1. Perry, William MA, RN

Article Content

The 19th Annual International Nursing Computer and Technology Conference was held In the middle of July and a mile high in Denver, Colo. With the theme "Living and Working in a Wireless World," presenters and attendees from the United States and the United Kingdom joined to explore computer technologies in healthcare, find out what others are doing, network, and enjoy the sights of Denver.


Those who arrived early had the opportunity to attend the Informatics Nurse Certification Review. The preconference workshops covered online teaching, electronic publishing, Palm Pilot use, and digital photography use to enhance electronic presentations. Postconference topics included developing Web pages and using free resources for online learning projects.


Rebecca Quammen, MBA, and George Brostoff were the opening keynote speakers with a discussion and presentation of wireless technologies and associated security. The use of mobile computing in healthcare has the potential to change our ideas about "point of care" to "point of thought" computing. Although technologies advance at a rapid pace, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and other regulatory agencies are bringing about security concerns and solutions to electronically stored healthcare information.


Kathy Malloch, PhD, MBA, RN, another keynote speaker, spoke on patient classification systems, their background, the current state of these systems, and the elements of useful systems in healthcare.


The conference topics ranged from education applications, such as distance learning, research, and communication, to applying technologies in the clinical environment with tools for both clinicians and healthcare consumers. Although by no means exhaustive, the following presentations caught the eye of this author.


* Peter Murray, RN, MSc, RNT, CertEd, CompBCS, spoke on an analysis of nurses discussions in a list-serv environment. An extension of earlier presentations done as part of his postgraduate work, Mr Murray has a longstanding interest in content as well as reflective nature of how nurses communicate electronically. The presentation slides have been archived at


* Denis Anthony, PhD, MSc, BA, RMN, SRN, RN, author of the first nursing Website, presented an online course for chronic wound management he developed and conducted in the United Kingdom. The use of an Internet-based approach to course development made resources available to nurses who would not otherwise have been able to attend due to time, family, and work constraints.


* Jeannie Sewell, MSN, RN, described and demonstrated the use of MERLOT, Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching ( This is a collection of online learning materials developed and shared by members of the organization. Not only is this an area to exchange applications and resources, but also it is a community for the exchange of ideas and opinions. The educational applications presented during the conference were varied and showed the unique capabilities of the medium.


* Kay Hodson-Carlton, EdD, RN, FAAN, presented a series of games based on Hangman, Jeopardy, and Wheel of Fortune. These games have been incorporated into nursing courses and serve as a tool to increase retention and increase student satisfaction with online learning.


* Brent Thompson, DNSc, RN, introduced participants to the many uses of the Palm Pilot in the clinical and educational area. Many example applications were demonstrated to show the personal digital assistant (PDA) as an exceptionally useful tool for both students and clinicians.


* The EndNote speaker was Roy Simpson, RN, FAAN, who spoke on technology and patient safety. Always an informative and enjoyable speaker, Mr Simpson shared his experiences and insights on the state of the healthcare industry.


The 20th Annual International Nursing Computer and Technology Conference is scheduled for July 2002 in New York City. Check the Rutgers University Center for Professional Development Website at The call for abstracts is now open. See you in New York!


Contributed by


William Perry, MA, RN


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