1. Newbold, Susan K. PhD, RN, BC, FAAN, FHIMSS
  2. Dykes, Patricia C. DNSc, RN

Article Content

The 9th International Congress on Nursing Informatics (NI 2006) held in Seoul, Korea from June 9-21, 2006 brought together nurses and other disciplines from around the world working with informatics applications in nursing care, administration, research and education. The theme for this year's conference was "Consumer-Centered, Computer-Supported Care for Healthy People." The rich curriculum of keynote presentations (5), panel presentations (8), peer-reviewed papers (151), posters (151), tutorials (11), and workshops (14) compiled the foremost thinking regarding developing, implementing, and using health information technology to improve consumer- oriented healthcare to promote world health. A total of 712 participants attended from 34 countries including Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Iran, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, the United States, and Korea. This was the nursing informatics conference with the largest attendance since NI1994 in San Antonio, TX.


As an example of the offerings, Dr. Newbold presented a paper on Technology and the Nursing Shortage and participated in a panel entitled "Nursing informatics: A history of the Future" with Marion J. Ball, Scott Erdley, Peter J. Murray, and Karl Oyri. Dr. Dykes conducted a 90-minute workshop on "The Impact of Health Information Technology on the Role of Nurses' Interdisciplinary Communication."


Congress Proceedings are available in both print and CD-ROM versions. Consumer-Centered Computer-Supported Care for Healthy People, Proceedings of NI2006, Volume 122 Studies in Health Technology and Informatics, Edited by: H-A. Park, P. Murray and C. Delaney, June 2006, approx. 1050 pp., hardcover, ISBN: 1-58603-622-x, Price: US$200 / [pounds]160 / [pounds]110.


Special events at the Congress included the gala dinner, hospital tours, student awards, a welcome reception, exhibitors and plenty of hospitality. Student awards were granted to 10 students from several universities for outstanding paper and poster presentations. Keynote speakers and their topics were: Unna Huh, "u-Korea: Ubiquitous Computing and Healthcare," Roy Simpson, "Coherent Heterogeneity: Redefining Nursing in a Consumer-smart World," Vimla Patel, "Cognition and Nursing: Knowing, Thinking and Doing," Thomas Wong "Feeling the Digital Pulse: Consumer-centered Approach to Individual Health Profiling," and June Clark, "The Impact of ICT On Health, Healthcare, and Nursing In The Next 20 Years."


In addition to the learning, networking and sharing that occurred at the conference, tours were available to the many attractions and sites in and around beautiful Seoul including Gyeongbokgung Palace, the Korean National Folk Museum, a quaint Korean Folk Village, the impressive Seoul Tower Observatory and the eerie underground tunnels dug under the demilitarized zone (DMZ) by North Korea. In addition to the cultural attractions, there were tours available for congress participants to five hospitals in the proximity of Seoul: Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Asan Medical Center, Seoul National University Hospital, Samsung Medical Center and Severance Hospital. One aspect of the visit to Seoul National University Hospital (1,633 beds) was a visit to an intensive care unit where each nurse had a large workstation to include a laptop, supplies, and drugs for an individual patient. This hospital prides itself in being paperless, filmless, and slipless.


Unofficial conference activities included a CARING reception, shopping at Itaewon, and Peter Murray's conference blog (


At the NI2006 Post-Conference, 34 attendees discussed the theme of Nursing Informatics 2020: Towards Defining our own Future. Four workgroups initiated discussion and will continue working on four themes: (1) technology developments applied to healthcare/ nursing, (2) changes in society at national and international levels, (3) healthcare in the year 2020 - practice and policy, and (4) philosophical and theoretical issues will help us define our future.


Congratulations to the Scientific, Editorial, and Organizing Committees and to all who made NI2006 a great success. Start planning for the next international conference NI2009 in Helsinki Finland ( hosted by the Finnish Nurses Association June 28 to July 1, 2009.


Contact: Susan K Newbold, or Patricia C. Dykes, for more information.