Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Data Standards and Terminologies Masterclass

The Yorkshire Centre for Health Informatics (YCHI) has recently won a grant proposal from the UK Faculty of Health Informatics to explore how data standards and terminologies are being used in education. We will be running a one-day masterclass event on Thursday, 11th March 2010, where we hope to attract participants from academe, industry and the NHS to discuss their experiences of data standards and products. Lunch will be provided but you will have to cover your own travel expenses to/from the venue.


To discuss and create a dissemination strategy for products from the Department of Health Informatics Directorate’s Data Standards and Products team in education.


  • To learn about the products offered by the Data Standards and Products team.
  • To share examples of educational tools already used to deliver data standards and terminologies training.
  • To explore the need for data standards and terminology training.
  • To identify next steps in creating and disseminating such resources.


Keynote presentation followed by interactive whiteboarding and discussion points of who needs to be involved, what levels of detail are required and how to disseminate. Techniques will include stakeholder analysis, critical success factors and product matrices. The masterclass will end with an hour-long WebEx panel open to all via the Web to discuss findings and answer questions. Dial-in numbers will be provided closer to the time for those who register.


A proposed outline strategy for development and dissemination. A white paper will also be sent to all delegates after the event.

The masterclass will be hosted by YCHI within the Leeds Institute of Health Sciences. The address is:

Charles Thackrah Building
University of Leeds
101 Clarendon Road
Leeds LS2 9LJ

If you would like to register for the masterclass please e-mail Mark Hawker ( by Wednesday, 24th February. Successful candidates will be e-mailed by Friday, 26th February to confirm their acceptance. There are a limited number of parking spaces available for those who are travelling by car that will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis (but you need to inform us when registering for the event).

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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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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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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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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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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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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Elsevier Article 2.0 Contest Site

Elsevier has posted an Article 2.0 contest site with prizes of $500-2500 for the best scientific article online presentation. It seems like theyare giving programmers the opportunity to take on the role of an innovative publisher using their xml dataset of articles...

The contest runs September 1st - December 31st, 2008 and prizes will be announced January 31st, 2009.

Also for the library Geeks amongst us:
A web2.0/library2.0 issue of Elsevier's Library Connect (October 2007):

Plus three interesting library/programmer bloggers:

With best regards,

P.S. - If you are contemplating going for this, I wouldn't wait until 12-31 to upload. Note that Elsevier took down their website for the Grand Challenge yesterday- the deadline date (for developing an innovative data interpretation or manuscript submission/ reviewing tool with prizes of 15-35K). Perhaps their deadlines are 12:01 a.m. Greenwich Mean Time of the date specified...;-)

Source: Susanna Richards
Editorial Administrative Assistant
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Department of Microbiology and Immunology
A-5321 Medical Center North
1161 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37232- 2363

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Monday, June 23, 2008

UWE pioneers health training using new NHS records software

University partners with Cerner to train nurses and health staff to use electronic patient records

Bristol. 23rd June 2008 - To continue its healthcare education leadership, the University of the West of England (UWE) today announces that it will implement the Cerner Academic Education Solution (AES) to train nursing and other health staff on how to use the new electronic patient record system being implemented for the NHS. As the NHS moves toward the use of electronic health records for all patients, the new project means nursing and other health sciences students at UWE will have the opportunity to use similar software to that being introduced in hospitals.

The NHS will use software from Cerner, a major global healthcare information technology (HIT) company, to provide the electronic health records in a large number of its hospitals. The Cerner AES is the only full clinical information system adapted to support healthcare curricula and classroom instruction. By selecting Cerner, UWE chose a supplier with a proven track record. Cerner is the market leader in providing educational HIT solutions, with more than 7,000 students at 40 campuses around the world using the Cerner AES. UWE is partnering with Cerner to adapt the system for the English healthcare practice and the UK curriculum. UWE students will begin using the Cerner AES in September 2008.

Professor John Duffield, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, UWE said: “This partnership is a great opportunity to keep nursing education at UWE at the forefront of current healthcare practice, ensuring that our students are fully prepared for the environments in which they are going to be caring for patients and clients.”

“The use of Cerner AES solution will form a key part of our curriculum as a foundation for evidence-based clinical practice, supporting development of critical-thinking skills and enhancing unidisciplinary and interdisciplinary education. It is capable of being used with human patient simulators and will be available online anywhere anytime.”

Alan Fowles, Vice President, Cerner Limited said: “As healthcare embraces the digital age, the incoming workforce will need to ensure they have a high degree of knowledge and understanding of how healthcare technologies work. A significant number of Trusts in the UK use, or are ready to implement, the Cerner Millennium® healthcare computing platform. By partnering with us to use the Cerner AES solution, UWE will be able to prepare the nurses and healthcare professionals of tomorrow with the knowledge and skills required to work in the NHS, allowing them to focus on the best patient care possible.”

Editor's notes

• UWE’s School of Health and Social Care is nationally and internationally recognised for its dynamic, outstanding and highly creative contributions to policy and practice. The School is primarily based at the Glenside Campus in Bristol and has regional centres in Bath, Gloucester and Swindon. For more information visit
• About Cerner: Cerner is taking the paper chart out of healthcare, eliminating error, variance and waste in the care process. With more than 6,000 clients worldwide, Cerner is the leading supplier of healthcare information technology. The following are trademarks of Cerner: Cerner and Cerner Millennium. (NASDAQ: CERN),

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