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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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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Friday, October 10, 2008

100 eHealth Gaming companies

This is a great list of the over 100 eHealth Gaming companies:

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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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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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Thursday, November 01, 2007

professional issues in e-health - report

Bournemouth University, School of Health and Social Care, Centre for Practice Development have recently published a report on "An investigation of the emergent professional issues experienced by nurses when working in an e-health environment", which was produced in collaboration with Information in Nursing Forum at the Royal College of Nursing.

It provides a useful snap shot of the British nurses about ehealth and the gap between the vision presented and the experiences of frontline nurses, and has implications for management, education and practice.

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Thursday, July 26, 2007

RCN e-health survey

The Royal College of Nursing has today published the results of it's annual e-health survey conducted by Medix. which used an online questionnaire to obtain the attitudes and experiences of 2,600 members towards IT and their perceptions of the new electronic patient record.

The results of the 2007 survey show that:

* Two thirds of nurses (66%) welcome the introduction of an electronic patient record. This figure is higher (76%) in nurses who have experience of using records in this format.

* 58% of nurses do not believe or do not know that the NHS can deliver an electronic record in the foreseeable future.

* 66% say they have not been consulted about the record's development

* 55% of nurses say they have not received any IT training within working time in the last six months

* And 45% say they share a computer with five or more people while 16% share a machine with more than 20 people.

The perceived effect of the Electronic Patient Record (EPR) on clinical care continues a downward trend with now only 42% of respondents believing it will improve clinical care compared to 70% in 2004.

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Saturday, May 26, 2007

Survey of the effects of technology on nursing practice

A colleague is in the process of validating a survey designed to measure the impact of health information technology on the role of nurses and on interdisciplinary communication. They hope that the survey will help us better understand the benefits and drawbacks of new health-related technology on the communication and work of nurses in hospitals. This survey has already been validated in the United States.

If you are a hospital-based nurse in England, they would be grateful if you could spare the time to help us validate the survey by visiting {URL}:

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Friday, May 25, 2007

RCN survey of IT/e-health

The Royal College of Nursing has today launched a new survey to investigate the attitudes and experiences of nurses in relation to IT and e-health programs such as the electronic patient record.

This is the fourth survey they have carried out on this subject and are looking for relevant staff to take part.

The survey explores a range of issues including:-

* the electronic patient record that is currently in development
* the access nursing staff have to IT equipment and support
* and the opportunities that exist for IT education, development and training in your organisation.

The survey, which is hosted on behalf of the RCN by Nursix, is accessible at:

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

HC2007 - BCS Nursing Specialist Group session

The annual satellite session organised by the British Computer Society's Nursing Specialist Group ( took place on Tuesday moring, and was titled 'Challenging boundaries or grappling with fuzzy edges?' There were 4 short presentations, followed by discussion. Richard Hayward, NSG Chair, opened the session. The first speaker was Janette Bennett, Senior Clinical Advisor with the BT Health Executive; she quoted Florence Nightingale as saying 'I look forward to the abolition of all hospitals ... but it is no use talking about the year 2000'. In looking at boundaries and challenges, and making changes in practices, she looks at professional issues, education issues, the research needed to inform decisions, and finally the management aspects, including roles, skill mix, etc. The shift to care in the community does not seem to be providing that kind of thinking, and this causes Janette concern. There need to be radical changes to the ways of working (eg virtual support services), and these have radical implications for the nature of education needs. She sees possibilities for new online environments, such as MySpace, for modelling new ways of working, learning and thinking. Underlying infrastructures, rather than technologies, she suggests, are what provide the real boundaries to be addressed.

Rebecca Randall, from City University, talked about computerised decision support systems (CDSS, eg as used in NHSDirect) pushing the boundaries of nursing roles. Her talk was based in the work undertaken in the recent Department of Health funded study into nurses' use of technology. She says there is a blurred boundary between supported and unsupported decision making, and whether CDSS directly supports decision making. Helen Sampson talked about the challenges in the workplace for frontline staff, as nursing roles change, and working at the boundaries of health and social care. She says that nurses now do know what kinds of information they want to record about care – but that elements of the National Programme are dictating what can be done, and this does not always match with what nurses want. Peter Murray presented some thoughts on boundaries between everyday life and education, and of the real boundaries being cultural, and also discussed scenario planning as a way of thinking about possible futures and emerging boundaries. A wide ranging discussion followed the presentations, with concerns being expressed about the ability of information systems to support the real needs of the clinical end users.

The satellite was followed by the Annual General Meeting of the BCS NSG.

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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Swams of Nurse Bots

The IWARD European project has announced plans to develop "Nurse Bots" by 2010 at a cost of 3.88 million euro.

Most of the tasks described as being potentially carried out by robots acting as a dynamic swarm are probably portering/cleaning rather than nursing, however proposals for a thermal imaging camera it could observe the patient to see if they are too hot or cold, could be interesting. suggests that they could "help to keep wards cleaner and cut infections by hospital super bugs such as Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA)".

A comment attached to the story on EHealth Insider suggests "we are struggling to produce consistent letters to patients which contain the details they need for their appointments with one of the LSP systems and yet we are confident we would relatively soon let a robot push a patient round a hospital in a wheelchair" and questioning whether "they would arrive intact in the right place at the right time".

A brave new world is envisioned - but perhaps as well as this far thinking "blue skies" research we need to be making sure we get the basics right.

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