health Informatics, City University London are holding an Open Evening on 12 May 2009 (6pm-9pm).

The evening is designed to showcase activities in the Centre including:
Invited talks by
Peter Knight (Programme Director of NHS Connecting for Health's Research Capability Programme)
Prof Denis Protti (University of Victoria, Canada)
Specialist presentations by
Prof Jonathan Kay (CHI, John Radcliffe Hospital)
John Chelsom (CHI, Eleven Informatics)
Stuart Rowe (Pan Thames Paediatric Intensive Care (PICU) Network NHS)
Current research projects
Masters in Health Informatics and Healthcare Technologies

For further information go to:


Thursday, March 26, 2009

UK Fac HI Think Tank

Today I took another trip to London, this time for a UK Faulty of Health Informatics Think Tank at the Cass Business School, City University.

Bev Ellis took on the unenviable task of trying to chair the day and she welcomed participants, including Faculty board members and Peter Knight from Connecting for Health and set out the aims for the day around sharing research. She highlighted the importance of the networks which the faculty provides and facilitates and highlighted why the work is particularly relevant now following the statement in the Darzi review of the NHS related to research and change management aspects.

“We will continue to transform health research in the NHS by implementing, consolidating and building on the Government’s strategy, Best Research for Best Health, for the benefit of patients and the public. Our researchers have made a great contribution and will continue to do so. However, too often innovation has been defined narrowly, focusing solely on research, when in fact innovation is a broader concept, encompassing clinical practice and service design. Service innovation means people at the frontline finding better ways of caring for patients – improving outcomes, experiences and safety. In this country, we have a proud record of invention, but we lag behind in systematic uptake even of our own inventions”

Professor the Lord Darzi of Denham KBE Hon FREng, FMedSci – High Quality Care for All – NHS Next Stage Review Final Report – July 2008

Bev argued that innovation is defined too narrowly and needed to widen this to take on board the importance of “what works”. The event’s main objectives are to:

1. To identify how existing Health Informatics research undertaken by students and NHS staff could be accessed, used and applied more effectively to further improve services.

2. To ensure that future research into the impact of technology and other good informatics practice in patient care can be stimulated in order to provide an improved evidence base to assess the value of Informatics in healthcare.

3. To ensure that concerns and obstacles over the effective and safe use of data for wider Health research are addressed and overcome.

The day centered around draft reports and presentations from 5 teams who had received faculty grants and will be making their full and final reports available next week.

The first presentation was by Jean Roberts from UCLAN (Grant 5) whose position paper addressed “Working even more effectively with key stakeholders to better support existing HI R&D programmes and to facilitate improved access to UK and European funding sources of funding for HI related R&D”. Her work described the situation with research funders who have eclectic rules with no clear patterns. She shared some tricks and tools for research bid creation to get research funding from a range of sources – when the criteria can undergo sea changes, and are not always declared or consistent. Her analogy was scrabbling in the volatile mud to find them he nuggets and highlighted some of the tensions and benefits inherent in the research funding process. She suggested the faculty may have a role in the dissemination of calls etc and reflection afterwards whether successful or otherwise. Examples were given from the ESRC and others emphasising the need to show strategic & national significance and further exploration of the balance between pure scientific merit & health needs. The Q&A/discussion touched on applied v pure research, the different funders & procedures, Pre & post 1992 universities differences, HI bids submitted under various other banners and sustainability.

The next speaker was Susan Clamp on behalf of a team, including Richard Jones and Mark Hawker from the Yorkshire Centre for Health Informatics, on their work “Overcoming barriers to the safe use of patient data for Research and Development between the NHS and Higher Education”. She set the context emphasising the information intensive nature of medicine and issues of change management and Evidence Based Medicine. She set out government commitments to make the NHS research based including the role of the Secondary Uses Service (information Centre) and the use of electronic records. The current picture with Cancer Registries databases and the similar incompatible and unconnected demographic sources, and separate data collection for trials was described as being very expensive. She also described current work by the National Institutes of Health Research (NIHR), various funders etc and the need for a rationale and streamlined process. The Electronic Health Record was seen as providing a solution to these problems.

Clinical trials & identifying participants – numerous databases but not connected. There was some mention of anonymisation & pseudanonmisation, confidentiality & security but these were not the focus of the work – but triggered the majority of the discussion. Comparisons were drawn with US and Danish cohort studies. She also argued that modules and other education for clinicians about demographic databases was needed. The projects recommendations were around educating and challenging executive leaders, middle-ranking research leaders and influencing grant forms and the like. This process was seen as needing to promote engagement suppliers. A case was made for system designers and HI staff in the NHS workforce to include research requirements aat early design stages. The debate which followed focussed on consent, confidentiality and privacy issues which are likely to figure in the current ministerial review on the use of identifiable data. Research which is informing this had found differences among different socio-economic groups in their attitudes to these issues.

I went next with a presentation of the work from a combined team between Bristol Children’s Hospital Paediatric Intensive Care Unit and the University of the West of England. We were funded to look at “Developing a culture of knowledge sharing across the NHS that stimulates the application of Health Informatics research and best practice.

We were followed by Frits Janssen from ITW who gave a wide ranging presentation about eh importance of knowledge sharing, the importance of NHS Informatics in delivering patient care, the support NHS Health Informatics Services need in order to facilitate UK as a world class centre for R&D, a review of NPfIT and a discussion of who the stakeholders might be while shopping for £120,000 to fund a benefits realistaion program, based on work his organisation had done with the local government sector.

The final of the 5 presentations was given by Howard Leicester (RCS Edinburgh) on the work he had undertaken with Abdul Roudsari on “improving access to, dissemination and the application of research undertaken by Health Informatics students at Masters Level in Higher Education across the United Kingdom”. He started with the best joke of the day about how if you say Health Informatician slowly it comes out as Health Info Morticians – and suggested we may be killing the stuff we are trying to gather & share.
The focus of their work was on the case for a repository for knowledge sharing based on MSc research but covered wider aspects about the size of the pool for students. They had conducted a survey of students and few were getting their work published and suggested the repository as a way of sharing it as long as the work meets some quality standards. The Q&A session discussed whether this would be setting up another specific silo, quality review processes, and the role of specialist groups etc. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to talk about the system in Wales where Informing Healthcare second students onto the part time MSc in Health Informatics at Swansea University.

The planned workshops were cancelled & turned into shorter mass debates with each team presenting one question for discussion amongst all the delegates present. This did produce a fairly wide ranging discussion however it felt a little messy with several individuals just stating again points which had been made in previous presentations and discussions with added Chasms & Tsunamis!

Concluding summaries were given by Bruce Elliot looking at the way forward for the faculty and Peter Knight who gave a connecting for health analysis of the need for health informatics skills over the next few years in the light of international competition and changes in healthcare delivery and the pharmaceutical industry changes. He also argued for the need for tangible case studies which will enthuse various stakeholders. He concluded that the work needed to continue to enhance capability and capacity in the NHS and academia.

The full reports from each of the projects will be published on espace next week and further information about the work arising from the day will be in a faculty bulletin early in April.

In general it was a useful networking day which aired a range of topical issues but if the intention was to reach a wider audience than the “usual suspects” it was probably quite limited.


Blogging Med-e-Tel 2009

As Bob Pyke has already mentioned (see post of 22 March), the Med-e-Tel 2009 conference takes place next week, 1-3 April, in Luxembourg ( Thanks to Bob's recruitment, Peter Murray will be there, and presenting in the tele-nursing session. Unoftunately, Bob will not be able to be there this year - so I'll have to wait to get the promised beer out of him ;-)

Peter will be blogging and Twittering from Med-e-Tel; blog posts will be at and tweets will be on Peter's Twitter stream ( and can be easily located by searching Twitter for the hashtag #medetel09 If you are on Twitter and want to interact, ask questions etc., then please use the hashtag in your tweets, else you might get overlooked.

As well as the 'normal' blog posts, if connectivity, energies, etc permit, then I may again try using Coveritlive to 'live blog' some of the sessions - which gives another opportunity to interact. See and other SINI2008 posts for examples of how Scott and Peter used this in Baltimore, last year.

For a flavour of Med-e-Tel, you can also look back at our colleague Scott Erdley's reports from last year's Med-e-Tel; see the med-e-tel category at

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

CfH Learning to Manage conference

Today I travelled to London for a connecting for health conference relaunching the “Learning to Manage Health Information” strategy.

Learning to Manage (LtM) was first launched in 1999 with a refresh in 2002 to set guidelines for the inclusion of health informatics into the curriculum for education for clinicians. It’s effectiveness in achieving it aims was limited and therefore it has been revised and updated. The intention of the new document is to provide guidance for educators, regulators and commissioner of education on appropriate learning outcomes for different professions at different stages of their education.

The day, which was held at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, was opened by Martin Severs, the chair of the NHS Information Standards Board. He dealt with the housekeeping issues and invited participants to comment during the final plenary – however there were no question and answers sessions for any of the speakers during the day – and the final plenary was managed to prevent “awkward” questions from the like of me – this style seems to be Connecting for Health’s way of managing potential problems at events like this. Martin briefly described some of the relevant history including the launch in 1999 of the first version of the LtM document, which, as he said was endorsed by many but acted on by few. He suggested that the emphasis, and strap line, for the National Programme for IT in the NHS had changed over that time and now was much more focused on patient safety and patient participation.

He introduced a video message from Bruce Keogh, who welcomed delegates to the conference which he considered important – although he was unable to attend in person. He also stressed the importance of good quality information underpinning patient care and suggested that in the past there had been too much data but too little useful information and hoped that today’s event would be helping to change that. He suggested that there should be a clinical information officer in each NHS organisation – although there was no detail about what there role would entail. There was also no detail about whether they would have any ability to change practice, and what sorts of knowledge and skills these people would have and where they would be recruited from. He also mentioned the development of quality observatories in each NHS region which would be able to provide relevant information, in a usable format, for clinical teams to enhance their analytical capacity.

The first keynote was given by Dr Maureen Baker, Clinical Director for Patient Safety, NHS Connecting for Health (CfH). She outlined the increasing importance of quality in NHS IT systems and made the links to the importance of these areas in education for clinical staff as well as managers. The history of the patient safety movement and some of the key documents were presented. She argued that we need to accept that human error and fallibility is inevitable, but that systems should be designed to minimise the effects of these by drawing parallels with other complex and high risk industries. She presented an example from her own practice as a GP of how the potential for errors could be built into IT systems. She leads the board which signs off software being developed for use in the NHS as being safe and outlined how this “baton of safety” is handed over once the new systems are rolled out into practice. I wanted to raise issues about the involvement of front line staff at the design stage but didn’t get the opportunity.

Di Millen, Head of Informatics Development, NHS Connecting for Health then introduced participants to the document being launched today. Learning to Manage Health Information: a theme for clinical education – Making a difference. She outlined the work which had got us to this point but suggested rather than being an end point this was a beginning of gathering examples of good practice and developing a community of practice. The information on how this new version of the document was going to influence the “real world” and strategies to implement it was sketchy – but there was no opportunity at this point to explore this further. She mentioned two key issues which come up every time she meets anyone: connection between the NHS network N3 and the JANET network used in education and the issuing of smartcards to students. She promised more on the second issue later in the day. The full text of the document should be available tomorrow at Although I’ve seen drafts of the document I shall take a little longer to review it and then post some comments on this blog. Di also briefly “dangled some carrots” for the future work including some LtM related research grants – to be administered through the UK Faculty of Health Informatics.

After the coffee break participants were invited to attend one of a variety of workshops. Obviously as I was presenting in one I can’t comment on what went on in others, which included:

• Designing a Health Informatics Teaching Session - Jeannette Murphy, Senior Research Fellow, CHIME, University College London
• Introducing Clinical Information Systems (CIS) into the undergraduate clinical curriculum Sue Clamp, Director of the Yorkshire Centre for Health Informatics
• Finding a solution to Health Informatics Educator/Teacher/Facilitator Paucity - Paula Procter, Reader in Informatics and Telematics in Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Sheffield
• Embedding record standards in the undergraduate and postgraduate curriculum: why, what and how? Prof John Williams, Director of Health Informatics at the RCP
• A theoretical and practical approach to teaching record access – Dr Brian Fisher, GP & Dr Amir Hannon, GP
• Map of Medicine – Ketan Patel, Implementation Manager, Map of Medicine (workshop only delivered in the afternoon)

I would have liked the opportunity to attend some of these – Note to self, must learn to say no occasionally when asked to do these things!

My own workshop Using simulated electronic health records in clinical education included my presentation on the university perspective but also Nick Jupp, eLearning Programme Manager - South West Strategic Health Authority and Kathy Sienko from Cerner.

We tried to provide different perspectives on the issues surrounding the pilot project we have been implementing using the Cerner Academic Education Solution (AES). The workshop generated quite a lot of interest and discussion with several people thinking about how they would approach similar issues in their own institutions.

During lunch I had lots of interesting discussions with friends and colleagues old and new – and while partaking of a quick cigarette in the sunny and pleasant grounds was filmed for the Vox Pop- although the questions were angled to get positive rather than negative comments.

After lunch the afternoon sessions were c haired by Dr Elizabeth White, Head of Research and Development, College of Occupational Therapists who introduced the two plenary speakers and a video greeting from Gifford Batstone who outlined the importance of informatics for quality practice and the changing role of clinicians from being the providers of information to that of helping patients and clients to understand information they were obtaining independently – primarily form internet sources. As there was no opportunity for a question and answer session on this I wasn’t able to raise current debates about the ways in which disparate information sources may e contributing to reduced trust in the professions and organs of the state and increasing trust in the experiences of lay people who have been through similar experiences.

Dr Mark Davies, Effective Medical Director, The NHS Information Centre for Health and Social Care (previously the Secondary Uses Service) who was talking about Information and Service Delivery. He briefly talked about the role of the Information Centre and set out the principles that management and research data should not need to be collected separately but should be generated from data collected in routine clinical practice. He emphasised the importance of data quality if the information is to be used to support patient care (while almost admitting how poor the information quality has been for years).

He used the three legged stool analogy first used by Denis Protti in which the three legs are Technology, Processes and People and saw today’s event as focussing on people. He should several ways in which data can be displayed to support decision making at various levels including the NHS dashboard of key indicators – see for more information. As with several others speakers NHS Choices was highlighted as the portal for public access – but little comment was made about the coming Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMS). I would have liked to raise issues around the use of NHS data by commercial companies (such as Dr Foster) in what he described as the third stage and procedures for anonymisation and pseudanonymisation - but there was no opportunity to do this.

The next speaker was Suzanne Truttero, Midwifery Advisor CNO directorate; Department of Health addressed the topic Measuring the Quality of Maternity Care. She described the myriad of different documents, guidelines, measures etc which have been developed over the years and the work to bring these together. The current use of balanced score cards, dashboards & patient satisfaction surveys were also described.

An extra speaker, Philip Gill, from the registration authority, was slotted into the programme at this point to address frequent queries about students being able to gain smart cards for NHS systems while in training. He set out the two stage process required. The first being identity checks which can be delegated to the universities and the second stage related to specific access rights which, he argued, needed to be done by the trusts. He recognised that some trusts were “being awkward” about this, but described a pilot with Nottingham university which has overcome some of the issues and promised further information and guidance for trusts (which universities would be able to quote) on the NHS Employers web site by the end of this week.

After a refreshment break the workshops from the morning were repeated to give each of the attendees the opportunity to attend a different session.

As I was tidying up after our workshop and talking to lots of interested people I was a little late attending the final plenary. This brought the day to a close with an attempt to enable participants and speakers to engage in dialogue about the ways in which the work from the day could be taken forward. Lots of speakers welcomed the intentions but said that there was a need for commissioners of education, regulatory bodies and others to take it onboard – and for CfH and other NHS bodies to work with the few “lone voices” in universities to raise health informatics up the agenda at all levels of clinical education.

In general the day was quite interesting and it was good to meet others working in related fields, however it has not convinced me that the new version of Learning to Manage… is going to bring about the revolution which is needed – and that despite what was said today we might be at a similar event in 10 years time discussion the same sorts of issues – I’ve already booked my place with Di Millen!

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Thursday, January 08, 2009

New Professionalising Health Informatics portal from CfH

The NHS's Connecting for Health has today launched a new portal for Professionalising Health Informatics, or PHI for short.

It claims to be an online 'one-stop shop' portal supporting personal and professional development in Health Informatics (HI), however the limited amount of resources availability didn't impress me.

I'm not really sure who it is aimed at - presumably NHS staff in England - and they might find it useful - but others may argue that its limited scope and extensive use of NHS (& general "management speak") jargon off putting. Several mentions of "selecting the options to the right-hand side of the screen" when there weren't any options on the right hand side also put me off.

It is promised that the portal will be expanded and kept up to date so I hope it becomes more useful in the future.

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Saturday, December 13, 2008

Medinfo2010 submission dates

Cape Town, South Africa will host the 13th International Congress on Medical Informatics from the 13 - 16 of September 2010.

The medinfo2010 website has been relaunched with information on submission deadlines, etc. - in particular, please note:

Abstracts Deadlines

Deadline for early submissions, for those who wish to participate in Scientific Mentor Scheme:
01 July 2009

Feedback from mentors for Scientific Mentor participants:
01 August 2009

Deadline for paper submissions:
30 September 2009

See for current information (note some areas will be updated in coming weeks and months)

The Scientific Mentor scheme is one of several new initiatives - the aim is to provide additional support to early career researchers and non-native English speakers. Participants can submit their papers early and will be provided with feedback about their papers from a member of the panel of international health informatics experts. Those wishing to participate in this scheme must submit their paper by 1st July 2009. Authors will then need to submit their final paper by the Congress paper deadline of 30th September 2009. The papers will then proceed through the normal Congress review process.

Consider submitting to and attending medinfo2010 and help to make the first African medinfo a success.

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Monday, December 08, 2008

Global informatics training funding

Neil Versel has reported on his Healthcare IT Blog that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is providing a $1.2 million grant to promote health informatics and biomedical education and training worldwide, particularly in developing countries.

Although I can't find any reference to this on the AMIA, IMIA or Foundation web site, Neil reports that "AMIA will use the Gates Foundation money to develop "scaleable" approaches to e-health education, including a replicable blueprint for training informatics leaders, including physicians, medical records professionals, computer scientists and medical librarians". He suggests that "confirmed or likely participating organizations include the European Federation for Medical Informatics, the Asia Pacific Organization for Medical Informatics and the Health Informatics Society of Australia".

If this is true it could potentially enhance health informatics education by encouraging the development and sharing of educational resources. A possible downside may be that the money could be spent in the US to create learning objects and opportunities which might not end up being suitable for "low-cost healthcare in the less-developed economies".

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Saturday, December 06, 2008

Latest issue of UK Health Informatics Today

The latest issue of UK Health Informatics Today (UKHIT no 57, Autumn 2008) was published yesterday.

It is a special themed issue which examines a variety of eHealth solutions which facilitate new forms of communication between clinicians and between clinicians and patients. The overall message in the varied and optimistic papers is that text messaging, PDAs, ubiquitous medical devices and Web 2.0 applications will allows patients and professionals to "do the previously impossible".

The contents include:

* Putting ICT into STI Management
* EpiSurveyor: An Open Source Revolution in Data Collection
* Using Ajax for Cleaner Software
* Text Messaging for Health Promotion Among Adolescents
* Designing for the Hospital Environment: Focusing on the Context
* Exploring the Role of Metadata in Health Information Applications
* Application of Mobile Computers and Wireless Technologies in Clinical Dentistry

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Latest edition of HI Now

The latest edition of Health Informatics Now is now available online

It includes:

* Industry news
* HC2009 gears up to present a new style showcase
* Collaboration helps enhance unscheduled care services
* BCS supports professionalism via various activities
* Forthcoming events

Member and Specialist Groups

* Conferences of recent past and future
* Apply now to enter for Dame Phyllis Friend Award
* The good, the bad and the ugly of Choose and Book
* Workforce survey finds pay is still an issue
* Group moves from telehealth to web 2.0

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Friday, December 05, 2008

Web 2.0 for Health & Social Care - Northern Ireland Seminars

Today I am in Belfast to give a couple of seminars on Social Networking tools & Web 2.0 applications for the Northern Ireland Health and Personal Social Services.

The first breakfast seminar, at the Beeches Management Centre, went well, with about 15 people attending including health promotion staff, managers and board members along with colleagues from the university.

The presentation talked about the growth of blogs (including this one), social networking sites, wikis such as wikipedia etc and tried to raise questions about the motivations people have for using them (rather than specific technologies). Some of the potential benefits for health and social care staff, patients, clients and the general population were highlighted along with some of perils with examples ranging from NHS Exposed to wikileaks demonstrated. Interestingly one of the blogs I was going to show, Dr Rant, was blocked by the local firewall as "tasteless" which beutifully illustrated some of the points I was making about access v censorship issues. I then went on to talk about some implications of these technologies for health and Social Care and concluded with a few issues which the participants might want to consider further.

As I expected, some of my comments may have challenged the controlling, hierarchical culture of the organisation, but from the questions and comments which came up I think may have may some of the participants to think both about the potential benefits as well as the perils of using some of the tools.

I'm repeating the seminar at lunchtime at a different venue which is being webcast to three other centres and it will be interesting to see how it goes down then (I will try to keep it a bit shorter as I overran my allotted time the first time around).

The second presentation at Ulster Hospital was attended by less people but video conferenced to two other sites.

The session was captured on video and will be made available at a later date but no-one seems quite sure where yet - because of issues with firewalls blocking video streaming. The PowerPoint presentation is now available via slide share. & available below:

Web2 0 Persentation Rod Ward
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: web 2.0)

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Sunday, November 09, 2008

Socio-technical approach to technology projects in the NHS

At a masterclass event entitled: “10% Technology, 90% Business Change hosted by the UK Faculty of Health Informatics participants were asked "What should be done to make a socio-technical approach to the delivery of technology projects in health and social care in the NHS the norm?"

To continue the work of the masterclass a Wetpaint Wiki has been set up at: where relevant contributions are welcomed, which will be incorporated into the report which is being prepared with the hope that it can be used to influence key developments in the NHS such as the implementation of the National Health Informatics Review in England.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

RCN workshop - getting eHealth into pre-reg education

Today I attended a workshop at the Royal College of Nursing to examine strategies aimed at including eHealth in the pre-registration curricula for student nurses in the UK. It was attended by a variety of key players in the field.

Dame June Clark, as the chair of the RCN Information Forum, opened the day with an overview of the work undertaken by the project so far and the objectives for the days workshop.

David Baker, from the RCN Association of Nursing Students, described the findings of an online survey of students which had explored how prepared they felt for aspects of eHealth. We have been asked not to share the results yet - they will be published later - but they did include a few surprises, perhaps due to the question wording or survey methodology.

Some questions and discussion from the audience included views from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. This was followed by Bernice Baker who had led much of the work of the project who highlighted some of her conclusions from the survey and challenged the workshop participants to come up with actions to address outstanding issues during the rest of the day in group work.

A range of issues were identified in the groups which are relevant to increasing eHealth in the pre-registration nursing curriculum, and high level strategy to influence key players and organisations (including NMC, HPC, SHAs etc), many of whom were represented on the workshops, explored.

The 30ish points identified will be prioritised by the participants via email lists and a report written which highlights these within the RCN and externally to other bodies.

It will be interesting to be able to discuss the findings of the survey and workshop when they are published.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Latest edition of HI Now

The latest edition of HI Now (Volume 3, Number 1), the quarterly journal from the Health Informatics Forum of the British Computer Society, is now available online.

The articles include:
* Round-up of this issue
Debates on security, privacy and patient safety.

* Industry news
A selection of articles outlining recent IT-related news in healthcare.

* BCSHIF responds to Health Informatics Review
BCSHIF, ASSIST and UKchip joint response to the DH's Health Informatics Review.

* Data safety and clinical care
The balance between keeping patient data safe and not hampering clinicians in delivering effective care was discussed at a BCSHIF meeting in July, led by Edward James, a consultant working with the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.

* BCS reshapes HC for 2009
BCS is re-launching Healthcare Computing as a fully integrated, BCS-managed and run event.

* Another year full of activity
BCSHIF has produced a report describing its initiatives and activities over the year.

* Tool to aid privacy decisions
A research team has been developing a tool to help professionals make privacy impact assessments.

* Hang on tight to the information revolution
Delegates at the HC2008 conference were given an 'invitation to the future' by Ian Neild from the group chief technology office of BT.

* MIE2008 highlights exploitation of research
From gaming's use for doctors to technology to support older people living independently in their own homes, MIE2009 covered a wide range of topics.

* Forthcoming events
A selection of BCS health informatics events.

* Apply now to enter for Dame Phyllis Friend Award
The Nursing Specialist Group is seeking entries for the annual Dame Phyllis award

* Mind the gap
Following the Primary Health Care Specialist Group (PHCSG)'s summer conference, the group is now preparing for its autumn annual conference.

* ePrescribing to cut error rates
Where electronic systems have been tried in prescribing medication, they have dramatically cut error rates.

The full issue is also available as a PDF at:

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Friday, August 29, 2008

XO Laptop, or One Laptop Per Child Project: An Extension Idea for a Sturdy Tool

I woke up at 4 a.m. thinking how great it one be to apply the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) XO Laptop ( to several ideas.
  1. Educating children on health: It already has education as a mission, but I wonder how much of that is devoted to evidence-based health education practices? It uses gaming too, so it could also be adopted by groups such as Games for Health ( And, projects such as Re-Mission ( could be a model for how it teaches children compliance and self-care with other diseases.
  2. Medication Tracking and Compliance: In the US and other country rural areas, it could have something similar to the My-Medi-Health project, which aims to investigate and research methods for improving compliance among children. What about a module within it that has a personal health record? Or even one which encourages the child to document vital signs, medications, and treatments and then can beam it back to a provider's computer in the clinic? (
  3. A Remote Healthcare Provider Computer: This computer has incredible potential for remote areas for having a more robust electronic medical record. It could act as a repository for data until the healthcare provider could get back to a central computer and then, using its wireless abilities, beam them back into the main database (sync them up).
  4. Home Health Care for Rural Areas: As above, especially with nursing modules it could bring about cheaper care and bedside documentation for nurses in the field.
  5. Disaster Relief Use: What about developing a special model of this very durable PC for use in mass casualty disaster situations? Especially since it comes with a hand crank, and after disasters we often don't have battery and networking capabilities, note that it has a hand-crank to recharge and it has wireless social networking software built in. So, it could not only tell you where other healthcare providers are in the command zone, but share information on triage and treatment. Just a little retweaking of the system and it's ideal... especially because it is designed specifically for sturdiness, including water and sandproof and dropping and so on...
  6. Transcultural Care: The team using it are experts at symbolization and crossing language barriers. They could help develop a universal standard, or even several language algorithms, for helping international aid workers work together in mass casualty.
  7. Special Needs Children: I wonder how well it would work for autistic children and others within that spectrum, especially combined with
  8. Accessories: Could other equipment be developed to accompany it? For instance, a Wii Fit board to measure weight in the field, or something sturdier and just as cheap (the board itself is $87 retail or so bought directly, not through marked-up online vendors). Or, blood glucose monitoring devices and such? A blood pressure cuff?
  9. Field Database: Could a more remote version be created for use as field command centers? Even have database server versions, using the peer-to-peer wireless, to collect data? Not just for mass casualties, but healthcare in remote areas? Again, a sturdier, server version, but bring it back to the main computer and sync it up, perhaps in a healthcare truck, van, airplain, or helicopter or such? Valued data could be used for research, health care improvement, disease tracking, and even fundraising. Think of the value to groups like the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. The CDC could really benefit from point-of-impact data collection.

What would it take to raise the money for it? Could the XO team help raise the money to form a separate group to investigate using it this way? Maybe even the Vanderbilt School of Nursing faculty and staff could be involved and find grants to make this happen? Maybe a research project for a grad student or two? Are there others who are interested in seeing this happen? Is it visionary?

Just some thoughts. Thanks for listening! - Richard Aries, MSN, RN, EMT

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Friday, August 22, 2008

"Independent" report into NHS IT

Yesterday it was announced that The Conservatives have commissioned a review of NHS IT to be led by Dr Glyn Hayes of the BCS.

The review intends to focus on practical ways to to get the maximum patient benefit from IT and informatics in health and social care over the next five to ten years.

Written evidence is invited from any individual or organisation with an interest in the area by the end of September. Oral hearings will then be held in October and November, with a first draft expected in December and the final report is to be published by the end of March 2009.

The Review Group's remit, which is set out in full in a letter published on E-health Insider is to:

1. Establish how clinical, public, and management needs can most effectively be met by information technology
2. In the light of the developments and progress of the last few years, establish a vision for IT in the NHS, health and social care
3. Set out a strategy for achieving that vision including a workforce strategy
4. Advise on action for the current Government to take
5. Advise on the policy options to be considered for implementation by an incoming Conservative Government.

I have some concerns about the independence of the review, because of the political sponsors, however I respect Glyn's integrity enough to believe that he will do a good job and produce a balanced report. I can't see him as the tories Ara Darzi but do believe the review has something to offer and I will be contributing to it as soon as I get some time.

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Monday, July 14, 2008

NHS Informatics review

At the end of last week the Department of Health published the Health informatics review report led by Matthew Swindells.

Much of the coverage has focussed on the new "freedom" for trusts to purchase "Interim Solutions" until Connecting for Health products are available eg E-Health Insiders "NHS Informatics Review says trusts need 'interim' systems" and Computer Weekly "Health chiefs tell NHS trusts not to wait for NPfIT".

These are important, however some of the other areas of the report are also worthy of consideration. The need for leadership in the Health Informatics domain at local and national levels is discussed with several recommendations for initiatives to develop the informatics workforce and training for the clinical workforce, and sharing learning from implementations. It would have been nice if a little more detail about the education and training initiatives had been included.

The report talks about "Creating confidence" and I would agree that "stakeholders" (patients and staff) and their feelings about the programme are key to success, however I'm not sure that some of the platitudes about improving confidentiality, security and governance of information will achieve this. The NHS Care Records Guarantee is held up as an example of good practice, but some of its inherent weaknesses identified in the Report of Evaluation of Summary Care Record Early Adopter Programme in May, are not addressed.

Additionally, issues around the interface between the NHS Care Records Service and other bodies including social care, voluntary sector organisations, independent sector treatment centres, hospices etc for the exchange of information and dissemination of information by the Secondary Uses Service from the NHS Information Centre are alluded to - with plans for consultations. I would suggest that these issues, which some of us were highlighting years ago should have been addressed by now.

NHS Choices and HealthSpace are held up as examples of good practice (and I understand are now receiving enhanced funding) and they are important, but they do not make up for the delays and deficiencies in the delivery of the Care Records which were a primary purpose of Connecting for Health.

It will be interesting to see if the Health Informatics Review implementation programme which is being set up, and the "enhanced" local ownership predicted will be successful in breaking some of the log jams which are currently blocking progress and I look forward to their more detailed report which is promised for the autumn.

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Friday, July 04, 2008

Clinical Engineering and IT Collaboration

In February 2008, leaders of the Association for the Advancement of Medical
Instrumentation (AAMI), the American College of Clinical Engineering (ACCE), and
the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) joined forces to develop the Clinical Engineering/IT (CE-IT) community.

By pooling our resources and expertise, the CE-IT Community is dedicated

  • Fostering development of a united voice for IT and clinical engineering
    concerns and a forum for its expression
  • Providing a mechanism for developing resources, guidelines, and best
    practices for the CE-IT community
  • Exploring appropriate collaboration of clinical engineering/IT functions
  • Developing a framework for representing the interests of clinical engineering and IT departments to the broader healthcare community


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Saturday, May 31, 2008

Armchair involvement for using technology to engage people in health service improvement.

The NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement has recently launched a new web site called "Armchair involvement" which aims to provide a practical guide to using technology to engage people in health service improvement.

The site will provide:

* descriptions of different types of technology
* interactive examples of where technology has been used to involve and engage people in health
* the benefits and potential pitfalls of using technology to engage people.

Comments on the various pages are invited with opportunities to share your own examples of where you have used technology to engage staff, patients, carers, service users and the public - although there seem to be very few comments yet, and I don't know what evel of moderation will be employed.

In developing this work some of the key thinkers and leading experts from health, information, television, multimedia, horizon-scanning, telecommunications and service design have come together to discuss what technologies are available today and what tomorrow’s world may look like. It is claimed that there is a great deal of enthusiasm across the NHS for using these tools to reach people, to better understand their opinions and to encourage involvement in service improvement.

It will be interesting to see the level of usage - and whether the ideas, examples and opinions expressed lead to changes in the ways the technologies are used by the NHS.

The research report on which it is based aims to offer key inputs into the role of technology in shaping of the NHS’ future relationship with staff, patients, carers and the public.

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

New book on the history of UK Health Computing

A new book has been published this week about the history of health computing in the UK.

UK Health Computing: Recollections and Reflections edited by Glyn Hayes and Denise Barnett has been published by the British Computer Society to bring together information on some of the key people and events over the last forty plus years.

It is published at £29.95 with a five pind dscount for BCS members.

The book is available from Amazon.

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Thursday, April 03, 2008

Call for Research Proposals - Evaluation of the effect of IT on interactions between healthcare workers and patients

The NHS Connecting for Health Evaluation Programme has an interesting call for proposals open at the moment. NHS CFHEP 010: Evaluation of the effect of IT on interactions between healthcare workers and patients is designed to "evaluate the effect of IT
on interactions between healthcare workers and patients...." and meet the "need to understand how different configurations of IT equipment and screen layouts may affect communication acceptability."

This area has long been an issue which has been perceived by some as a barrier to increased use of IT in healthcare delivery. It will be interesting to see the results in terms of IT arrangement and the effects of IT use on the time taken for consultations. It will be even more interesting to see if the results affect the perceptions and opinions of medical and other healthcare practitioners, who perceive that the use of IT in patient consultations may be seen as reducing their omnipotence & whether this may contribute to changes in medical paternalism.

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Monday, March 03, 2008

Help needed classifying keywords for IMIA

Prof Graham Wright is looking for help classifying keywords in the emerging Knowledge Base for the International Medical Informatics Association (IMIA).

Building on, in part, the Otley outputs, a second phase of work is being jointly funded by IMIA and BCSHIF to develop the knowledge core for IMIA, and the wider international health informatics community.

Phase 2 methods and pilot results

In Phase 1, the Otley workshop, a group of health informatics experts was asked to identify the elements of the discipline of health informatics. For Phase 2, the published and peer-reviewed literature is taken to be a valid proxy for such expertise. A literature analysis examining the emerging themes and high level descriptors is being undertaken, using document and discourse analysis software and methods. This is based in an analysis of available electronic literature, and will additionally use established and novel indexing and analysis techniques. The method is acknowledged to be similar to that used by Lorenzi to develop the original IMIA Scientific Map, but makes use of materials and methods not available at that time.

Use of keywords in many publications depends on author selection as opposed to a consistent approach, and is causing some issues in indexing, and different 'in vogue' terms in different places and times seem to be skewing some of the results of the literature searches. All of these issues are important factors that we will be analysing as the current research phase unfolds. A search of Pubmed using Reference Manager 11 using a set of search criteria Included:-
Health Informatics
Medical Informatics
Clinical Informatics
Nursing Informatics
Pharmacy Informatics
Dental Informatics

But excluded Bioinformatics because of the heavy orientation in the literature to genomics.

The keywords in each article were extracted and transferred to an access database and then an excel spreadsheet.

Some 10,000 different words were produced and these were given to a team of information experts at a workshop in London on the 24th January 2007. The group reduced this list to 444 words that seemed to be associated with the areas of health informatics as opposed to being merely English words and phases used in the articles.

In addition the index of the last five years of the British Journal of Healthcare Computing was used as a pilot and the experts gathered in January produced a second set of themes and elements extending the Otley outputs.

How you can help

If you feel you could help
Graham has prepared a spreadsheet which contains the latest version of the emerging Knowledge Base for IMIA. He is looking for volunteers to spend twenty minutes or so classifying keywords.

Please contact him on and he will send you a copy of the spreadsheet and full instructions.

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Friday, November 16, 2007

HC2008 Call for Participations - 7 days to deadline

21-23 April 2008

Frontline care services are about to undergo even more substantial change in order to meet the challenges of providing healthcare and social care in the digital age. The focus of the 2008 event, therefore, is on looking forward. It will consider how care services could look in five or more years time and how best to get there.

How to Participate
There are various ways in which you can participate in HC2008. If your preferred means is not listed, on the website at contact the conference organisers who are keen to hear your suggestions.

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Saturday, October 20, 2007

World of Health IT, Vienna

Next week sees the second 'World of Health IT' event; this year, it is in Vienna, Austria, from 22-25 October -

We will be blogging from the event, posting here and on other blogs (technology permitting).

It will be interesting to see if Richard Granger, who is slated as a keynote speaker, turns up, and what he has to say ...

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

He@lth Information on the Internet - 59

The latest issue of He@lth Information on the Internet (v59 Oct 2007) is now available the table of contents includes:

TI: Is the usable, accessible Web a mythical beast?
AU: Childs, Sue

TI: Losing weight on the Web? A content analysis of dieting-related Web sites
AU: Jung, Taejin; McClung, Steven; Youn, Hyunsook; Chang, Ts-Shan

TI: Palliative care
AU: Blenkinsopp, John

TI: View from the front line Medical search engines
AU: Brown, Harry

TI: Current literature
AU: Waddington, Marina

TI: What's new?

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Monday, September 24, 2007

MIE 2008 submission deadline 6 weeks away

The deadline to submit contributions to Medical Informatics in Europe (MIE) 2008 is only 6 weeks away.

The conference theme is "eHealth beyond the horizon - get IT there".

MIE 2008 will be held on 25-28 May 2008 at Svenska Mässan in Göteborg, Sweden.
The conference is organized by:
EFMI - European Federation for Medical Informatics and SFMI - Swedish Federation for Medical Informatics

MIE 2008 is intended to provide an international forum for:
- Presenting theoretical and empirical methods and studies of information technology in healthcare and related areas, particularly with offset in the conference theme, but not restricted to it.
- Bringing new ideas: discussing the importance and role of the above methods and studies before, during and after implementation, particularly in the healthcare field.
- Welcoming newcomers and supporting their efforts in acquiring competence in Medical Informatics and supporting their networking within the scientific community.

Who will attend MIE 2008?
- Healthcare professionals, including members of any health discipline contributing to the delivery of healthcare.
- Professionals from the health IT industry, health institutions, hospitals and universities interested in health IT systems.
- Researchers and educators in medicine, any of the health sciences, allied health disciplines and information systems or technology.
- Politicians, decision makers and public health administrators.

You are invited to submit contributions in the following topics/categories:
- Bioinformatics
- Consumer informatics
- Health information systems
- Home-based eHealth
- Human-Computer Interaction
- Imaging and visualization
- Evaluation
- Decision support and knowledge management
- Learning and education
- Medical Devices
- Modeling and simulation
- National eHealth Roadmaps
- Nursing informatics
- Organizational strategies
- Pan European-cross border applications
- Pervasive healthcare
- Privacy and security
- Telemedicine
- Ubiquitous computing

*DEADLINE 5 November*: Full Papers and Posters / Computer Supported Posters *DEADLINE 18 November*: Demonstrations, Comparative Demonstrations, Panels, Doctoral Consortium, Tutorials and Workshops

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Health Informatics Now

The September issue of HINOW is now out and available online at or if you prefer a pdf version

The contents include:

*Foreword by the BCS Health Informatics Forum treasurer
*Industry news
*Getting the educational ducks all in a row
*The wider BCS educational picture for IT professionals
*Healthcare added to ECDL portfolio
*Home carers train on hand-held devices
*Southern training approach gains national accreditation
*Electronic records require nurses to upskill
*Records could support research
*Architecture sets out how services fit together
*Has common sense returned?
*Public health: private data?

Primary Health Care
*Conference to focus on patients' control of records

Association for Informatics Professionals in Health and Social Care (ASSIST)
*The alcoholic data model Northern Specialist Group
*Smart garments will have patients covered

If you’d like to contribute to the next issue the theme is International Connections and the deadline is 15 October. Send copy to

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Doing IT – Learning from one another

The Royal College of Nursing, British Computer Society Nursing Specialist group and eHealth Nursing Wales will be holding a joint conference entitled Doing IT – Learning from one another on Wednesday 14th November 2007 at Ty Maeth, The Heath, Cardiff.

The programme includes:

*10.30-10.45 Opening: Chair: Dame June Clark
*10.45- 12.15 Using IT to improve patient safety
*10.45 - 11.15 Wales Dr Gwyn Thomas, Director, Informing Healthcare
*11.15 – 11.45 Scotland Heather Strachan, Nurse and AHP lead, Scottish Executive
*11.45 - 12. 00 Northern Ireland (Speaker to be confirmed)
*12.15 – 12.30 England Barbara Stuttle, Nurse lead, Connecting for Health
*12.30 -1.00 Panel: What can we learn from one another?

*1.30- 1.35 Chair: Richard Hayward
*1.35 – 1.45 Where do we want to be? Janette Bennett
*1.45- 3.45 How do we get there?
*1.45-2.10 Education, education, education Carol Bond
*2.10-2.30 Thinking Nursing Dave Lloyd
*2.30-2.50 Engaging front line nurses Bernice Baker
*2.50-3.10 The TIGER initiative Paula Procter
*3.10-3.45 Panel

Further details and application forms are available from:

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Monday, September 10, 2007

EPSRC call for Exploration Studies for Grand Challenges within the Information-Driven Health Initiative

The Engineering and Physicial Sciences Research Council and the Medical Research Council (MRC) are calling for exploration studies for grand challenges in Information-Driven Health.

This is the preparatory stage of a potential major initiative in this area, looking at the potential of novel Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to improve health and transform care provision.

Initially, they are looking to support eighteen month activities intended to develop and inform potential future research grand challenges in this area. The initiative seeks to support multi-disciplinary ICT and health research to enable earlier and better detection, decision and intervention.

Examples of advances that might fall within this vision include amongst others:

· The use of simulation and modelling to enable personalisation of treatments;

· The integration of clinical imaging with biomedical modelling and other information to allow visualisation of diagnostic and treatment decision relevant biological information rather than physical parameters;

· Opening up new opportunities for early detection of public health issues by combination of health care, genomic, socio-economic, and demographic data;

· Using two-way information flow with implantable devices;

· The use of networked sensors and other pervasive IT technologies to monitor health and control intervention delivery both within and outside dedicated care environments;

· Novel data integration and interrogation techniques to enable linkage of large-scale ‘omic analysis to biomedical measures, epidemiology and clinical observations.

Closing Date: 4pm Thursday, 8 November 2007

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