Rio de Janeiro 20-25 June 2003

A personal review by Rod Ward


This is not the official conference web site which can be found at:

As ever with these reports it is being written on a daily(ish) basis & uploaded to the web whenever I can get a connection. There are a personal comments (written during lunch breaks etc.), not an academic review or journal report & should be read in that manner, and it should be recognised that I can only report on the bits I managed to attend.

Dr Charles SafranThe second day (Monday) started with a keynote presentation by Dr. Charles Safran who explored "Collaborative healthware to support educational and emotional needs of vulnerable populations with premature infants". He gave a brief personal history and described how he arrived at his views of collaborative care and the importance of informal caregivers.

He explored some the the terminology around; consumer health informatics, collaborative healthcare and vulnerable populations (limited access to information & often with a reading age around 6th grade).

In the US an increasing number of babies born prematurely (from 500g) are resuscitated and survive, often in NICU for a long time. He described how personalised and interactive we resources are used to provide information about their babies to the parents and other relatives to help in this emotional and distressing time, and drew lessons for wider patient communications.

He finished with a nice catch phrase "Our nurses now make mousecalls".

Further information is available from:

Dr Charles DochertyThe second presentation I attended was by Dr. Charles Docherty from Glasgow Caledonian University who presented the results of a randomised controlled trail in the evaluation of a multimedia computer programme designed to help mentors assess student nurses.

The project was PhD work started in 1995 to create a stand a alone CD (before the World Wide Web was so strongly established), and used his demonstration of the software and it's evaluation to address the question "is there a role for stand alone software in education?".

He identified many of the issues when large numbers of disparate mentors are involved in the support and assessment of student nurses, and the problems of unfairness and lack of quality in this process coupled with issues of validity and reliability.

His justification of the multimedia approach including the potential for minimal instruction and maximal exploration learning. He demonstrated the programme including the extensive use of video presentations of scenarios and quizzes to test learning.

Barbara FrinkThe next paper I attended was "Risk and Role : Clinicians in an E-Health World" by Barbara P. Frink who identified the changes with the increase in genetic knowledge on the Internet and from her personal experience the issues in E-Health business ventures with the possibility of harm for both patients and staff.

The changes brought about by the immediacy of information/science transfer were explored particularly in relation to problems with "not keeping up to date" and also the risks of using new and untested information.

She concluded by considering some of the likely future developments.

Saulo BortolonSaulo Bortolon (BR) then described their work on "Presenting Geoepidemiological Data from Heterogeneous databases in Web Interfaces using GML." He described how his team had approached the display of health data in map format. The data is already collected by different systems in various parts of Brazil and then collating these and mapping them.

Various issues around the data format for collection, analysis and display were described and potential ways format suggested.

One interesting point was the use of the term "Pizza Chart" for what I've always called a "pie chart".

The processing involved in "Developing & Maintaining a web page for a nursing group" was described by Kathleen Smith (US)

This small scale project set out some of the ways in which this work could be undertaken for District 5 of the Maryland Nurses Association, and included their original domain name being taken over by a pornography site, therefore needing to get a new & similar domain

She also set out the processes involved in clarifying aims and content & setting up password protected areas for members.

Rita ZielstorffRita Zielstorff then described the "Design and Preliminary Evaluation of Alzheimers Caregiver Internet Support System (ACISS)".

She set out why support was needed and the use of standard and advanced forms with various features including video support and the differences they made to the target groups.

I then finished this section of the papers with my own presentation "The development of NMAP - The UKs gateway to high quality Internet resources in nursing, midwifery and allied health". This describes the first 2 years of NMAP, quality criteria & some evaluation work and introduced the free VTS tutorial on Internet information skills for nurses, midwives and health visitors

Rita ZielstroffThe final session of the day for me was a plenary by Dr. Margareta Ehnfors who examined "Knowledge Generation, Knowledge Representation and knowledge Utilization in Nursing - A Challenge for Informatics".

She presented a university model to develop a research programme in the area and the VIPS model of Swedish terminology standards.

The methodologies to record and study nursing practice were explored. Terms were described but deliberately not given semantic definitions but illustrated with examples of their use.

She concluded with suggestions of routes for the future.

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Page Created: 18.6.03

Last Updated: 3.7.03