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.

I am grateful for this report on the final hours of the conference prepared by Charles Docherty and his permission to make it available on this web site.

Final hours of the conference - additional report by Charles Docherty

Penultimate Keynote: Yun Sik Kwak, on "Current International Health Informatics Standardization Activities".

This was a highly detailed, technical account of efforts to standardise Health Informatics, the importance of HL7, and Nursing Informatics standardisation. Within 10 minutes, most of the audience were glazed. The conclusions reached were that global consensus needed to be worked towards, interoperability was fundamental, based upon web and XML systems. The ultimate goal was "plug and play". The presentation was competent enough, but how many of the audience were really THAT interested in the detailed structure and leadership of ISO standards committees? It seemed for a time that the conference was going to end on a rather flat note...until the final Plenary!

Keynote: Roy L Simpson of Cerner corporation, on "Healthcare in a Global Village: how Information Technology and Nursing Can Make it Possible"

This was a whizz-bang powerpoint presentation complemented by an emotional and animated speaker, in a rabble-rousing end to the formal papers. It was exactly what the audience wanted, resulting in 100% attention and a standing ovation. In terms of content..well, some interesting facts and associations, giving the impression that if we aren't the most powerful profession after the military, then we ought to be, given our numbers. Some important issues were raised, for example, the ageing nursing profession, uncertain career pathways and employment instability. Roy ended by saying that even although there may be some current difficulties, the future for nursing is so bright, we should all be wearing shades!

The conference concluded with prize-giving for student presentations, organised by Diane Skiba, and Virginia Saba handing over the reigns to Heather Strachan, the new chair of IMIA Nursing Specialist Group.

Dr Charles Docherty Lecturer School of Nursing, Midwifery and Community Health Glasgow Caledonian University Cowcaddens Road, Glasgow, G4OBA T: 0141 331 8311 F: 0141 331 8312

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Last Updated: 30.6.03