NI 2000 

(The 7th International Congress of Nursing Informatics)

A personal review by Rod Ward

28 APRIL - 3 MAY, 2000

    AOTEA Centre


Comments of Others

Other delegates were invited to give some comments about the conference, general themes, particular papers, or anything else they thought would be of interest.

Each was asked to give their name (& where they are from) and write a short paragraph.

Hi from 'Down Under and right a bit!'.  Paula here, arrived last Thursday and haven't stopped yet.  The conference started for me on Saturday with a workshop - all went well although it was touch and go for a while, all the team, Elaine Ballard (special mention), Rita Collins, Catherine  Rennolds, Sue Newbold and of course Carol Cooper.  Anyway, have a replica rugby ball, All Blacks shirt (unused!) and a few more pounds in weight than when I arrived!

Auckland - City of Sails as they call it down here. I think I measure a city by the quality of its pedestrian crossings. Britain has its silent zebras and beeping pelicans. Stockholm (remember NI'97?) had crossings that woke up demented woodpeckers trapped inside the lamp posts so that any crossing was accompanied by a mad knocking. Auckland's wide streets are crossed with a disappointing buzzing that at home would send you scurrying for your rubber soled shoes and the name of a reliable electrician. But they have a strange querk as well. All the lights at a crossroads change at the same time, so you can take your life in your hands and cross between opposite corners. And watch out, cars can turn left at red lights and frighten you to death. The crossings took me yesterday to Albert Park where, after a week of pavements and volcanic rock I got to walk again on that strange material called grass. I'd forgotten how springy it is. Then there were the autumn leaves when in my normal life it should still be spring. It must have been an even longer flight than I thought.
Mike Garner  CONCEPT Project, Sheffield

Well, at last a conference in a place where they drive on the right (i.e. correct) side of the road -on the left. And the drivers all seem so good mannered - as do the pedestrians; I've never seen so many people waiting patiently for the lights to change on the crossings. And the conference? - well, the conference is great. It's been really busy - started last Friday with two half day workshops done with Ramona Nelson (from Slippery Rock Univ., USA). The workshops went down very well and we even managed to bring Bill Perry (USA) as a 'live presenter' via web chat and a 16 hour time difference - thanks, Bill!

The keynote presentations have been a bit long-winded, but the papers have been generally good. It's great to see so many old friends here from all parts of the world. The organisation from the New Zealand end has been impeccable, and everyone down here is very friendly.

To say this is late autumn moving into winter - the weather has been great, with temperatures well up into the seventies. The food is really cheap - as is the wine!!
Cheers from down under, Peter Murray

NZ here we are!  The place and the conference lives up to expectations.   NZ ...wonderful food, wine, and friendly people.  Autumn leaves falling along with summer sales takes some grappling.  I passed a meat boutique on the way back to my hotel this evening, a butcher shop to you and me!  Meeting old friends and making new ones is an integral part of the experience.   Colleen Prophit delivered the most lucid paper of the conference, so far.  I await the rest of the papers and the promised mud baths of Rotorua! Bliss!!
Rita Collins, UCD Dublin----

Here we are at last in what we were told is the most friendly country in the world. Glad to report that it is!  Rod has taken this opportunity to continue his well documented research into beers of the world. I think we can say he has achieved a distinction ! (Speights that is!)

Alan Ballard, Consort.

I suppose if I were at the Brit Awards I would start off by saying thank you to..... So indeed I do, to Isobel for supporting the financing of this trip through my School of Nursing and Midwifery. Please be assured that in between the sampling of the New Zealand Cuisine I AM doing the necessary networking and working hard to present my paper and deliver the workshop for which I  am really here!

The most striking thing about this country is the sheer graciousness of the peoples here. Wherever we go there are smiles and welcomes and I suspect that we in England could learn a lot from the people of this country. We were welcomed, for our evening visit to the Maori Museum last night with a ritualistic dancing and chanting, where in the darkness of the evening a certain magic wafted through the air. Would not be seen in Wolverhampton! Visiting the museum itself exposed us to the exquisite heritage of these peoples and the wonders of their culture and dress and social conditions. A not to be missed event.

Of course, the Nursing Informatics Conference takes precedence over all the sight seeing and convivial meeting places we have pursued!. And there have been some excellent international speakers with such a common thread from all countries seeming to struggle with the same things: standards, common language, developments (or not) in information systems. What is recognisable is the frustration at times of us all, the sometimes slow progress, yet sense of achievement of what has ben done since the last Conference in Stockholm.

Message?  Keep battling on, and continue to stage Conferences in such exciting lands.

Back to UK soon, with wonderful memories of the people and solid connections through the network.

Elaine Ballard, School of Nursing & Midwifery, University of Wolverhampton.

New Zealand - what a great place! What a shame that God thought to keep it so far away from the UK. I thought that jet lag meant a little tiredness! Not had much time to explore the area, but Auckland is a great city; New Zealanders seem to go out of their way to offer help and are proud of their country.
As for the conference.......I must admit that I have seen little new or spectacularly innovative so far. Having said that the programme is so full and you can only get to see / hear a small percentage of the total. The main programme is set out clearly, but only gives the title of the talk/paper/poster etc. I have found that this doesn't always relate that well to the content. networking has been the best aspect- I've met loads of interesting people. Last task - surviving the 26 hour flight home.
I'm privileged to be here and I'm off to make the most of the last day or two........
Tony Paget - University of Wales Swansea

Guests writing this page of comments at the conference dinner

The conference fosters collegiality among nurses in a way that others should follow.  Once again I am pleased to be part of the leadership of nursing informatics.  The encouragement of fellowship is an excitement for others in the vendor community to follow as Cerner has continued to show leadership in nursing informatics.
Roy L. Simpson, RN, C, CMAC, FNAP, FAAN
Vice President Nursing Informatics
Cerner Corporation

You go, nurses!!  Judy Murphy

Nursing informatics, the greatest.
    From the down under Aussie Team

Thank you, thank you, thank you!  What a wonderful conference, what a wonderful country!  Here's to new friends, here's to the future.  See you all in Rio in 2003.
Jenny McCaskey, First Consulting Group

What a great conference this has been! How lucky I am to be able to work and play with all my international colleagues!
It is wonderful to be able to share and learn with so many magnificent nurses!
Denise Goldsmith RN, MPH
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA, USA

This is a wonderful opportunity to renew friendships and make new friends in this global nursing informatics community.  Diane J. Skiba, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center.

Thank you for hosting a wonderful international conference.  Amy Coenen, ICN

This is my first Nursing Informatics Congress, but it certainly will NOT be my last. Thanks for welcoming me  into your community :-)) Nancy Holloway, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center

Hans had a great time. Thank you for a wonderful congress. Maybe within a couple of years in the Netherlands ??
Hans Springer, Nursing Informatics co-ordinator, Hogeschool Holland, the Netherlands.

The content and the debate are excellent; the entertainment could have been quieter, and more oriented to the audience.
Anne Casey, UK.

I'm deaf in both ears after a great night
Catherine Logan

You are one of the best. Sent me your URL. ( I will judge the thing!

Fascinating time. This is a country which everyone should visit. New Zealanders know the meaning of "hospitality" both within and without the conference. Bungee jumpers unite! It is a leap of faith to make the connection between terminology and the real world of practical nursing. If you can jump off a bridge into mid air with confidence you can do anything.
David Lane, Nursing Professions Information Group UK

Change is inevitable, progress is optional.  This conference is the place to learn about what works and what doesn't.  As an IT professional it is wonderful to see the depth of leadership and talent in the nursing community.  I wish we had a tenth of the inspiration in our institution.  Maybe one day!
Tony Cooke, IT Manager, Hutt Valley Health, NZ

Today's papers contained jewels in the mud, and it would have been easier to determine which was which if papers has been selectively grouped. 10 out of 10 to the nursing professions who treated speakers with a politeness I last saw in the UK Folk clubs (yes, I am that age!); thank you for sitting tight in sessions and only moving in between.
Cheers Jean Roberts  Phoenix Associates, UK

Interesting to learn this evening about the culture of New Zealand nurses. We  started with funny games, based around the Loch Ness monster, with a brown paper bag - Blue Peter is alive and well down under. This was followed by salsa dancing, thought to be a Mexican band, and then the drag act. Wow!
John Bryant, University of Surrey.

In a predominantly gray-haired congress it was a pleasure to listen to two young Norwegian staff nurses describe their action research to find standard nursing documents, for use across a large hospital, in readiness for the introduction of electronic records. There is a dire need for 'new blood'. It is not that the pioneers of nursing informatics are not continuing to develop the field, just that at present the next generation do not appear to be waiting in the wings to take over the baton.  Many of those involved in the early days started when in their 20s and 30s and the recently launched book on International Nursing Informatics look back over 40 years.  This congress has done a great deal of looking back and the morning's panel on the history of the last few decades in nursing informatics concluded that many  of the problems identified on the 1960s are still evident. It would appear that the challenge of making novel mistakes has been ignored.

Nursing terminology and control of the language used has been a common theme of this congress, it has not been clear whether this really reflects the concerns of the nursing  professions at large or just those senior nurse informaticians and their masters students submitting papers and able to get the research grants. Like all recent nursing conferences this one has been good in parts, still with a medical domination in keynote speakers and topics, unlike many the  facilities for meeting colleagues have been good and the food and general organisation excellent.
Denise Barnett

Stanley Lajca
Information Policy Unit
NHS Executive

My main concern is to learn about best practice in the use of information, information technology and systems in the delivery of patient care. And this for me means at a national level that can bring best practice and benefits to a wide range of practices and systems. Too often the presentations focused on local projects that are of interest mainly to those involved in design and implementation. It is time to change the format of streams and papers to reflect working practice rather than theory and the actual demonstration of IT in practice.

The forces of conservatism need to be reviewed and checked in the field of nursing informatics as in any field as the focus should be on multi-disciplinary working rather than individual specialties or professions. I look forward to better themes and learning experiences.



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Page Created: 26.4.00
Last Updated: 18.5.00