Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Commission on the Future of Nursing and Midwifery calls for the development and use of new technologies.

The report of the Prime Minister’s Commission on the Future of Nursing and Midwifery in England sets out the way forward for the future of the professions which was published yesterday, calls for the establishment of a "high-level group to determine how to build nursing and midwifery capacity to understand and influence the development and use of new technologies. It must consider how pre- and post-registration education and development programmes could best deliver technological understanding and skills for information, communications and practice."

Amongst a range of other recommendations about the delivery of "high quality, compassionate care" emphasis is placed on the role of nurses and midwives in "making best use of technological advances as an increasingly important aspect of high quality care, including innovative ‘remote care’ approaches such as telenursing, as well as improving metrics", with the appointment of “innovation fellows" to lead some of the changes.

The has implications for all nurses and midwives and the educational processes which prepare and support them: “Starting in their initial education, nurses and midwives need a better understanding of and influence over the development of technologies and informatics, including information and communications technology and remote care.”

It will be interesting to see how some of the (vague) aspirations are turned into reality, particularly with current budget pressures in the NHS. The "high level group" has the potential to usher in some interesting developments and I wait with interest to see who might be selected to serve on this - and how its remit will be worded.

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Friday, October 02, 2009

HI Now - NI2009 special

The latest edition of HI Now from the British Computer Society has now been published and is available in PDF from

It has a special focus on the Nursing Informatics conference with reports on:

Sensory enhanced health information systems

The related concepts of consumer oriented and driven
healthcare services, and the increasing relevance of
home and mobile monitoring devices to improve personal
independent living were discussed throughout the
NI2009 programme.

Personal health information management systems

The topic of the NI2009 post conference was Personal
Health Information Management Systems (PHIMS):
Tools and Strategies for Citizen’s Engagement
(in their health care).

Human computer interaction

The human computer interaction stream at the recent
Nursing Informatics conference (NI2009) included a look
at the online managed knowledge network that shares
knowledge in eHealth in Scotland.

Outcome measures and ethical competence

The human computer interaction and ethics and nursing
informatics streams at NI2009 provided delegates with a
new set of challenges.

Pre registration education
Carol Bond provides an overview of the pre registration
education stream that ran through NI2009.

Educational informatics

A discussion based around five presentations covering
educational aspects of health and nursing infomatics.

Evidence based practice

A report on the strand of the NI2009 conference that
focused on different ways of providing evidence to
clinicians to help them make decisions at the point of nursing care

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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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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

RCN conference - Moving technology into practice

Today I've had a "Day in the Bay" - the subtitle of the Royal College of Nursing's Conference "Moving technology into practice" - and the bay in question was Cardiff Bay as the conference was at the Wales Millenium Centre - an impressive venue I'd not visited before.

The day was opened by Tina Donnell the Director of RCN Wales. She dealt with housekeeping issues and then described her impressions and experiences with ehealth - particularly related to the use of telecare functions will serving with the territorial army. She focused the audience on developments in Wales particularly the work of Informing Healthcare and the growing emphasis on nurse involvement in these developments at all levels. Identified timelines for development and the need for technology to support the "management imperatives" were stressed, and on a wider, UK, basis ehealth has been adopted as one of 7 professional priorities identified in the RCNs 2008-09 strategy.

Dame June Clark then took the podium to introduce the first keynote speaker Norma M. Lang from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, who took for the title of her presentation "From patient data to nursing knowledge for nursing practice. She described she and her colleagues/team have been doing in the US in identifying from a range of strategic documents key practice standards or phenomena of concern for nurses and nursing and identifying the process for developing and embedding actionable nursing knowledge within clinical information systems. She set these out as her vision for the future.

After a good networking opportunity over a cop of coffee the next speaker was David Baker from the Association of Nursing Students who presented the results of a survey of student preparedness for ehealth and the Oct 2008 workshop held to discuss these and develop an action plan for the RCN as reported on this blog as: RCN workshop - getting eHealth into pre-reg education. The survey results and workshop report are now available online. The lack of students passwords for clinical systems which encourage the sharing of passwords caused most discussion in the subsequent question and answer session.

A second David followed - this time David Lloyd from Bangor university, who described the welsh context for ehealth developments and highlighted a range of issues about the sharing of patient records, particularly patients who may receive treatment in both England and Wales where different electronic records systems are being deployed which may not be able to share data. He then went on to set out the principles of the Model of Nursing Information first set out by Rodney Hughes and explored the concepts of maximum and minimum nursing data sets. Some of the important issues for consideration which are raised by these approaches were then explored. Pauline Tang from Cardiff University then picked up the threads and explored some of their significance for education and practice.

The final keynote was by Peter Carter the Chief Executive and General Secretary of the RCN. He emphasised the importance of developing quality measures relating to nursing, collecting the information to analyse them and then using them to improve patient care. There was a close similarity between the indicators he identified and those discussed previously which are being used in the US and were described in Norma Lang's presentation. He argued, as had many in the audience that senior level nursing input was vital and was proud of being instrumental in getting a nursing director into Connecting for Health and discussed the implications of the impending arrival of the Care Quality Commission replacing the previously separate regulators for health and social care. He used a humorous story to illustrate the importance of practitioners rather than "techies" being the ones to specify, refine and implement clinical systems.

The formal conference was closed by June Clark who tried to summarise the key messages from the day. Ehealth is not for the future nut is for now and that we (nurses, nursing & the RCN) are not ready. She touched on the coming "nursing metrics" and the importance of nurses taking responsibility for using knowledge systems to underpin their decision making.

After the close of the formal conference delegates were invited to a reception in the Senedd, the home of the National Assembly for Wales, hosted by Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas the presiding officer of the Assembly, who welcomed delegates in Welsh (translation provided) and highlighted recent developments in the Welsh NHS and the inclusion of nurses on important strategic bodies. Brief comments were also made by Peter Carter and June Clark who also presented Norma Lang with a Welsh Love Spoon.

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Tuesday, March 03, 2009

RCN advertising for an eHealth Nurse Adviser

The Royal College of Nursing is currently advertising for an eHealth Nurse Adviser.

The remit is to influence UK policy and practice now and in the future in the area of eHealth, and support and engage nursing staff in this agenda. Advising and representing them on eHealth issues, you will form collaborative eHealth partnerships, embed eHealth across the RCN, engage and support members with regards to eHealth including working with our Information in Nursing Group, and manage our eHealth web content. A background in and enthusiasm for eHealth to ensure that it plays a significant part in nursing care in the future is a must.

They are offering £45,336 p.a. pro rata (outside London), £48,336 p.a. pro rata (London based) inc. of Inner London Weighting, with the location negotiable/to be agreed. Applications need to be in by the 20th March.

The job or secondment is for up to 21 hours per week days to be agreed

Further information is available from or by contacting Jackie Cheeseborough [Jackie.Cheeseborough@RCN.ORG.UK] or tel +44 (0)20 7647 3616.

If I wasn't busy doing other things I might have considered applying.

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Early registration for the WINI scheduled for March 13-15, 2009 in Troy, Michigan

Early registration for the WINI scheduled for March 13-15, 2009 in Troy, Michigan has been extended to January 31, 2009.

Please visit the Michigan Chapter of HIMSS site below to access more information on the program and the registration link.

Sue Hendrix, RN BSN BC
Senior Business Analyst
AHIS at Genesys Regional Medical Center
1000 Health Park Blvd
Grand Blanc, MI 48439

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Participate in the HIMSS Impact of Nursing Informatics 2008Survey!

Please forward the message below, as you feel appropriate, to your colleagues and membership organizations. The findings of the study will be made available for public use. On behalf of the HIMSS Nursing Informatics Community – thank you in advance!

Exploring the Impact of a Profession

Participate in the HIMSS Impact of Nursing Informatics 2008 Survey!

Over the course of the past years, HIMSS has surveyed the nursing informatics community to gain an understanding of the role of the informatics nurse professional. This year our survey, sponsored by McKesson, addresses the value and impact that informatics nurse professionals bring to the bedside, industry and you. Initial results will be presented during the 2009 HIMSS Annual Conference in Chicago, followed by subsequent press releases and articles with complete findings and analysis that we will make publicly available.

At this time, we are seeking individuals in leadership roles across all settings to take a few moments to complete our on-line survey. Please visit this link today to participate in the study and forward this link to your organizational leadership. These responses will provide valuable information and helps ensure this study accurately reflects the impact of nursing informatics today.

*Survey link:

*If you forward this message please forward the message first, then take the survey, otherwise your survey answers will be forwarded.


Christel Anderson, Senior Manager, Clinical Informatics
HIMSS, transforming healthcare through IT
230 E. Ohio St., Suite 500
Chicago, IL 60611

HIMSS… providing HIT leadership through advocacy and education for the betterment of healthcare. Go to for more information.

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Monday, October 13, 2008

Conference - Moving technology into practice

The Royal College of Nursing is organising entitled "Moving technology into practice: A day on the Bay" to be held in Cardiff on Weds 11th March 2009.

The Keynote speaker will be Dr Norma Lang, PhD, RN, FAAN, FRCN, Aurora Distinguished Professor of Health Care, Quality and Informatics, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee College of Nursing; Professor and Dean Emeritus, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing.

Norma is an internationally renowned expert in establishing methods to measure nursing quality and a pioneer in the field of quality assurance in nursing. Her nursing quality model has been adopted in the United States, Canada, Australia and the UK. Dr Lang also led the development of ICNP, the ground-breaking international classification system that serves as a common tool to describe and compare nursing practice.

The day will be chaired by Tina Donnelly, Director, RCN Wales and Professor Dame June Clark, DBE, FRCN, Professor Emeritus, Swansea University

The supporting sessions include:
* Getting e-health into pre-registration education
David Baker, Representative of the Association of Nursing Students
* Linking nursing clinical decision making with e-health
David Lloyd, Lecturer, Bangor University or Pauline Tang, Lecturer, Cardiff University (representing a group of nurse lecturers from North Wales)

The closing session will be by Dr Peter Carter, OBE, Chief Executive and General Secretary, Royal College of Nursing Reception

The conference will be followed by a reception hosted by Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas AM.

Booking forms and further details are available from:
or email:

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Deadline for submissions for NI2009 is approaching

The deadline for submissions for the NI2009 Congress is nearing!

The 10th International Nursing Informatics Congress Nursing Informatics - Connecting Health and Humans, will be held in Helsinki, Finland on 28 June - 1 July 2009. It aims to present a forum to discuss recent advances and future directions on the nursing informatics and related fields.

The deadline for submissions is September 30, 2008. Final copy of accepted contributions must be submitted before January 31, 2009.

The submissions page with the details about the call for papers is at:

I hope this is going to be an excellent conference showcasing a range of innovations world wide.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Open access - how well do our areas do?

We've discussed quite a few aspects of open access on this blog over the years, so a recent email from BioMed Central ( lead me to looking into our areas of interest - nursing, health informatics, e-learning, etc. - to see how well we scored in the open access stakes.

The 'Open Access Quotient' (OAQ) was introduced on the BioMed Central blog in July 2007 (>>>); the OAQ aims "to quantify just how open a particular research field is – i.e. what fraction of the research in that area is available with open access immediately following publication". It does this through a search of PubMed citations from the past 60 days - a metric you can argue with, but maybe as good as any other.

At the time, I did a quick look on nursing and found it then had an OAQ of only 2.55% - not a very good score, and well below the PubMed average of 6.8% at the time. Well, nursing, as many other areas (>>>), has improved a bit in the past 12 months - it now scores 4.3% - but only, I suspect, due to the effect of the increasing number of BioMed central journals, rather than any conversion to the open access model or philosophy by other publishers.

A comparison with some other subject areas of interest shows:
health informatics = 9.64%
medical informatics = 19.44%
e-learning = 26.67%

However, when 'nursing informatics' returns a result of 66.67%, then I start to suspect the reliability of the algorithm - although it is on a sample of 3 articles.

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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Nurses and decision support

Peter Murray, on his Release Zero Blog, has published a useful summary and comment piece entitled Nurses' decision making and new technologies: research report related to a major report examining "Factors likely to influence how nurses use new technologies to inform their decision making, in particular through their use of computerised decision support systems (CDSS)."

Peter makes some interesting points about the report and the lack of good evidence - I wonder whether his comments, and the findings of the report will be taken into account?

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Web 2.0: A Movement Within The Health Community

Dr Iain Doherty and The University of Auckland has published a fantastic and comprehensive article in Health Care and Informatics Review Online about web 2.0 and health. ...

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Blogging SINI 2008

The 18th Annual Summer Institute in Nursing Informatics (SINI), is taking place this week at the School of Nursing, University of Maryland in Baltimore, USA. The SINI 2008 website is at

Unfortunately I can't attend (too much needing doing in the UK & no more travel budget) but my colleague Peter Murray, a frequent contributor to this blog, is blogging the event on the site.

He is trying out coveritlive live blogging software which is doing the sorts of things he and I were trying to do in basic html about 10 years ago - now perhaps it can become a reality.

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Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Telehealth Technologies Addressing the Global Impending Nursing Shortage

Telehealth Technologies Addressing the Global Impending Nursing Shortage...

In addition to providing better care for patients at a distance, telehealth technology applications can provide a real means for the nursing profession to alleviate the impending nursing shortage. According to a report of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), there will be an unmet need for more than one million nurses in the United States by 2020.


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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

CfH Conference - The Information Revolution

Today I attended the annual Connecting for Health Conference for Nurses, Midwives & Healthcare Practitioners entitled "Culture Change in Professional Practice - The Information Revolution".

This years event was held at Central Hall, Westminster and was less busy and exciting than the first event I attended a couple of years ago, with less than 200 booking for the event & quite a few of them not attending (and quite a few leaving early).

Although I arrived a little late because of delays (again) on First Late Western Trains, I caught most of the welcome and introduction by Barbara Stuttle and Susan Osborne, Connecting for Health's National Clinical Leads for Nurses. They gave some standard messages about the integration of systems and current drivers in the NHS with a particular focus on providing "connected care in the community" based on risk and demographic change.

The first keynote speaker was Dame Christine Beasley, the Chief Nursing Officer at the Department of Health. She highlighted the complexity of care and listed the "achievements" of Connecting for Health - a list of figures obviously provided by one of her staff and which didn't stand up to too much scrutiny. She mentioned her visit yesterday when she had seen the "Mobile Clinical Assistant", which is basically a robust laptop which can be disinfected, in practice (see Intel , Motion Computing etc.) She highlighted safety issues, particularly related drugs and polypharmacy, and emphasised the importance of HealthSpace (which is unavailable as I write this). A final mention was made that a National Director for Nursing is to be appointed in Connecting for Health and within her organisation chart this role was seen as being fairly high level - with the "Clinical Leads" reporting to them. It will be interesting to see who is appointed to this role - and whether they make a difference in terms of engagement with the professions and to the culture of CfH.

The coffee break was followed by three "knowledge sessions". The first of these was by Gill Stollen (?sp) talking about Lorenzo development. She started from a historical perspective related to paper records - and asked for nurses to tell them what the Lorenzo releases should do. Several speakers during the day repeated this request for nurses to get involved and help to specify what the systems, which are under development, should help nurses in their practice. The thought which came to my mind was that CfH should have involved clinicians when the original specifications were drawn up five years ago & maybe they would be further along with implementation (and have more NHS staff "on board") than they have at present.

The second knowledge session was about clinical assisstive technology (which I would call telehealth) led by George MacGinnis (Assistive Technology Programme Manager, NHS Connecting for Health), who was wearing his falls monitor! This session also included Helen Rollins a community matron in Swindon. She described a program which has put blood pressure, pulse oximetry etc monitors, and scales into the homes of patients with COPD connecting to a monitoring centre. Staff at the centreare able to detect changes in patients conditions enabling intervention where needed. The examples of success, which she described, have led to further developments, with blood sugar and other monitors being connected to the system via a variety of peripherals. She also touched on the interface between health and social care - including who should be funding this work.

The next presentation was by Mike McAtominey about the new Essential IT Skills programme which has replaced the ECDL as basic IT skills training provision in the NHS and NHS Health which teaches staff about Information Governance. He did say that this was being made available to students in Universities on NHS related courses and I will have to follow this information up. I picked up a copy of the training materials, which have been developed by University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Trust, in the exhibition and will be taking a look at them when I get some time.

During the morning delegates had been encouraged to write questions on slips of paper for a panel session which convened after lunch. The panel included: Susan Osborne (National Clinical Lead for Nurses), Michael Thick (Chief Clinical Officer for Connecting for Health), Ian Cowles (Group Director NHS CRS Implementation), Marlene Winfield (National Patient Lead NHS Connecting for Health), Julie Tindale (National Clinical Lead for Midwifery) and Yvonne Pettigrew (National Clinical Lead for Allied Health Professions) with the questions being selected and put by Barbara Stuttle. The questions put to the panel touched on a variety of topics, but a cynic might suggest they had been selected to enable the panel to give their "set pieces". A question about Local Ownership and clinical engagement brought nice phrases about SHA clinical leads been "brought on board"; partnership working with social services about assisstive technology brought platitudes about shared budgets and a question about system failures and downtime - brought claims about the national spine being available 99.99% of the time.

There were various other questions but what really annoyed me about this session wasn't the fact that none of my SIX (awkward) questions was put, but that when statements were made by the panel no follow up questions or comments were allowed from the floor. Two particular statements which I wanted to respond to were a statement that everyone had the right to opt out of having a summary care record - which I believe is untrue as you have to have a record (otherwise your GP and others in the NHS will not be able to treat you) but that you can refuse consent for it to be shared - and even this is limited. One of my questions that wasn't asked was about the evaluation report on the Summary Care Record early adopter sites and its recommendation that England move to the approach being taken in Scotland and Wales to "consent to view". The other statement which I felt needed further exploration was that Connecting for Health is paying for 90% of implementation costs - if you talk to local trusts etc you get a different story where, even if they use the software products being provided by Connecting for Health, the hardware and training costs are the ones they are having difficulty in meeting.

Barbara did say to me privately that the answers to questions that were put and those that weren't will be put on the Connecting for Health web site (if & when I find them I will add a link) - and asked me to email her my concerns about the answers given - I will sent her the URL for this blog post and offer the opportunity to post a comment in response & see what response I get. The controlled format of this session and refusal to take questions or comments doesn't bode well for the new culture of openness I thought we might see after the departure of Richard Granger as Director General. It might also be a response to last weeks vote by GPs at the BMA’s annual Local Medical Committees conference expressing no confidence in the government’s ability to store electronic patient records safely, and backing calls to support patients who wish to opt-out of the Summary Care Record (SCR), and a motion calling for a halt on any further development of plans to develop Care Records Service plans.

The following speakers, to a dwindling audience, included Keith Ward from the University of Huddersfield who talked about his Nursing Documentation Project which included an examination of 10,000 nursing records and nine months of observation. He described the use of an intuitive humanist model which conflicted with the "medical" information processing model, which he saw as underpinning the development of software systems within Connecting for Health. He suggested that "algorithm approaches" are deskilling nurses and how requests for data recording, which was not relevant to nursing care amounted to "cumulative unreasonableness".

Kathy Sienko from Cerner talked about the importance of preparing the professional workforce for the digital environment and some of the vital issues which need to be addressed before systems go live.

The final speaker was Simon Eccles (National Clinical Director, Secondary Care, NHS Connecting for Health) who urged everyone to get involved and gave a first look at their new DVD which is supposed to persuade everyone of the benefits of Connecting for Health. The short versions we were shown (with lift music) will not, in my humble opinion, achieve this, but I will reserve judgement until I've had more time to review it more fully.

The conference closed with more exhortations from various of the clinical leads for everyone to get on board.

Although it was a nice opportunity to meet up with some old colleagues I left the conference feeling disheartened, and unless they are likely to change significantly I will not be attending one of these again.

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Thursday, May 01, 2008

RCN vacancy for e-Health Nurse Adviser

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has today advertised for an e-Health Nurse Adviser.

The advert says "This is an opportunity to influence policy and practice in the area of e- Health and to support and engage nursing staff in it. You will participate in UK government and international initiatives and build the RCN’s profile in relation to e-Health issues."

Further details & application form can be obtained by putting in the reference number: NU0210/0508 at

I will be interested to see who is appointed to this role and whether this changes the RCNs position or actions on e-Health.

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Saturday, April 12, 2008

Nurses, Midwives & Healthcare Staff CfH conf June 2008

NHS Connecting for the health will be running their third annual "A conference for Nurses, Midwives & Healthcare Staff: Cultural Change in Professional Practice - The Information Revolution" on 17th June 08 at the Central Hall Westminster, London

The conference aims to: "provide delegates with an opportunity to learn more about the National Programme for IT and how it will deliver better and safer care, from a clinical and patient perspective. There will also be an update on the progress which has been achieved over the last twelve months, and an opportunity to see live demonstrations of some software packages. A Q&A panel will provide people with an opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback about their own experiences of using IT. An interactive session will also demonstrate key areas of the programme such as Lorenzo (patient administration system), essential IT and training on the job and clinical assistive technology. Speakers at the conference will include Chris Beasley, chief nursing officer, Susan Osborne and Barbara Stuttle, joint national clinical leads for the nursing professions.

Further details & booking form.

I hope to be attending this one & will do a report on this blog.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

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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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Medinfo Day 2

After a late start opening the Ball room introductory plenaries started on a sunny Tuesday morning, on which I got a good view of the South Bank cultural centre and the roof of the convention centre from my hotel bedroom with the Skyneedle in the background.

Philip Davis- Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing

Welcomed delegates & described announcements yesterday about increasing roll out of ehealth in Australian & particularly to remote aboriginal communities

Sol Trujillo (CEO Telstra) Changing the paradigm in healthcare

He described a series of issues in a changing world with relevance to ehealth. These included;. Ageing & more mobile populations (increasing transmission f disease) transforming viruses, administration & healthcare costs & improving access to high quality healthcare.

He talked about the role of telecoms companies - & discussed his famous philosopher Yogi Bear who said “the future ain’t what it used to be”, and argued that we ar moving through a paradigm shift to integrated services. Telstra claims the fastest mobile network in the world providing the “central nervous system of Australia.

He focused on the patient experience & gave a very positive picture of how the technology would enhance care, with high resolution video based communications.& other aspects of telehealth; body area networks & biometric monitoring, at a cost one hundred times less than residential care. He argued for the benefits of Web2.0 fr support networks.

He talked about the changes for health professionals & a reduction in patient errors. Some impressive videos highlighted (advertised) various Telstra initiatives (eg NextG) supporting care delivery. Ballarat District Nursing Service use of mobile devices & time savings in their work. He talked about ways of enhancing professional development and interprofessional relationships. He also mentioned the potential advantages of RFID in medicines administration and eprescribing to reduce errors.

The questiona and answer session touched on international collaboration, privacy and confidentiality and ways of influencing makers.

The second keynote speaker was Muir Gray (NHS National Knowledge Service). As ever Muir was future scoping working from an overview of the 1st and 2nd healthcare revolutions to the currently 3rd revolution. He highlighted the 8 common problems which are common in healthcare systems in all developed countries, and needs and drivers to overcome them.

He strongly argued that the professions are out of step with current society and that the key to change was to empower patients (or punters) and they would bring about change. He used the analogy of the provision of drinking water and how that improved health to the provision of CLEAN, CLEAR KNOWLEDGE. He highlighted Map of Medicine and other ways of providing, organising and delivering knowledge as being more appropriate for busy clinicians than long complex journal papers.

He concluded with plugs for his book and his new "SoundsHealthy" podcasts and asked people to turn to their neighbour and describe where they thought we might be in 2010.

Following the plenaries and a quick coffee break and attempts to sort out the technology for our panel presentation later, I attended a panel in the Nursing Education Theme entitled: Using a Master List of Nursing Informatics Competencies in Education, Practice and Research Setting with speakers from the USA and Finland. Carole Gossert and her colleagues described how the master list was developed from existing literature and validated by a Delphi technique. The list is available from
and it's use and evaluation in undergraduate and postgraduate nursing curriculum development at the University of Utah, University of Kuopio and Ohio State university was described.

Lunch was taken "on the run" while trying to sort out various software for our presentation at 14.00 - we already knew that it would not be possible to bring in Bill live from the USA via Elluminate, which had been our original plan - therefore he sent a Powerpoint with a voice over and we used an MP3 podcast from Margaret Hansen about Podcasts! - the limited network running Microsoft office had trouble running the wide variety of applications from Macs, open office etc although the technicians worked hard to get it all up & running by the 14.00 kick off time.

Scott, Peter and I covered a myriad of topics in the Emerging Technologies theme under the title, Connection, Collaboration and Creativity: Exploring Web 2.0 Applications in Health Informatics and Professional Development - possibly an example of a human mashup on the fly - and we even managed to get a higher level of audience participation and discussion amongst the 80-90 attendees than I had seen in other sessions.

The presentation, podcast, vodcast (or whatever) will be available as soon as we have it sorted from or
we also suggested that anyone blogging from the conference use the tag medinfo2007 so that they can all be seen on the technorati site at:

After a quick recovery coffee, cigarette etc (smoking is very restricted in Australia) I attended some presentations in the Education and Training Theme. Luca Bucceliero described work in the development of a "Health Supplement" for the ECDL/ICDL. Yiyu Qiu then presented her work on a multi methods approach to assessing health information systems end users training needs, based on work more usually undertaken in usability testing.

By that point in the day I was wilting (still a bit jet lagged) and I made my way back to the hotel, in the rain, for a rest before grabbing a bit to eat and attending an "open mic" comedy club in a nearby pub. I don't know if it was a good representation of Australian humour but some bits were very funny others did not breach the cultural divide to me. I did notice there was less heckling than there would have been at a similar event in the UK, and that it finished earlier - probably a good thing so that I could get some sleep.

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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Blogging from Baltimore this week

Peter Murray and Scott Erdley are at SINI2007 this week, the 17th Summer Institute in Nursing Informatics from the University of Maryland Baltimore School of Nursing. The blog can be found at:

Today we had what we think is a world first for a health/nursing informatics blog - sending a blog post direct to the blog from mobile phone - specifically iPhone. This is not sent by email, but direct from the web browser interface of the iPhone.

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Rutgers 2006 conference blog

Peter Murray, a regular contributor to this blog, is currently in San Francisco for the Rutgers 2006 25th (Anniversary) Annual International Nursing Computer and Technology Conference and will soon be joined by other members of the hi-blogs ‘krew’.

They will be providing reports, photos and opportunities to comment on the conference blog. I hope they have a great time & I will be following it as I'm tied up in the UK with marking, moderating, exam boards & finalising a research bid at present.

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